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 America’s Midwest, the Chicago-based house-music talent Gene Farris.
What’s it like where you’re living? How have you spent most of your time? I’m living in Chicago, and it’s getting better now things are starting to open again finally so we’re very happy here. We should be fully open in July. Most of my time in lockdown was spent
writing a lot of music, launching on my Farris Wheel clothing line, my weekly live-stream on Dirtybird TV and also starting our own network Farris Wheel TV.
Did you lose important gigs, or income-producing work? Yes, like many, I lost tons of gigs. I won’t get into figures, but a whole summer of Ibiza, for starters. Also, a large portion of my savings have evaporated. So it’s been a struggle mentally, for sure.
Are you doing anything now that can or will produce music-related income? Have you learned anything in the downtime? I started my clothing line for Farris Wheel, which had been doing really well! Also my label Farris Wheel Recordings had been booming as of late, so that’s really good.
What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? For example, any releases during this period? My latest release is “David Copperfield,” a collab with Kid Enigma. During the pandemic, I never stopped releasing music. I treated the year as if it was normal year. So, I actually gained momentum and increased my fan base.
In the studio, what’s your set-up? I use Logic in the studio, as well as some hardware. Roland TR-909, Sequential Prophet-6, Moog Sub 37, Korg Minilogue and Roland Juno-106 are a few of my favorite toys.
What’s your creation process in the studio? My process always begins with the drums, usually my TR-909, and from there, my bassline, which lately has been from the Prophet-6. From there, I start melodies and build out the sound from these.
What’s your typical DJ set-up & why do you choose that route? From Pioneer DJ, a V-10 mixer, an RMX-1000 effector/sampler, and three CDJ-3000 players. I feel I can get the most creative in my sets – with this setup I can fully express my craft.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? That I actually miss the annoying people, as well as the cool ones [laughs].
What have you done online during this time? We host one of the biggest Twitch streams every Friday night on Dirtybird TV with our show called Carnival and have had a lot of major names on there – Mark Knight, Claude VonStroke, Leftwing : Kody, Sam Divine, Jess Bays, DJ Pierre, John Summit, Shiba San, Cats N Dogz, just to name a few.
Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? Just try to keep busy and focus on the good things and realize, most importantly, you are not alone – literally the entire planet is with you.
To check out more Life in Lockdown interviews, click here.
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