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 West Coast, the L.A.-based tech-house talent JTJ (aka Jeff Saenz).
What’s it like where you’re living? My current hometown is great when I just stay home. I live 30 minutes north of L.A., and it’s a nice community to raise a big family and everyone is pretty friendly. We’re not locked down anymore, thankfully; but the mask mandates are on – annoying, but I guess, necessary.
How are you spending most of your time? Most of my time, I am working, whether it’s my daytime career job, making my own music as JTJ and Jeff El Jefe, as well as working on mixing and mastering for other artists… oh yeah, and my shows.
Have you lost important gigs, or income-producing work? I lost count of how many gigs I have lost, but it’s a substantial amount. Income-producing, I actually gained a lot. I started my Dad Bod Music label on just Bandcamp and I can say I was surprised how successful it’s been. I am working on a lot of music for both of my brands and will continue releasing music on Bandcamp exclusively with the songs I have made.
What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? One thing that lockdown did was made me closer with my music colleagues, specifically with Sacha Robotti & tau0n. The amount of push they give me is what I needed when the pandemic shut everything down. We focused on making music constantly and I feel that it’s just a matter of time when we will make an impact with our music.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during the period of social distancing? How creative people are in the music industry. So many live streams were done, and I was lucky enough to do many of them. What I truly believe happened was the live-streaming everyone was doing made DJs more skilled than ever because it made us practice. It showed there is more of what an artist can do than just making music and shows.
Did you do much live-streaming yourself? I did a weekly stream in the beginning of the pandemic, but I had to stop when shows started opening up again. It was too time-consuming for me, but I really would love to do it again in the future. It was fun because I got to play any music of any genre to my liking. Just wasn’t too happy about my live-stream being cut off due to not having the rights to certain songs.
Have you seen any DJ video streams that impressed you? I was really impressed by the Sloth Acid Takeover we did for Desert Hearts, especially Sacha’s set. He’s my fave DJ ever, so I’m a bit biased. Also, the lunch DJ mixes that DJ Jazzy Jeff was doing almost every day.
Any theme tunes recommended for the moment? My current single “Imagine” with Hannah Noelle. We wrote the song with the idea of when we were stuck home during the lockdowns that we can “imagine” playing in front of a packed crowd dancing all night.
Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? Yes, reach out to your peers, vent to them. That helps so much with taking the stress off and can help you focus on your goals before COVID.
To check out more Life in Lockdown interviews, click here.
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