When the Coronavirus shut us down, clubs and festivals ceased, and everyone was essentially forced inside with no definitive end in sight, DJ Times wondered: How is our tribe coping? How are DJs getting by?
So, we sent out our “Coronavirus Questionnaire” to DJ/producers from all musical genres to find out. During this period, DJ Times will continue presenting the questionnaire responses from talented music-makers from all over the world. Here’s our latest entry, this time from the Lone Star State, the Austin, Texas-based electronic talent LP Giobbi (aka Leah Chisholm).
What’s it like where you’re living? How did you spend most of your time? I was living in L.A. at the beginning of lockdown and went into extreme hibernation like most people. I spent a lot of time making music! I also started live-streaming, which pushed me to make loops, a cappellas and drum grooves that I could play with when DJing… to really keep every set more interesting and creative.
Did you lose important gigs, or income-producing work? Yes. I was direct support on Sofi Tukker’s European tour that was supposed to start in mid-March 2020 and then I was hopping off of that tour to play some gigs with another group also in Europe. And then there were a handful of U.S. gigs and festivals that got cancelled.
Are you doing anything now that can or will produce music-related income? Have you learned anything in the downtime? I was never a big streaming artist on Spotify or Apple, but during the pandemic I started releasing music that started performing well on DSPs and I have seen income from that. I also had a few records on Sirius and BBC Radio1 that I have seen income from.
What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? For example, any releases during this period? I would say I found my voice as a producer during this time. I studied jazz piano growing up and in college, but when I started producing I didn’t think to bring that side of me into my dance productions. But when the pandemic hit, I didn’t feel driven to make bangers for a dancefloor since there was no dancefloor. So I started working on finding more beautiful piano chords and progressions, and my music really evolved around that. I have released six tracks since the pandemic that have all really helped shape me as an artist. My latest is “Believer” featuring Hermixalot, a house track on Techne.
In the studio, what’s your set-up? I use Ableton Live and love the Modartt Pianoteq and all of the Arturia Software synths. I also am a huge Moog fan and have a Moog Grandmother semi-modular analog synth that I do a lot of sound-effect sound design on.
What’s your creation process in the studio? I have an Ableton Live session called “Piano Ideas,” where I work out different chords/progressions and record in different ideas constantly. So when I go to write a track, I usually start by opening up that session and seeing if anything grabs me. If it does, I export it into a new session and start laying down a drum groove.
What’s your DJ set-up? I use three Pioneer DJ CDJs, a DJM mixer, a DJS-1000 sampler and a keyboard. I route the keyboard through the sampler and live loop/sequence over the tracks I’m mixing.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? I always loved the dancefloor and being a part of something greater than myself, but I didn’t have such a deep appreciation for it as I do now. I had all these goals in my career and, ironically, a lot of them have come true during the pandemic, and what I’m finding from that is that the dancefloor and sharing music with people in person is really what matters to me and fuels me as a human. Everything else is secondary.
Have you done anything online recently? I stream on Twitch two days a week on my own channel, and then I have a residency on Insomniac’s Twitch and Abracadabra’s Twitch. I work with a friend, Xander Wright, who does all the live visuals while I DJ.
Any theme tunes recommended for the moment? Well, my track “Meet Again” was written about this moment to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel.
Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? I am working on having better boundaries around work and my phone. It almost feels like we are more connected – at least electronically – now than ever, so I have to really be conscious about not continuously working and taking time to go on walks and be mindful about the world immediately around me.
To check out more Life in Lockdown interviews, click here.
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