Coronavirus and Music: How the industry adapted to a #SocialIsolation world
The Coronavirus dealt a blow to the music industry with shows and concerts being cancelled world wide. However, the Internet is binding the industry together with morale-boosting events and fundraisers in support of the artist community.
If you think religion and cricket are the only things which unite Indians, the cancelled concert ticket notifications on your phone would tell a different story. The COVID-19 pandemic which has affected people from all walks of life hasn’t left the music industry unfazed, with big-ticket music festivals like South by Southeast, Glastonbury, Rock in Rio either getting cancelled or postponed. Sujith Unnithan, a noted curator of major music festivals in India and the brain behind Kappa TV’s Music Mojo said, “It’s too early to predict, we don’t know how worse the situation will be. However, it looks like it will take easily one year for the industry to bounce back.”
When asked about the cost involved in postponing Mojo Rising which has a line-up of 14 bands, he added, “Lots of pre-booking tickets, accommodation, infrastructure settlements, vendor coordination, travel and logistics and even licensing worth over One Crore rupees, when shelved might have resulted in a financial loss. Even so, Mathrubhumi, being the biggest media house here took the right decision by committing to social responsibility. It would be criminal to organise events now”
PRIORITISING YOUR SAFETY AND POSTPONING THE SHOW. In the wake of the current health situation of COVID-19 , we regret to inform you that Kappa TV Mojo Rising 2020 scheduled for March 14 & 15 has been postponed. The rescheduled dates will be announced soon. We have initiated ticket refunding process. For more information please call 95440 39000 or email email@example.com
A post shared by Kappa TV Mojo Rising 2020 (@kappatvmojorising) on
If the prediction turns out right, many artists would be left lurking in the shadows, as such gigs are their “bread and butter”. Asiaville spoke to Gowry Lekshmi, who had been “chilling at home” with her husband, being vocal in spreading awareness against the dreaded virus through social media. “It was the peak college season for us from January last week until the end of April, so we lost a good number of shows for a couple of months. However, we can manage till April first week which is not the case for artists whose seasons just started in March.” She said.
She called for temporary relaxations as it would be hectic for musicians with loans having to pay EMIs every month. “If the shows are postponed to May-June, then it’s fine. But it would be difficult if the shows are cancelled.” the singer, song-writer remarked.
To every musician who is posting self sympathising stories and posts about not having work due to the Corona effect, Me and my husband earn only from music. That too, 99% from shows. March-April is season time for us and all shows from these two months either got postponed or canceled. So right now we r living on our balance amount from previous shows and stuff. Almost all artists here right now are facing the same situation. But i seriously am against artists saying 'we r suffering' 'endundayalum kalaakarande kanjikudiyanu muttunnath' etc etc stuff. Show some dignity guys..WE ARE ARTISTS. There are people out there who are in deep shit. There are people who live on daily wages, there are small scale businesses which are in trouble and cant bounce back anytime soon. Think about every business guy in the tourism industry. Think about those small restaurants and shops in severely affected areas. They are all screwed. All of us are in this shit together. So right now, instead of stressing out and screaming it out online, lets just sit back and relax coz this is not a permanent thing and we know we r gonna go live and bounce back(and smile widely like in this picture) pretty soon. Till then, lets make some good music for our folks and chill.. So stay safe, stay happy. ???????? Pc: @0_5parker
A post shared by GowryLekshmiH (@gowrylekshmih) on
Karthik Chennoji Rao, the main vocalist for Pineapple Express said the pandemic was out of the blue. “I had 10 good shows lined up for the month and for somebody like me who is a full-time musician, this is my predominant source of income. I am still at a manageable state but some people have come from other states, left their jobs to
form a career in music are finding it hard to even make ends meet. In another week or two, the savings and backups will start running out.” he said.
However, all hopes are not lost as the Internet is binding the industry together with morale-boosting events and fundraisers in support of the artist community. Renowned
musician T.M Krishna’s idea of live streaming a Carnatic Musical #ShutIn concert on 29th March at 7:30 PM has been well received within the industry and public alike.
“This is a collective effort by four artists to help artists from multiple forms of arts who are suffering without enough money. The concert will also add value to the community to which we are part of. We are clear on one thing. We will not make the list of beneficiaries of the concert public. We are just sharing and that needs to be done with respect. We will find out the deserving and share with them.” the veteran singer said, in an interview.
Tony Das, the lead guitarist for Peepal Tree, a contemporary Indian band shared the story on how Covid-19 affected their pan-Indian tour for their new 4 song album 560001. “I am hopeful that this time would be a blessing in disguise, the public can be familiar with the album before we kick off our tour.”
He added that this period is an opportunity for artists to further enhance their skills, conduct music classes through skype so that their livelihood is not affected. “The revenue from live-streaming and video posts are limited to some cases. People would rush in for someone like Paul Simon, but it is not a good example for everyone.”
Midhun Mukundan, an upcoming music director known for his work in popular Kannada movies like Ondu Mottaye Katha and the forthcoming Prakash Raj starrer Mayabazar 2016 in 2020, while speaking to Asiaville said “I’ve been seeing some heart-warming things in the last few weeks. Yesterday I saw Native Instruments, a very popular company give away a few of their software plugins for free for this month so that people can sit at home and get inspired to make more music. Similarly, a lot of engineers are offering mixing and mastering by providing reduced rates and on a credit basis, sometimes for free.”
Janata Jam featuring local artists Vimal Mattackal, Sheryll, Jemmiah George and Vishnu Varma hosted by V12 Verve is a platform in Instagram for supporting Indie artists. “We had a hip-hop event planned for 28th March. But due to the corona scare, that did not happen. We are thinking positive and for the time, the only way we can help these talented indie artists is to provide them with a platform.” Abraham at V12 Verve told Asiaville.
Janata Jam is going to be a 30 minutes set by each artist which is spread across the day for you to tune in from the comfort of your home ???? So sip on your favourite beverage, put your feet up and enjoy! . . . #ArtisteArena #V12Verve #getverved #performancearts #music #artist #localartists #kochiartists #kochi #kochidiaries #kochiscenes #kochigram #indiaagainstcorona #instagramlive #covid_19 #breakthechain #livestream #artistsupportartists #musicagainstcorona #2020