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, London-based, Greece-born indie-pop artist Leon Of Athens, who recently released his new single "Communication," shares his Quarantine Diary.
[10 a.m.] I'm a late sleeper and this quarantine definitely hasn't helped my sleeping habits. Luckily, I got eight full hours of sleep and feel much more relaxed today. Coffee calls. I simply cannot operate without it—you can easily call me an addict. Waking up in Athens in April is a true blessing. I'm a resident of London and was about to fly to the the U.S. for SXSW right when it got cancelled. I felt I needed to be in Athens close to my mom and fortunately, I was able to get here in time. It's 26 degrees Celsius and the sun here is sublime. I walk up the stairs to the rooftop for my daily dose of vitamin D and feast on the beautiful view. Athens is surrounded by three mountains with the sea right behind them. I'm taking it all in.
[10:45 a.m.] Still on the rooftop and now moving on to some cardio and stretching. Gotta keep my body moving, even if it's for a few minutes. It helps me stay mindful.
[11:30 a.m.] I make myself a healthy brunch and get to work. I practically spend my entire days in my home studio, either playing or writing music. I've also been doing a lot of online sessions and tonight I'm doing one for Audiotree. I had done one in their studio, in person, a few years ago. They're great, so I'm extra excited for this one. I start setting up and going through my setlist for tonight's gig that will take place at midnight Greek time (we are eight hours forward) so it's definitely a good thing that I'm a late sleeper and that I have understanding neighbours.
[2:30 p.m.] Siesta time is quite important in Greece and lasts from 2:30 until 5:30. I never sleep during the day but it is imposed quiet time that I like to take advantage of by chilling on the balcony and getting some reading done. It's also the time my manager Eva in Philadelphia is up so I'm usually on the phone with her or on a conference call. We haven't changed much in the way that we work and are constantly keeping busy.
[4 p.m.] I put on my mask and gloves and leave the house for the nearest grocery and drug store. I stock up on some food and sanitisers while taking my daily stroll. I arrive back home, wash my hands and make myself some chicken and rice to eat.
[6 p.m.] I put on the news and get my daily update on the number of COVID-19 cases. We're at 11 new cases today, so we're doing great. Starting to see the light at the end of tunnel.
[6:30 p.m.] I've been working on a documentary I'm taking part in as a musician. My actress and dancer friend Melia who lives in L.A. asked me to take part in it—it's a kind of audio/visual digital mixtape, a meditation on being human, both from our internal and external experiences of being connected to a larger community. It's a virtual discussion where I am replying to her dancing through music. My space in my apartment is relatively small so I spend quite a few hours on trying to create an alluring setting, getting the right props, angles and lighting for the shoot. I've always been a D.I.Y. kinda guy but this situation has definitely brought out my resourcefulness on a whole new level. I will be performing a song of mine called "Fire Inside You" from my last album, [2018's Xenos]. After getting the right sound ready, I wait for the sun to go down. I light up some candles and shoot the last few takes.
[9:30 p.m.] I now have to start setting up the sound for Audiotree's session. My neighbour and drummer friend Theo joins the soundcheck. We perform together on many of these sessions and it's great that we're able to do so. The technical aspect of the sound is lot trickier than it looks and it's something I need to do from the beginning every time I have a new setup. It takes up some more time but we make sure to have some dinner at least a couple hours before the session and digest in time.
[12 a.m.] Audiotree session.
[12:30 a.m.] The session went great and Theo goes home. I'm starting to feel pretty wiped out and take a warm shower.
[1 a.m.] I put on "The Kominsky Method" to decompress and actually feel like I might even fall sleep a bit earlier tonight.
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.