There does seem to be a bit of pressure to use our time productively. We keep seeing
this very factually suspicious meme circulating, claiming that Shakespeare wrote King
Lear throughout a plague. Have you found this expectation of creativity in lockdown to
be a realistic standard?
I can’t fathom how anyone has been consistently creative during this time… it suggests a detachment from reality to me. Many days, I have struggled to get out of bed, and sometimes my greatest achievement has been going for a walk. As far as my experience goes, most creatives and the people approaching us for work at the moment have a good understanding that at times, it is impossible for us to produce work. Other times, I’ll have bursts of inspiration and I can achieve things I’m proud of such as my vinyl collaboration with Pony Club Gym.
I hope that, moving forward, we re-evaluate our expectations of productivity all together. The hustle and grind pre-pandemic feels unhealthy in hindsight. And after so much stasis, I worry about how I’ll manage when life opens up again.
If you have been working, is it in a different way than before?
Has your focus shifted to different forms or ideas or methods?
If I am doing creative work, it has been mostly online. So pre-records for radio shows and Twitch, IG / FB live, Zoom, Mixlr for live DJ sets. These are not mediums I have ever had to navigate pre-COVID. I hadn’t even heard of Zoom, nor had I ever contemplated live-streaming. Being a relative technophobe, I’ve found live-streaming really nerve-wracking! So much can go wrong, and if you’re in the middle of playing music, there’s very little you can do to deal with any issues. Also, Instagram and Facebook will disconnect streams when they can pick up copyright infringements and Twitch just mutes you.
In terms of content, if you listen to my work over the last few years, you will notice a crescendo in my sense of urgency. My mixes have become increasingly political and maybe more aggressive in order to reflect the times, the cultures I identify with, their experiences, and my increasing distress at the state of the planet.
Has your perspective changed on your own practice, and do
you think this will impact what you do in future?
At times, I have been unable to tolerate any sounds at all, let alone listen to and acquire new music. There have been several times, I’ve thought I’ve wanted to quit music completely. I can acknowledge that these are all grief responses, but it feels like there are a lot of barriers to pursuing this career. Ultimately, my values have stayed the same. Perhaps the challenge will be compromising less on who am I am as an artist, and being more unapologetically me, in a world and an industry that loves to temper and dilute us, and our power.
It’s difficult to imagine what the future looks like at all, especially the future of the arts & entertainment industry. I just hope to be able to get back to playing music to real live people. I hope to continue to bring culture, history and aural experiences to entertain, unite and build up community.
What has been bringing you joy recently?
Small things have been bringing me joy. It feels better when things are simple. Spending time with loved ones, if not IRL, digitally. Sunshine, blue skies, flowers, good food, baths, candles, incense, getting in the garden and watching things grow. It brings me joy when my peers / colleagues / friends produce new work too. I’m so proud of anyone creating at the moment, especially independent / unsupported artists.