Goodbye routine. We have entered the era of adaptability. Covid-19 quarantine has impacted everyone but for artists like me who have lost most of our key avenues for creating and connecting with fans (ie. collaborating and touring), it has been a swift death to everything we knew. So… how do we stay creative in quarantine? I got a couple hacks that I’ve been leaning on that might help you too.
1 – You are a producer now.
You need 3 essentials to have a studio: 1] Software (Logic, Ableton, ProTools, hell even Garageband is fine). 2] a mic (any will do really) 3] a recording interface (you can buy one off Amazon for less than $100). Not a vocalist? That’s even better. Now you only need the software. You have time on your hands. Start playing around. Watch Youtube tutorials. Start making demos. Keep writing just eliminate the dependency of someone else capturing your songs. They don’t have to sound perfect, but if you get a foundation down, then you can always send them to a producer who can work on them remotely.
I actually have a studio in my home so quarantine has been one long session for me. And you better believe this studio started as just software, a mic, a recording interface and a desire to learn.
2 – Collaborate remotely.
Want to work with a producer? Send them your sessions and let them pick up where you left off. Don’t know any producers? Go look at the the credits to some songs you love, find them on instagram and DM them. People are getting out of their comfort zones right now. They’ll be more likely to point you to people who can help you even if they can’t.
Even better — learn what Splice is. Go download some beats or instrumental loops to fill in the gaps of where your musical limitations are. You don’t need to do everything yourself.
3 – Embrace the limitations.
You can’t have professional photoshoots right now but we still need content. Good thing your phone has a self timer. Everyone else is in the same boat so amateur photos will be the new norm. You can take it a step further and do an entire low-fi music video. That’s what I did with my new single + video. The entire thing was shot on an iPhone and old mini DV tape. Don’t try to fight the limitations, instead, lean into them because you’ll be capturing a very poignant aesthetic trend + era.
4 – Work on your space.
Your home is your inspiration chamber. Spend a little time nurturing it into the cocoon you need to bring out the best in you as a creative. Paint your walls, install colored lighting, transform your rooms into vibes. Since quarantine started, I literally built a table from scraps of wood to transform my outdoor patio to a writing corner. The last thing I want is to be distracted by something in my space stressing me out when I’m trying to be fluid and creative.
5 – The internet is your new college degree.
The most important thing I’ve implemented to stay productive is the need to eliminate dependencies in my creative output. How do I get all the way from the start of songwriting to final release with as few dependencies as possible? One by one, I’ve leaned into the Holy Grail of YouTube tutorials to learn skills I didn’t previously possess — like video editing, audio mixing + engineering, even animations. I’m telling you — everything you need to learn is on the internet. You just gotta keep your wifi connection and focus sharp.