Coronavirus has changed the music business due to lockdowns and social distancing. Global News Ink will be interviewing artists from the award-winning dance music promotions company Sobel Promotions (www.sobelpromotions.com) to learn how the music business is being altered by the global pandemic.
#1 Chart-Topping Remixer Joel Dickinson gives his thoughts.
What was the last thing you did musically prior to Coronavirus lockdown?
I finished up my remixes of Kristine W – Barracuda, that have since been released. I also had just finished a track for my upcoming Broadway project.
What do you see has happened to the music business since social distancing and lockdown?
The arts, including music, should blossom and grow during this time. It’s a good time to remember old songs and find new ones that can bring us together. Music is a great tool for building community and connection, especially when our natural abilities to do so have been limited. I really appreciate the artists who are doing benefits and other things to help raise our spirits. I feel like the Stagedoor Canteen tradition is alive and I am doing my best to pitch in and put out some fun stuff for everyone to enjoy!
What are you doing musically now?
The first thing I want to stress is that I’m hiring session musicians as much as I can. They really need work and it is my pleasure to give them a bit of support. If you’re talented, can record at home, and have a Broadway sound, contact me! LOL!
Personally, I have used this time to focus on delivering music that is like comfort food for the ears. I have revisited some oldies, like Janet Jackson – Runaway and Roberta Flack – Killing Me Softly. I’m also recording fresh new versions of some other classics, like Cat Stevens’ Peace Train with Carly Ozard. The next one comes out in May, it’s a revisit of What’s Going On by the talented team of BlissBliss. It’s fun and groovy – just what the doctor ordered!
We were told things will never go back to the way they were prior to Coronavirus until we discover a vaccine. If social distancing remains, what do you think the future of the music business would look like?
No one can predict the future. But do what you can to keep making your art and let it heal you and those you share it with. If you’re needing to book some gigs, invest in decent home recording equipment! You can get a Rhode mic & a mobile recording booth/box for a few hundred. As I said before, I’m always looking to hire talent and I know I’m not alone!
If you’re a producer, learn how to take your computer apart and add some new memory or a sound interface upgrade! Or, just simply focus on mastering a new element of your craft. Do something in a different genre, work in a different tempo, or figure out what Baby Shark would sound like in the Dorian mode! OK, I dare somebody to do that last one!
Do you have any advice to DJ’s and artists on how to remain relevant and keep their names out there during lockdown?
The number one thing I have heard from everyone is, “oh, we’re delaying a release until the charts are back up and running and clubs are open so it can get played” That’s a nice idea if this clears up in a few weeks, but after a certain point, you are denying people the opportunity to purchase and enjoy your music during this time when they need it most. And what if that return doesn’t happen for months, or perhaps even a year or more? Who knows what could happen in that time – and think of how many people will be releasing when that time comes, you’ll get lost in the deluge! Live in the present and be creative! Learn how to do social media/internet marketing! Just look at Gloria Gaynor with her handwashing video – that was a genius idea and you can do the same!
Personally, I believe an artist is not measured by their commercial success, but how they used their gifts and talents, especially when they are desperately needed by society-at-large. And, I know how much it costs to put a record together, I know this industry is anything but a charity. But, why not get your name out there offering something – even a track or two – when everyone else is muted? I really think now is the time we’ll see some homegrown artists truly rise to the top and that’s an exciting thing to witness! But, no matter what you do, stay strong artists, we will come out the other side with great works that helped us get through this together.
For further information regarding Joel Dickinson contact Barbara Sobel/Sobel Promotions at firstname.lastname@example.org