Coronavirus, the pandemic we all can’t escape. It has had a tremendous impact on everybody’s everyday lives, but the virus has proven to have had a huge impact on the music industry. Be it live or records, the coronavirus has affected the way artists release and produce their music.
It has become a real turning point for the music industry with many anticipated releases being postponed due to the current situation, for example Lady Gaga’s sixth studio album Chromatica, was meant to be released on 10 April but now has been postponed with the new date to be confirmed, this is the same for Haim’s new record Women in Music Pt. III and The 1975’s Notes on a Conditional Form. However, despite the negative impacts on the industry, many musicians, companies and fans are forming new ways to release music even during the social distancing measures. Take upcoming singer-songwriter Tom King, he recently released the music video for his new single ‘No Mans Land’. The music video was shot remotely by award-winning director Pedro Romhanyi using a video recorded on a laptop, this video is truly in the spirit of social distancing as the video films a computer screen with Tom sitting on the other side. It lives up to the lives we are living, having meet ups with friends over video streaming apps and it makes for an amazing video which may not have been created if it weren’t for the current social distancing measures.
Small musicians are struggling the most in this current pandemic with many depending on live shows to promote their latest releases. The Howlers are a huge example of a band who have been hit badly with the social distancing rules, they are currently releasing a new single ‘Badlands’ which has not gained the same publicity it would have if they were able to perform the live shows they were scheduled to play. The global pandemic has put many musicians in a state of extreme financial worry as their main source of income has been suspended till further notice. To help many upcoming and independent artists, online music company Bandcamp pledged to donate 100% of its revenue to artists for a day. Typically, Bandcamp collects 15% of the revenue from sales of music made through the website and app, and 10% from sales of physical merchandise. However, CEO and co-founder of Bandcamp Ethan Diamond introduced this initiative because “for many artists, a single day of boosted sales can mean the difference between being able to pay rent or not”. This initiative has started a new way for fans and musicians to help the struggling industry, it gives attention to independent artists and allows individuals to directly help those musicians struggling in this pandemic.
Before the coronavirus home studios were making a rise with small bands such as Sefton creating music from the comfort of their own home. In this time home studios are becoming a major way for musicians to continue making music even from different locations, this is evident as The Valla produce a new song daily that they create all from their own homes in different locations. This has proven a huge success with many fans highly anticipating their new creations. The social distancing and lockdown measures have truly transformed the world of music, we have seen a rise of home studios in this period, businesses starting initiatives to help independent artists and a new way of filming music videos. We may not know how long this pandemic may last but one thing is for sure – the music industry has transformed completely.
Check out Tom King’s music video for ‘No Mans Land’, available via Tom King.