Photo by Emma Jane Lewis
Quarantine Diaries: Janet Devlin Is FaceTiming With Friends & Listening To True-Crime Podcasts
As the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the music industry, the Recording Academy reached out to a few musicians to see how they were spending their days indoors. Today, Irish pop artist and former "X Factor" contestant Janet Devlin, whose second album, Confessional, drops on June 5, shares her Quarantine Diary.
Thursday, April 23
Before this all started, I was meant to be conducting a leisurely move from Ireland back to London to kick off my album launch proceedings. I had secured a lovely, friendly house-share in London, had passed my theory test and was on the brink of taking my driving test before looking to arrange to get myself, my belongings and my car, "Beep," over to England. However, in the space of about 48 hours, I found myself on a plane with one suitcase to get back to London as quickly as I could to avoid being stranded in Ireland where there was no hope of me being able to continue to work, make content or record music. I moved in and tried to make the place a home with very little in the way of possessions and not much clue about how the next few weeks would pan out!
It’s taken a little while, but I’ve got a nice little routine and I’m managing my physical and mental fitness much better. Sadly, I had to delay my album release until early June as the whole of the music world is a bit up in the air, and I want to make sure I give this music baby its best shot! So for now, I’m trying to do my best in isolation and keep my fans and followers up to date with what’s happening!
[7.30 a.m.–9 a.m.] I normally wake early, but studiously ignore the fact that I should be getting up. Tell myself I can just get up at 8 a.m. and it’ll be grand! Once I do get up, I have my regular caffeine injection and watch a YouTube video or two. Or three…hundred. I then shift over to my social-media platforms and immerse myself in people's messages and respond to comments. Recently this has taken up more time because so many people have sent me their stories of challenges and recovery—it means a lot to me that they have shared such a personal moment, so I try my best to respond to everyone. Then I’m onto emails and making a rough to-do list for the day.
[9 a.m.–12 p.m.] Looooong shower—especially when I actually wash and brush my hair! It takes forever so I only really do it once a week. Dry shampoo and root boost are my best friends! I grab some breakfast and have a catch-up with the housemates. At the moment, my eating habits have changed a bit, so of course I’ve opted for banana and peanut butter on toast. Because the world is pretty crazy right now, I deserve carbs and happiness. It brightens my mood. I then have a little cry over a sweet old man raising money for the NHS.
Today I have to set up for an isolation photo shoot; I am taking my own new press shots at the moment, because corona. I blast out Harry Styles' "Fine Line" for the millionth time whilst I make myself look decent. Setting up the shoot means turning my room upside down and having to move my bed from one side to the other while I try and test the lighting and get rid of weird shadows. I have a newfound respect for gaffers and lighting people now! Luckily, I've got a shutter remote so I just have to hide that as I pose and start shooting with the Top Forty on, dance around and try and capture some cool pictures! Feel lucky there’s no flies on the wall for this part!
[12 p.m.–3 p.m.] When I've got everything I think I'm going to get, I download the photos to my computer while I stuff my face with a protein bar. Peanut butter features again… I think I have a problem. I then have a catch-up call with management to find out what’s top of the priority list of things needed by end of day. The weather is so gorgeous at the moment, I take my pale self outside and have lunch in the garden. Don’t forget the sunscreen, guys! I feel so lucky to have a little patch of green to get some vitamin D. It really does lift my spirits feeling the sun on my face. I then drag myself indoors again to get filming some content for my YouTube channel. I’m ridiculously excited by my limited-edition coloured LPs that I’ve got made, so this requires it’s very own unboxing video! Then, I usually call my Mum for a chat and to say hello to my doggo—I'm really missing Bean, so he usually gives me a few seconds attention on the video chat!
[3 p.m.–6 p.m.] Time to move! I take my inhaler and start a workout. After I had a really horrid bout of whooping cough last year I still have it on hand, but thankfully my lungs are getting stronger so it’s really to give me that safety net of knowing I won’t overdo things. I ran 2K and did a mini "no equipment" CrossFit workout in the park and then ran the 2K back. I am really missing my training and CrossFit sessions; it’s not that easy to recreate an Olympic weightlifting training session with a few tins of beans in each hand! But it’s not stopping me from trying to keep active as I find it really helps me emotionally and physically, and I suppose it keeps the carb consumption in check.
I cool down back in the garden again and drop in to my social channels again to see what’s been happening, and maybe post out about my upcoming Stageit show or my album. I’ve never been good at self-promotion, so I generally keep it light!
[6 p.m.–9 p.m.] I grab another shower then practice some ukulele for a few upcoming videos that I want to post from home. Also I start writing a song—I suddenly feel inspired!! I then switch to editing mode and start making tweaks to the unboxing video. Editing is sooo laborious, I wish there was a magic button you could press—but I’ve gotten quicker at it and sometimes find time to try out new graphics or filters.
I grab dinner then head outside to clap madly for the NHS workers and have another cry, this time at how sweet it is. I try and livestream a couple of times a week, so I after I come inside I jump on Instagram Live and catch up with friends online.
[9 p.m.–12 a.m.] Editing calls once more, so I head to my room to work on the unboxing video, and put something exclusive together for my Patreon page. In the middle of it I get a phone call from one of my best friends and we have a good old catch-up, followed by a FaceTime from another good friend and accidentally stay up to midnight talking to them! I'm normally in bed mega-early, so when we're done I crawl under the duvet with a true-crime podcast and sleeeeeep!
If you wish to support our efforts to assist music professionals in need, learn more about the Recording Academy's and MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.
If you are a member of the music industry in need of assistance, visit the MusiCares website.