Here’s where a writer might introduce the reader to the COVID-19 pandemic; how it affected the music industry, how it brought everything to a halt, etc., etc. The whole world was there and everyone knows what happened.
However, an unexpected effect of the ongoing pandemic was an influx of music released by artists. The music industry continued onward.
But how does that process work? How are artists continuing to release music?
Writing rooms have been the aspect most impacted by bans on gatherings, with most being pushed to Zoom or other online platforms. Adjusting from in-person to online wasn’t seamless– some writers found it more difficult to write over Zoom.
“[Writing online is] harder and less efficient, but the challenges have brought new opportunities and ways to make music we hadn’t thought of before, which has been interesting,” says CJ Solar. He also mentioned that “scheduling Zoom [meetings has] been hard… some people don’t like doing online writing.”
Jason Nix was initially one of those people: “I was completely against it for the first couple months of quarantine. I actually refused to do it, but I will admit that it has made my life so much easier.” He goes on to say that, “Zoom has caused us all to rethink what our jobs look like– at least as far as songwriting and radio tours go.”
Writing music is just the first (albeit major) step in the process of making and releasing music. It takes weeks of arduous work with producers and musicians to get that song from a sheet of paper and a Gibson guitar to a mass-consumed masterpiece.
Nix has been able to record music himself during the away time. “I pretty much sent myself back to school when it comes to [learning the equipment and compressing].” He acknowledges difficulties for other artists who, “[don’t] have the means or the gear to do it themselves.”
“One thing COVID has forced me to do is become better behind the desk as a producer [and] engineer. I would usually pay the pros to mix, but this year has afforded me the time to really dig into the engineering side of what I do.” Nix states.
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After the song’s been written and the track’s been cut, everything falls on the consumption of the release. When asked about whether or not the pandemic has affected the way people consume music, Solar said, “I think people early on were watching more TV than listening to music, but I think it’s leveled back out and more people are consuming online music to make up for live music being gone.”
Nix echoed this sentiment: “COVID has given us the opportunity to be curious again, and I think it’s possible that some people might have taken the time to check out the music that might not have made time to do so [pre-pandemic].”
“My commute to work these days is about 10 steps, so I’ve had much more time to create, experiment, and learn. To be honest, I’ve loved it. In a lot of ways, it has caused me to fall in love all over again with music and hear it with different ears.”
Most every aspect of our world– especially the entertainment world– has been brought to a complete stop. One thing that won’t be brought down is new music. Their world keeps turning.