Making hits in a lockdown (3 things you must handle)
Fear, frustration, self doubt, depression, writer's block, financial stress, fear again, Canceled gigs and projects, and all you have been dealing with in the last couple of months, you are fed up right? or you ready to give up, yes?
You really going to let all that stop you from doing what you love most in the world, making music?
Or you really plan to just sit and wait till all this blows over?
Personally in the first few weeks of Covid I was so depressed that… whew, I won’t go into that on here, but to help you find that much needed answer, I wrote this.
I have virtually met a lot of amazing people in the last few months and I was fortunate enough to interview two people that have done amazing work in the lockdown despite all the odds.
I really appreciate Tamara Williamson, singer, writer, podcaster , producer and the owner of KURBOOM (For Music editing for sports events) and Jonah Rattler an Overseas Contractor, Producer,writer,Lyricist and Composer for making time for the interview and my follow up emails.
They have both showed me clearly in words the things I needed to handle, which are:
Ø Mental health
Ø Creating music and Promotion
Think you have been handling those pretty well huh? Check out what they had to say…
Q1. As music creatives how has the lockdown or pandemic affected your art and mental health?
The first thing most performers will say is that you can’t play live shows anymore. I had to cancel some shows and it ground my musical project The Break-Up Diet to a halt. This also affects the musicians I work with and the people I hire on the team.
There wasn’t much money being made, it was more about the potential of the project being slashed. This is hard when you have been building an audience and trying to create a buzz. But that’s the life of an artist. You take what’s given and turn it into something else.
I went on CERB. So that was good. I had the same problems as others dealing with fear and anxiety. The quiet rollercoaster ride I went on mentally was interesting. I started writing and recording new material at some point.
With absolutely nothing else to do it created the space I needed to actually bring songs to fruition. I didn’t think I was going to make new music but I ended up recording nine new songs so far.
I bet the world made a ton of new music during lockdown. I feel like as a culture we move so fast that slowing down reminds you of the things that bring you joy.
My other business KURBOOM (Music editing for sports events) also dried up so yes I’m looking for work and being at home all the time is hard, on anyone. Being a self employed person is always tricky on the mind. I do a ton of exercise. I walk my dog as much as I can. Painting is a joy and my son keeps me laughing.
My family had been traveling through Air BnBs during the start of the Covid season. Their first location was in the heart of KKK territory, and they were constantly being stared at with intense looks from everyone around them, and it was their first time being around people of that nature (Racist by definition.)
In the beginning, it stifled me a little bit, as I was preparing to come home for my first RnR with my family. Our plans (along with everything else in my life) have a direct impact of my creativity flow. So, the worry of my little Tribe (Wife, 2 daughters, 2 sons) grew stronger than my ability to hear music. Eventually, I started hearing music again, and like usual, it helped me get through the rough patch and back to being strong again.
Q2. Have you been going through any financial problems? If you did, how was it handled?
As written above… my mental state of being out here started taking its toll, as the “cease fire” between our nation and Afghanistan had ended, the Mortar party commenced IMMEDIATELY.
Our finances had taken many hits along the way, so that forced me to learn how to reach out to other groups and organizations for possible help.
This is how I came across some groups that taught me many things about plugins and mixing tips, sound packs and how to find artists that I want to work with.
I’m still working on the last part, as well as keeping momentum going with communicating with the artists that I meet along the way.
I decided to release my music one song a month as a project. It has kept me feeling as though I am useful and producing art. I’m finding out more and more that social media and streaming services are just killing my industry.
I have been making podcasts about this. My advice to people is building your followers by getting their emails. You will never know how many of your fans you are actually connecting with on social media.
Streaming is just terrible. I make no money at all from streaming. 0043 cents on a stream. That’s thousands of plays to make a dollar. Music is important. New art is important. I keep working.
CREATING MUSIC AND PROMOTION
Q3: Have you been creating music this Period, if so can you share how you did it?
I recorded my new songs with vocal and acoustic guitar to a click track in pro tools on my computer. I added some keys and background vocals and sent the tracks to a few friends Mitchel Girio, Stephen Pitkin and Tom Third.
They added ideas and sent their tracks back to me. I put them into my mix and kept on blending. Then when I thought the song was finished I asked my friend Mitchel Girio to mix it and Stephen Pitkin to master it.
I then made a video for each song. The first song I did the same way asking friends to dance to the song and send me a short 10 second video done on their phone. The result was really sweet.
I painted the single artwork and created a press package and then sent it to about 200 radio stations and people in the industry. I’m doing this every month. It’s so much work. But one day I will be rich and famous. Hahahaha.
I have been making new music and more so, mixing and rearranging previous music I’ve produced as well.
As far as recording, I had to use my galaxy Note 8 sometimes, then other’s I’d use my Zoom H4N paired with my AKG mic.
Still in the works on that though, but it’s getting the job done.
I use FL Studio 20 for creation, production, mixing, and iZotope plugins to do ‘testMasters” on them. But for true Masters, I’d seek to Commission someone else for that, so I can focus on producing more audible experiences.
YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS AN ARTIST
For one, artists are NOT like the rest of the population, as we have the gift of being able to see the world in ways that no one else can see it.
This gives us a charge of responsibility, in such a way that we are to show the rest of the world the way they SHOULD see the world and that the art we create is the most powerful and effective means of life on Earth.
Never give up on mastering who you are… and use your everyday life to expand your understanding of WHY you are… and WHY your art was given to you to share.
Remember to drop stories of how you have managed to work on your music this lockdown in the comment box and also check out TAMARA AND JONAH for collabs and hot music. Love y’all. I can’t wait to hear some new music from you already.