By Jayla Stack ’21
COVID-19 has changed the spring of 2020 in many ways. This April, Americans have been practicing social distancing: staying home and away from others as much as possible to prevent the spread of the virus. Additionally, all nonessential gatherings of people have been canceled. Essentially, this meant that all live music events and meetings would be canceled, but people in the music business have used the internet to their advantage during this time to keep the industry alive.
Going live on Instagram has been a frequently used way for musicians to perform and connect during social distancing. According to Stereogum, Derrick Jones, also known as D-Nice, DJed an Instagram live for 9 hours that ended up entertaining 100,000 people. Among these viewers were an assortment of celebrities, including Oprah, Missy Elliot, Will Smith, Rihanna, Michelle Obama, and more. DJ D-Nice’s live set, called #ClubQuarantine, was a lively and enjoyable moment during a time of uncertainty.
Since then, many artists have gone live on Instagram to broadcast their music and entertain their fans. These artists range from “Swae Lee to James Taylor”, Stereogum writes.
Instagram Star and producer, Einer Bankz, has recently used the internet to continue producing collaborations with musicians through facetime. Einer Bankz got his fame from his videos with many well-known rappers such as YNW Melly, Lil Tjay, and DaBaby. In his videos, Bankz collaborates with rappers to make an acoustic ukulele version of their most popular songs. As of April 2020, Bankz has released ukulele covers with The Kid Laroi, King Vin, Coi Leray, and DDG through facetime and posted these covers on his TikTok account.
NPR continues to produce its famous Tiny Desk Concerts by allowing artists to record acoustic covers of their songs in their homes. Artists such as Soccer Mommy, King Princess, and Tarriona Ball from Tank and the Bangas, released their “Tiny Desk (Home) Concert[s]” on NPR’s YouTube channel. These home performances offer “the same spirit – stripped-down sets, intimate setting—just a different space”.
As the weeks spent at home continue, more artists are following online trends and using the internet to broadcast their music.
While artists can continue to perform for their fans using social media. This doesn’t make up for the money lost due to show cancellations. However, Bandcamp has released an article saying “to raise even more awareness around the pandemic’s impact on musicians everywhere, we’re waiving revenue share on sales today (Friday, March 20th, from midnight to midnight Pacific Time), and rallying the Bandcamp community to put much-needed money directly into artists’ pockets”. Bandcamp is also waiving their share of sales the day this article is published, on May 1st.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptions in everyone’s lives, innovative and passionate people in the music industry have adapted. Using these unique new methods, musicians are still able to perform and earn money.