The current situation with the pandemic: COVID-19 is changing up everything as we once knew it and the livelihood of musicians is being threatened. Going on the road, meeting fans, playing shows, promoting their work is the essence of musician-ship. So now, they must improvise.
Of and for the People
Founded in Shoreditch, London, Signature Brew is a unique company that is revolutionising the quality of beer at live music events’. They hold ‘a range of music-inspired craft beers’. Working in collaboration with various artists, they’ve created a unique selling point.
Their collaborations include: Mastodon, Slaves, Frank turner, Enter Shikari, The Skints and more.
The London based Dub, Ska, Reggae band The Skints’ lead guitarist Josh is working with the company during this time of uncertainty for musicians. He found himself at a loss as their summer shows were cancelled, so he put himself to work elsewhere. This band is no stranger to the grind though, their underground start found them playing squat parties, travelling around, laying their heads wherever they could.
The Skints were all set for their American Tour and preparing for Glasonbury 2020, until the pandemic hit. Josh can now be found delivering Signature Brew’s Pub in a Box.
Keep Calm and D.I.Y On
Dream Nails is an all-female DIY punk/riot grrrl band from London founded in 2015.
If anyone could creatively find ways to get through the lockdown, it’s this band. Members are posting 0-waste, easy and creative D.I.Y ideas on instagram, including a handmaid body scrub made from sugar and olive oil.
Another D.I.Y Princess
Charli XCX’s announces homemade during self-isolation album ‘How I’m Feeling Now’
The well respected and multi-talented English Pop artist has been using this time of self-isolation to use only the ‘tools I have at my fingertips to create all music, all artwork, all videos… everything”.
She has brought fans along with her, every step of the journey, actively engaging us on social media, hosing zoom conferences where she collaborates with fans on ideas from everything to the key she sings s certain verse in to artistic direction ideas for the music videos. This is an inspirational moment in music history and marks the digital age as fundamental in music production, marketing and fan interaction.
Some more notable musicians making the best out of the situation:
Miley Cyrus’ Live Instagram show: Bright Minded
Interviewing fellow celebrities on everything from mental health issues to spirituality. It’s also got a catchy theme tune – listen to it here
James Bay’s Instagram tutorials
The musician is taking this time to sit down and teach his fans how to play his songs. Simply yet effective, inspiring creativity – and demystifying the notion that not everyone can play.
Lady Gaga’s Chromatica album [updated]
The singer spoke to her fans on Twitter:
“This is such a hectic and scary time for all of us, and while I believe art is one of the strongest things we have to provide joy and healing to each other during times like this, it just doesn’t feel right to me to release this album with all that is going on during the global pandemic.”
Gaga has now announced her sixth studio album Chromatica will be released on May 26. Enticing her fans with the simple message ‘The journey continues. “You can officially join me on #Chromatica on May 29.’
In the midst of album release delay, the Stupid Love singer put her attention to the efforts of helping medical professionals and those most vulnerable by raising awareness through the virtual concert series: One World: Together at Home. This was organised by Global citizen and curated by Lady Gaga in support of the World Health Organisation. Performances included, Stevie Wonder, Little Mix, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, Ellie Goulding, The Killers as well as Gaga herself and lots more.
A local shout out –
It’s not only musicians themselves that find themselves in unchartered territory, but some music venues face a high risk of not making it through this pandemic due to the economic fallout.
My old stomping ground and musical hub of Bedford, England: Esquires is one of the UK’s most beloved independent small music venues, in its own words, ‘Fiercely independent and alternative’. The bar is beloved by locals as you can’t beat a good night of live music and a feeling of community. Every Wednesday is jam night, open for anyone to get up there and play, additionally there is free live music most Fridays and Saturday as well as ‘Sunday Sessions’ and of course the Main Room legendary for hosting huge bands such as; Coldplay, Biffy Clyro, Libertines, Muse as well as home-brewed talent such as The Wholls, Don Broco and Tom Grennan. This summer, the venue was set to celebrate 30 years – now it faces the small task of avoiding closure due to the economic affect of COVID-19.
There is now a crowdfunder which is currently at £42, 570 but it’s going to need more than that to ensure a re-opening.