Center Stage: Creating Music in a Pandemic

By Sandie Hatzakis

It is coming up on a year since our worlds have been flipped upside down by a global pandemic. The music industry took a big hit with the shutdown. Hundreds of concerts had to either be canceled or postponed and music production had to find another way to operate. A big part of the creative process for an artist is going into a studio and getting their creative juices flowing with either another artist, their band, or audio engineer. Music production had to figure out a new way to operate just like the rest of the world did. Musicians were forced to postpone their concerts and album releases to a later time to adapt to the new way of conducting business. 

Working virtually is not ideal, especially in the music industry but artists did what they had to do. Instead of going to the studios to collab, artists have adapted to having virtual collaborations where they use sites such as Zoom to meet with other artists. Guy Moot who is the CEO and Co-Chair of Warner Chappell Music stated to Forbes Magazine, “The spontaneity of those in-persons sessions is an essential part of the creative process. All that said, it’s been great to see our songwriters adapt and continue to collaborate in this new virtual world”. Ariana Grande and Justin Biebers song Stuck with U was a product of one of the virtual meet ups that Moot hosted for songwriters around the world. However, we live in a time where a whole production crew is unable to get together to shoot a music video Bieber and Grande had their music video consist of a compilation of people everywhere stuck at home during quarantine. 

Since live concerts were not going to happen anytime soon, livestreaming became a way for musicians to play their music and interact with their fans. Fortnite, the online game, was one way that artists participated in virtual concerts. In April, Travis Scott gathered 27.7 million people to watch his virtual concert. There he debuted his new song called The Scotts featuring Kid Cudi. In the first day of his song being on Spotify it got over 7 million listens. Fortnite also had acts such as Diplo, Weezer, Boy Pablo, Dominic Fike, and more. 

The past year has been a roller coaster, but the world has grown to adapt to a new way of doing things and that includes musicians. Even though they are not able to perform live, they still figure out ways to interact with the audience and create new content virtually. Though operating this way does not have the same feel as standing in a sweaty crowd bobbing your head and dancing to the music with the person next to you, we all have to adapt for now until we can get back to the way things used to be. 

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Posted in Center Stage

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