Artists in Isolation - Image via Pikist

COVID-19 has brought about many changes in pretty much every industry, and the music industry has been no exception.

From music venues closing to artists not being able to physically be in the recording studio, so many facets of what makes the music industry run were forced to pause without knowing when they could begin again.

One of the most necessary parts of the industry that was affected was the actual release of content. Many high-profile artists, such as Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys and OneRepublic, were forced to postpone their most recent releases. Local musicians have also felt the effects of the lockdowns.

It soon became clear that releases would have to resume in some form even during a pandemic. This meant artists and their teams had to get creative with how and when to release.

After a few weeks of lockdown, artists began releasing what has been often referred to as some variation of “quarantine content.” As could be expected, artists started creating a lot while being forced to stay home, which has been made easier because of current technology. Using different types of software, artists have been putting out singles, albums, music videos and more from home. 

One of the earliest examples of this was OneRepublic releasing their single “Better Days” in late March, at the very beginning of quarantine. The song speaks of the hope of coming out on the other side of this pandemic to something better, which is a sentiment many can relate to.

Now, many artists have done the same. In May, Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber released their version of a quarantine inspired single called “Stuck with U” that included a music video filmed largely at their respective homes. Taylor Swift released her surprise eighth album, “Folklore,” on July 24, almost completely recorded in isolation, accompanied by a stunning music video for the lead single “Cardigan.” Kehlani’s second studio album “It Was Good Until It Wasn’t” came out in May and has had several “quarantine-style” music videos associated with it.

And it’s not just big-name celebrities who have found themselves releasing music in unprecedented times. Local artists have also found creative ways to put their music out and connect with their fan base. Local singer/songwriter and BGSU student I M a N I just released a beautiful EP titled “Violet.” Additionally, she has been using the full power of social media to update her fans on when they can expect new content. The Aces, a girl group that continue to gain popularity, have put out their latest release, an album titled “Under My Influence.” They recently put on a live stream concert from Los Angeles and fans were able to gain access by purchasing tickets and even virtual meet-and-greet passes.

Evidently, musicians at different levels have started adapting to the current situation. Whether it be the recording and release process, or the struggle of finding creative ways to promote projects safely and responsibly, it seems that artists and their teams will continue to find innovative ways to adjust.

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