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, Christie Simpson, lead singer of New Zealand dream-pop outfit Yumi Zouma, who recently relocated to London, shares her Quarantine Diary.
Tuesday, March 24
[9:04 a.m.] Waking up in Hackney. It's a rare sunny day in London. A sliver of sun comes through my window when I roll up the blind—this always makes for a happy start to the day.
I've been enjoying some pretty slow mornings. I think my body has taken on a lot of the anxiety as exhaustion, and combined with this opportunity to rest I'm having more sleep-ins than ever before. But this is the first time in a long time that I don't really have a job... so it's all good, right?
Today we should've been playing a sold-out show at our favorite venue in San Francisco: Rickshaw Stop.
It's bittersweet to think of, but at least I've got a few little things planned out for the day ahead to keep me distracted.
I ordered an audio interface online last week so I can work on music—that will arrive today at some point. I moved to London less than a month ago, so I'm not exactly set up here yet—it's very weird timing.
My morning ritual has become coffee in bed, with a book (I'm reading "Outline" by Rachel Cusk), sometimes with a face mask. Today I went a step further and did a hair treatment, too. I've heard self-care is important in these times.
[11:14 a.m.] I've started one of those 30-day yoga things (it's good to have a project). I'm on day five today, but already I feel that it's doing me a lot of good whilst cooped up in the house. So from the comfort of my bedroom, I enjoy my daily dose of Yoga by Adriene—she is the master of many a chill and lovely yoga video.
[12:39 p.m.] I make myself some lunch and sit outside in the sun on the AstroTurf of my back yard. I can feel the sun soaking into my skin and my god does it feel good. I stocked up on Pavilion sourdough so every lunch is a treat. I'm trying to eat lots of fruit—I always buy strawberries every time I make a trip to Tesco.
[3:06 p.m.] My audio interface arrived just before 2 p.m., and since then I've been sitting on my bedroom floor working on a track. It's a collab—these times definitely feel ripe to start new relationships and work on collaborations. It feels so nice to have the setup required to properly work on music again. It's so nice to record harmonies with myself again. I got completely caught up in this for a while—for the first time in a long time! I found it really hard to set aside time for music when I was working a day job (as I had been until I left New Zealand) and honestly, it's really nice to know I have so much time free to work on music now.
[4:57 p.m.] After a nice long walk in the sun (as per the one-walk-per-day regulation), I've arrived at Charlie's. Charlie is my bandmate, my only other bandmate living in London—and he's not home, but he's given me his keys for an important mission. The Nintendo Switch is currently sold out pretty much everywhere, but I'm desperate to play the new edition of "Animal Crossing"—so Charlie has very kindly surrendered his Nintendo Switch to me. What a guy, right? In this moment I feel very #blessed. To be walking through a very quiet Shoreditch, streaked with golden evening sun, on such a sacred pilgrimage.
I water his plants (as he's currently staying with Val, his girlfriend) and I'm on my merry way back to Homerton, Nintendo Switch in tow.
[6:35 p.m.] Back home, clean sheets on the bed, bedroom tidied. It's officially "aperitif" hour, which for me lately constitutes a strange but delicious combo of pink gin and grapefruit juice. "Animal Crossing" is downloading. I sweep the floor and put clean pillowcases on the pillows. My flatmate downstairs is making cheese toasties for dinner. Everything feels peaceful, in its right place. It's nothing like the lead-up to a sold-out Yumi Zouma show, but I'm making peace with that now, knowing that we did the right thing to keep people safe and well. It’s not forever, we’ll be back out there, and for now, I’m getting by just fine.
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