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 City of Brotherly Love, the Philadelphia-based, ice-cream-loving, electronic talent Shizz Lo (aka Shaun Irwin).
What’s it like where you’re living? How did you spend most of your time? The music scene in Philadelphia is amazing for all genres. There’s really something for everyone if you dig deep enough. I’m big into trying different types of food and we have tons of really dope restaurants, too. Overall, I’d say Philly is great and overall the music and food cultures are really solid. Yeah, I was locked down and out of work for over a year. I spent most of my time in the studio finishing songs and starting new side hustles in music to compensate for any money lost.
Did you lose important gigs, or income-producing work? Yeah, I lost an entire tour run and a debut set at Miami Music Week in 2020. Also, I lost out on a few pretty decent deals due to companies being put on pause or not having the resources to handle my project.
Are you doing anything now that can or will produce music-related income? Have you learned anything in the downtime? Yes, I’m finally back to playing shows! In my downtime, I was able to take a good look at my strengths and weaknesses in producing and my overall branding. It really gave me some insight on what I need to work on to take my career to the next level. I’m really excited to see what the future has in store.
Any new releases during this period? I have a new single, “Ice Scream,” with Create Music Group that I am really hype about. This is absolutely a dubstep anthem for years to come. I’m super excited to get this one out to the public. Wait ’til you see the music video I shot in Iceland – absolutely ridiculous! Also, I have three other EPs that I’m currently working on.
In the studio, what’s your set-up? I’m pretty no-frills/in-the-box when it comes to producing in my studio. I use: Ableton Live and Ableton stock plug-ins; live instruments like guitar and piano; Serum/Serum FX; Waves Bundle; FabFilter; A.O.M. Audio plug-ins; Soundtoys; and iZotope’s Ozone.
What’s your creation process in the studio? Really depends on the song. If I’m working with a vocalist, I will start with writing the intro and verses. If it’s an instrumental/electronic-banger-type record, I will write the drop/hook first and then build the rest of the verses and song around it.
What’s your typical DJ set-up? I use four Pioneer CDJ-2000NXS players – so, I can mix up to 4 of my songs at once; a Pioneer DJM-900NXS2 mixer – the effects on this mixer are undeniable and better-sounding than any of the newer models; and two wireless microphones – in case I bring out a special guest vocalist.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? I hate to say it, but it really brought out the good and the bad in a lot of people. I learned who I really wanted to surround myself with.
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