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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 Europe’s Balkan Peninsula, the Republic of Kosovo-based electronic talent Regard (aka Dardan Alija).

Regard, Ferizaj, Kosovo, Sony Music/Ministry Of Sound

What’s it like where you’re living? How did you spend most of your time? I’m currently in Ferizaj, Kosovo. It’s not super-big and most of the people here know each other in a way, which is why I love this place. It’s where I was born – it’s home. In the beginning of lockdown, I was in Sydney, Australia, for about three months. But then came to Kosovo, where I have spent the rest of my time. During this time, I have spent a lot of time on my music, producing new sounds, and also playing games like Pub G. I also like to play soccer, so I try to do that a few times a week.

Did you lose important gigs, or income-producing work? Yeah, it was really unfortunate – I lost a lot of gigs during this time. I was super-excited to play live at places like Tomorrowland, but it didn’t happen. Excited to one day be back, though!

Are you doing anything now that can or will produce music-related income? Have you learned anything in the downtime? I have really tried to make the most of my time at home. I have used a lot of time to produce more music and keep growing my skills, so I can make the best music I can.

Any releases during this period? My new smash record is called “You” with Troye Sivan and Tate McRae is out now. I am so excited that it’s finally out.

In the studio, what’s your set-up? I use FL Studio because that’s what I started on from the beginning and it’s what I am the most comfortable using. I don’t really have a favorite plug-in, so I love just experimenting with new ones.

What’s your creation process in the studio? It usually only takes me about 10 seconds to listen to a vocal a cappella or a melody to start my process. I create the idea in my head and then book it to my studio to get to work on my PC [laughs].

What’s your typical DJ set-up? Pioneer DJ CDJ-NXS2 players. I like the screen display and all the details you can check on. It also works well when I’m listening with my headphones while I link records during the set.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? Doing regular things now feel nostalgic in a way… visiting my childhood friends, playing soccer on the school pitch. I found myself coming back to things that I forgot existed for many years because of how busy I have been. It’s been really nice!

Have you done anything online recently? Have you seen any DJ video streams that impressed you? I’m still getting the hang of social media. Trying to be more involved on places like TikTok. I saw so many live-streams by so many DJs and they looked amazing. It was great to watch during this time. Out of all of them, though, I would have to say that the best was by David Guetta – the one he did in New York.

Any theme tunes recommended for the moment? Two songs that I have been vibing to right now are “The Business” by Tiësto and “Kiss Me More” by Doja Cat feat. SZA.

Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? Stay positive! Things are getting better, so let’s try to save all the energy we have built up for the best days that are coming soon. Life is beautiful and we will be back, stronger, soon!

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

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