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 Netherlands, the Amsterdam-based electronic talent Mason (aka Iason Chronis).
What’s it like where you’re living? How are you spending most of your time? Yup, Amsterdam has been locked down – night curfew, the works. I do spend most of my day time on my own in a studio anyway – I have for years – so, in that sense, not much has changed. Apart from this, I’m raising a bunch of young boys and have a million odd hobbies, so… I’m keeping myself off the street, even if I was allowed on it.
What important gigs have you lost? I was playing shows as a DJ most weekends for the last 25 years, and that’s all gone now – international tours, studio sessions abroad, all gone.
Are you doing anything now that can or will produce music-related income? Yeah, just making music, really. My latest release is “Givin’ Up.” I’m in a lucky position that I can live from the music rights of my tracks, as my music is streamed quite a bit and used for all sorts of things like ads, movies and games. So making new material is always a good idea, in my case – and it keeps me sane. I see a lot of producer colleagues who are just hibernating for a year and that boredom would drive me mad.
What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? I’ve taken on jazz piano lessons and bought some new instruments to up my skill set a bit, and putting in the hours. In general, I really believe in the 10,000-hour rule – you need to put in 10,000 hours to master any skill.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? I found out how restless I really am. Always thought I was a pretty calm person, but I realize now that the late night DJing and the amount of travelling was part of my life balance I got very used to over the years. And so, I got too much energy left without it.
Have you done anything online? Yeah, I built a green-screen setup here in my Amsterdam studio and had custom Animal Language animations made for my DJ sets. It’s been fun experimenting and getting live feedback from fans while playing. But it goes without saying that it doesn’t beat the real thing. I also feel people are a bit saturated by now with DJs playing live-streams, so I’m not doing them too often anymore, unless there’s a special occasion.
Any theme tunes recommended for the moment? Joe Goddard’s “Home.”
Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? Only focus on the things you can influence, and look for little things that make life more fun.
To check out more Life in Lockdown interviews, click here.
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