Quarantine Diaries: Jillette Johnson Is Watching "Pen15," Getting To Know Her Neighbors & Learning The Guitar
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the music industry, GRAMMY.com reached out to a few musicians to see how they were spending their days indoors. Today, Jillette Johnson shares her Quarantine Diary. Johnson's It’s A Beautiful Day and I Love You will be released Feb. 12 and can be pre-ordered now.
[7 a.m.] Lou, our cat, stepped on my head, so I woke up. Later than usual, but we stayed up watching "Pen15." Super funny show if anyone needs a laugh.
[7:45 a.m.] Coffee, walk to the end of the driveway to get the paper, breakfast on the deck. I didn’t do the crossword this morning because it’s the end of the week and that’s when they’re the hardest. I’m kind of addicted to puzzles, so it was probably good for me not to get into it today.
[8:45 a.m.] Morning walk around the neighborhood and then a quick workout in the backyard. A hawk started circling over my head while I was ironically doing an exercise called opossum. I ran away because I thought it thought I was a dead animal and that ended my workout.
[10 a.m.] Shower, meditate and vocalize. I have to keep my voice warm and healthy throughout this period of time. I’d usually be touring and using my voice a lot in the middle of an album campaign, but the pandemic has changed all of that. So in order to make sure I can show up fully for any live tapings or future recordings, I have to stay in maintenance mode. Use it or lose it.
[12 p.m.] Lunch outside on the deck with my husband, followed by weeding in the garden.
I did a lot of stress planting when the pandemic hit.
[12:45 p.m] Sit at my Wurlie and try to write something. Got about half of an ok song but don’t really feel any spark to it, so it’s probably not gonna be anything. I’m in a regenerative mode right now. It feels kind of frustrating and awkward to make stuff, but I’m just trying to be kind to myself and remember that it’s all part of the process. I actually think it’s a good sign when I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. I think it means I’m challenging myself and growing.
[2 p.m.] Zoom coffee with my publicist. I just had a song come out yesterday, and we’re catching up on how it’s going and how her heart and my heart have been feeling during this time. I know everyone is struggling in their own ways right now, and I find that it helps me a lot to talk to people about it, even if it is through a screen.
[3 p.m.] Guitar practice. I’m trying to learn how to be a real guitar player, and this year seems like the perfect time to do it. My goal is to be able to perform my whole new record on guitar, like solos and all, by the time touring starts again, so that I can run around on stage more. I write all my songs on the piano, so it’s fun to explore them in this way.
[4 p.m.] Another walk around the neighborhood. I swear we’ve done this loop 37,890 times since COVID hit. We live on a river in Nashville and there’s a private little boat launch that we walk to sometimes. It feels almost like we don’t live in a city at all.
[5 p.m.] Went to our local butcher to pick up some meat for the next couple weeks.
[6 p.m.] Cooked up some bratwurst and roasted veggies while I chatted with my agent about what touring might look like next year.
[7:30 p.m.] Bonfire and outdoor movie with our across the street neighbors. We watched The Bodyguard and sang Whitney Houston at the top of our lungs. One beautiful thing that has come out of this year is that we’ve gotten to know all the people who live around us and now have this super cool network of friends that live within walking distance. It’s kind of a dream come true.
[10 p.m.] More "Pen15" until we fall asleep.