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 mysterious electronic talent CloudNone.
What’s it like where you’re living? How have you spent most of your time? I’ve been locked down almost entirely since around March of last year and I’ve spent much of my time trying to focus on creating more new music and trying to hold on to my sanity.
Did you lose important gigs, or income-producing work? By the end of 2019, it was looking very promising to begin touring very regularly in 2020, and so I had scheduled a rather strategic release with Direct in “Mojito”/“Margarita” to be timed right before Ultra Festival over in Miami. Our hopes were that lots of DJs would pick up this release, as it was a bit more club-oriented take on each of our own sounds. I know my personal hope was that “Margarita” would be a big tune at Ultra, but, of course, that didn’t happen, and so I’ve had to re-think how I can begin playing touring.
Are you doing anything now that can or will produce music-related income? Have you learned anything in the downtime? My goal has been to DJ live-stream events and release DJ mixes at least somewhat regularly, in an effort to maintain some sort of forward momentum – and I’ve learnt to be patient and hopeful that the scene will have a place for me to begin touring when things begin opening up, which seems to be fairly soon now.
What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? For example, any releases during this period? My latest is “Dizzy Lifted,” a house track on Monstercat. I’ve released something like 12 songs since the pandemic hit, and that’s been my primary reasoning with how I can still be constructive. I’ve also taught myself the tools necessary to create and launch my own merchandise, which has also been a fascinating journey and also constructive.
In the studio, what’s your set-up? No vintage hardware, although I would really love to own a Roland SH-101 one day. I have been using the Roland Cloud synths since Day 1, and I think my music would sound quite different without their plug-ins. Valhalla Vintage Verb is on literally every release, as well. I can’t live without it.
What’s your creation process in the studio? I love starting with a sample. I’ve been sticking to Splice more recently and, most of the time, I’ll build around a sample or two, re-pitching things, drowning them in reverb, re-sampling that into some new and unique thing.
What’s your typical DJ set-up? In the summer of 2018, I created an amazing live set-up using Ableton Live and somewhat deconstructing/reconstructing my music, playing bits and singing live with all sorts of effects on my voice. But after lugging all sorts of kit through airports, navigating set-up on my own, I realized it was more effort than it was worth at this stage of my career. I will love to do that one day when maybe I have more of a helping hand, but for now I’ve decided that without the extra technical support, focusing on DJing is the better route and there’s still much for me to learn.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? Perhaps I’m not as introverted as I thought.
Have you done anything online recently? No DJ video streams recently. I didn’t want to be offering the same visual experience every time and it’s been too much to take it upon myself to reinvent the wheel every time.
Any theme tunes recommended for the moment? Queen’s “I Want to Break Free.”
Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? My outlook during the past year has been that I can either react one of two ways: I could pack it all up and quit, or I could realize that this may be one of the best opportunities I’ll ever get for self-improvement. But ultimately how I wake up and treat each day is my choice. I’m always searching for some positivity on things and I think it’s ultimately up to me how I choose to spend my days.
To check out more Life in Lockdown interviews, click here.
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