Photo by Alexa King
Quarantine Diaries: Ruston Kelly Is Listening To Perfume Genius & Playing Nintendo
As the coronavirus/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
As the coronavirus/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, singer/songwriter Ruston Kelly shares his Quarantine Diary. Ruston Kelly's new album Shape & Destroy drops on Aug. 28.
I get up relatively early and go for a run. I try and get 10,000 steps before breakfast because it helps with the claustrophobic depression, anxiety, lack of motivation and a general sense of social abandonment. Just go in for the kill the moment you wake up.
I then eat breakfast. Kind of boring. Healthy bland oatmeal but I get charged and then start writing or running through songs. I set up a mini-performance situation to at least feel somewhat close to an actual stage.
Ok, I then eat lunch which is also boring. Then I drive aimlessly for a while listening to very heavy metal or Perfume Genius. I allow for some random activity to happen if there isn't any specific work to be done. I bought a house recently so I kind of shop for furniture.
I lament past mistakes but then try and make sense of why I did this or that and ultimately better myself because of it. I do not let obsessive or anxious thoughts last long. I'm working on that.
I make food with a friend or alone which is less boring than breakfast and lunch and then I either read or play Nintendo with a friend before I listen to more Perfume Genius in bed and I go to sleep believing tomorrow will be better and the next day and the next.
Read More: Perfume Genius' Outer Space Magic
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.
Photo: Brian Stukes/Getty Images
Jay-Z And Meek Mill's REFORM Donates Surgical Masks To Vulnerable Prison Population
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says correctional facilities are particularly vulnerable places for COVID-19 to spread
The organization said it donated 50,000 masks to New York City's Rikers Island Correctional Facility, 40,000 masks to the Tennessee Department of Correction and 5,000 to Mississippi State Penitentiary. Spin reports that an additional 2,500 masks were sent to a Rikers medical facility.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says correctional facilities are particularly vulnerable places for COVID-19 to spread.
"Incarcerated/detained persons live, work, eat, study, and recreate within congregate environments, heightening the potential for COVID-19 to spread once introduced," according to the CDC. Other vulnerabilities include the fact that incarcerated people, for the most part, can't leave and, depending on the size of the facility, space for someone to medically isolate could be limited.
"We need to protect vulnerable people behind bars & GET THEM OUT!" REFORM said in a tweet. The organization sees this as a threat to public health and said on its website that it is working with experts and advocates "to develop a set of common-sense recommendations that would make us all SAFER."
They also announced on Twitter that they helped the South Carolina Department of Corrections locate 36,000 masks for their population.
Photo: Nicole Davis
Quarantine Diaries: ARI Is Cuddling With Her Cat, Making Her Own Tea & Preparing For Her Debut 'IDIOT GRL' EP Release
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
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, rising singer/songwriter ARI shares her quarantine diary. ARI's debut IDIOT GRL EP is out Aug. 14.
[9:40 a.m.] A late start to the day. I just woke up to my cat Malakai licking my face and snuggling under my chin, desperate for cuddles. I reluctantly gave in before diving into my morning routine, which starts by going through all of the daily news on my Snapchat feed to see what’s going on in the world.
[11 a.m.] Just out of the shower and into the kitchen for the usual: tea and avocado toast. I don’t typically like tea or coffee, but I had this amazing tea from Starbucks once and fell in love with it. I ended up finding the recipe and making it myself, and to be honest, I like my version better. Once I boil the kettle, I start part two of my morning “meditation”: watching one of my favourite shows while I respond to emails. With the IDIOT GRL EP coming out next week, I can tell you there are a TON of emails. I turned on "Gilmore Girls" (my guilty pleasure) and opened up my laptop to go through my calendar.
[1:45 p.m.] Recording session time. Zoom calls have become my everyday life. It’s crazy to think that this time last year, you could actually be in a room with people. Now the most social interaction I get is virtually. On the positive side, I get to set up my little home studio from the comfort of my own bed and I find the sessions to be really productive with no outside distractions.
[3:30 p.m.] Malakai is meowing at my door. As I try to sing over him, eventually I can’t ignore his cute little voice. We take a quick break and I have a little playtime with him. I can hear my song playing in the living room—it still weirds me out hearing myself. My guess is my roommate aka my manager is sending off final approval for the “IDIOT GRL” music video, which comes out the same day as the EP. Super excited for everyone to finally see it!
[6:00 p.m.] Time for dinner. It may just be my favourite part of the day. During my session, my roommate cooked us some delicious pasta. We eat dinner together every night, which is really nice. Usually, after dinner, we wind down and watch TV, but we decided to try doing an arts and crafts project tonight. I watched this TikTok video of a DIY way to make music plaques. You take a screenshot of a song on Spotify and use a marker to trace out the name of the song, artist, play button, etc. Once that’s done, you simply add the album artwork of your choice, frame it, and voila! I thought it would be a cool idea to make a wall of each of the songs off of my EP.
[9:00 p.m.] After an eventful day, I decided to go watch a drive-in Maple Leafs game (wearing a mask, of course). My sister works for the TSN network and started hosting drive-in game nights to promote the network and social distancing events. I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest hockey fan, but I’ll never pass up an opportunity to spend time with my family.
[11:30 p.m.] I finally get home and hop straight into bed. I feel like I haven’t spent much time on Instagram today, so figured I’d open it up before getting some shuteye. I launched the pre-save link for the EP today and told my followers that I would DM anyone who pre-saved it and sent me a screenshot. I always love getting to interact with my fans and I can’t tell you how grateful I am to see how excited people are for my debut EP. It’s a great feeling to end the day with.
Photo: Getty Images/Getty Images
Houseparty’s "In The House": Katy Perry, John Legend, Alicia Keys + More
The three-day livestream event taking place this weekend (May 15-17) will allow users to view performances and segments while chatting with friends in realtime
Houseparty, the face-to-face social video app, is bringing a star-studded lineup of performances, workouts and cooking lessons to its users, including appearances by Katy Perry, John Legend, Snoop Dogg, Alicia Keys and more than 40 other celebrities. The event, "In The House," will take place over the course of three days, beginning this weekend on Friday, May 15 and running through Sunday, May 17.
Per Rolling Stone, the event’s programming will see a live performance of Perry’s unreleased track “Daisies,” slated to be released on Friday, May 15, in addition to sets by Legend, Chvrches and others. The program will also feature special cooking lessons on unique recipes provided by Snoop Dogg, 2 Chainz and Zooey Deschanel. Alicia Keys will also host a karaoke session and lead a 30 minute at-home workout. The full lineup and event schedule are available here.
The three-day event will allow those who tune in to enjoy free performances from the comfort of their homes, and they’ll be able to chat and interact with friends via the app all in real time. In a statement to Variety discussing the program, Houseparty CEO and co-founder Sima Sistani said “We are bringing back appointment viewing… to capture that feeling of sitting on the couch for that special show with your family or friends on a Friday night.”
Houseparty is available to download for free on iOS and Android devices, as well as online where users can tune in to stream the live event. Each segment will air again 12 hours following its original stream for those who may have missed the original broadcasts.
Musicians Earn $4.3 Million From Bandcamp With Nearly 800,000 Items Sold On Friday
"On a typical Friday, fans buy about 47,000 items on Bandcamp, but this past Friday, fans bought nearly 800,000, or $4.3 million worth of music and merch"
Last Friday, March 20, in an effort to help artists impacted by coronavirus-related concert cancelations, music discovery and streaming platform Bandcamp waived its revenue shares for 24 hours, with a number of independent record labels following suit.
Now, according to a statement from Bandcamp co-founder Ethan Diamond, the streaming platform has reportedly had its biggest sales day ever, with nearly 800,000 items sold.
Last Friday, fans spent $4.3 million—15x a normal day of sales—in support of artists on Bandcamp https://t.co/ElpCIN3s4f— bandcamp (@Bandcamp) March 23, 2020
"The numbers tell a remarkable story," Diamond wrote today (Monday, March 23). "On a typical Friday, fans buy about 47,000 items on Bandcamp, but this past Friday, fans bought nearly 800,000, or $4.3 million worth of music and merch. That’s more than 15 times our normal Friday, and at the peak, fans were buying 11 items per second.
"We don’t yet know the long-term impact of Covid-19, but we know that we all need music—to uplift and inspire us, to heal us, and to give us hope,” the message continues. “We’ll continue working to make Bandcamp the best place for fans and artists to come together and sustain each other in the challenging times ahead. Thank you again, and we wish you all good health!”
In support of keeping the music community alive and thriving, you can also donate to the MusiCares COVID-19 relief fund here.
MORE RESOURCES FOR MUSIC CREATORS & PROFESSIONALS:
Resources For Music Creators & Professionals Affected By COVID-19: West Region
Resources For Music Creators & Professionals Affected By COVID-19: East Region
Resources For Music Creators & Professionals Affected By COVID-19: South Region