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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 SoCal, the Los Angeles-based electronic-pop talent Cyran (aka Ryan Petrella).

Cyran, Los Angeles, Calif., Circus Records

What’s it like where you’re living? It’s pretty chill where I’m at now. The weather has been good, so I try to go outside as much as possible.

Have you learned anything during the downtime? I’ve been trying to learn guitar. I’ve been practicing pretty constantly. I play a little of the ukulele, so learning the guitar is somewhat similar. I’ve also been learning lots of new songs on the piano. I really like to learn synth riffs from the 1980s and 1990s.

What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? For example, any releases during this period? I released my new song “Take You Where It’s Sunny” recently. It’s an awesome upbeat song that really enjoy. You should check it out. I also have been making lots of music videos. Not sure if it’s constructive, but I’ve been documenting my music-making pretty much weekly for over a year now.
In the studio, what’s your set-up? I have a simple set-up with a lot of synths. I really like Yamaha, Roland, Akai, and Novation. I have two ADAM Audio A7X monitors, which I don’t use a whole lot, but they are my main monitors. I find myself mixing on my laptop speakers and cellphone speaker to really make sure my mix sounds good on there since that’s where most people listen nowadays.
What’s your creation process in the studio? I usually play piano or synth for like five or six hours and then will occasionally plug in to record. I find myself improvising so much more than songwriting. However, I do have like 100-plus ideas/songs that I have yet to put out. I feel like I need to release more music before I can create more hah!

What’s your typical live set-up? I just use Pioneer CDJs when I DJ. When I live-stream, I usually just play piano or synth.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? I am surprised at the things that inspire me. My schedule has been so different than in previous years, so inspiration for a song or idea can surprise me at any minute.

Have you done anything online recently? Have you seen any DJ video streams that impressed you? To be honest, I don’t really go on social media or watch a whole lot of stuff. However, I do enjoy @scarlet.pianist. She does some really cool piano live-streams on Twitch. I feel like social media is a great entertainment platform for creators to create and for viewers to watch, engage, and enjoy – but in moderation.
Any theme tunes recommended for the moment? I would recommend listening to John Tesh’s “Roundball Rock.” Also, anything by Ace of Base or Eiffel 65. That’s pretty much what I’m listening to currently.

Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? My advice is to find something you enjoy doing and do endless amounts of it. For example, I play piano and synth every day and it always puts me in a good mood. Try and find something that puts you in a good mood and, hopefully, that’ll keep you sane. Also, if you’re a musician, go visit your local music store. I’m sure they’d love the business.

To check out more Life in Lockdown interviews, click here.

DJ Times Magazine is copyright © 2021 by DJ Publishing, Inc.