‘In the middle of a worldwide health crisis, could new music be the escape everyone needs?’
Like everyone else reading this now, when the new year started back in January I set goals, had plans and was excited about what the year would bring. Then suddenly everyone’s lives changed. Those goalposts had to be moved. Those plans had to be postponed or cancelled. And that excitement turned to concern, anxiety and endless unanswered questions. Here in the UK, last month saw the start of our lockdown. If you’re reading this from elsewhere, your one may have started before March, or you may be wondering if you will have one. However, while so many industries are affected, even with what seemed like the daily cancelling of go-to festivals and closure of music venues, I had a thought that this could, in fact, be an ideal time for new music releases. And, as the past few weeks have gone by, even before the UK reached lockdown point, I have considered that very scenario.
You see, like those festivals that were unsure when to announce they weren’t going to go ahead, and those venues who put off closure for as long as possible, artists have become unsure as to whether to announce new music or release it. To be fair, I’ve also been unsure when or whether to pose a question for this month, especially with March’s being nonexistent. However, having posted a similar question on my socials earlier this week, now seems like the perfect time. Yes, Listen to Discover has only existed for little over three years, but in those three years, I’ve never encountered artists feeling so unsure. And I’m sure that for those of you who have been in the industry for much longer, the same will apply.
Already in the few days that the question has been on the Listen to Discover socials, artists have contacted me from all viewpoints and all with incredibly valid, carefully considered reasons for either going ahead with a release or holding off. Some just feel that the lyricism isn’t right for now. Others feel the planned release is just what people need right now. And others, rather amazingly, are using it as an opportunity to raise money not for themselves, but for others in need. And I can totally appreciate all sides of the thought process. I too in recent times have been unsure what to do, haven’t really been able to concentrate on writing reviews, or even engage much with music. Weirdly at times I was actually more worried about that than the whole health crisis itself. But last week something changed.
As suddenly as those life changes happened, I suddenly got the urge to listen to music again. To engage with artists again. And to go on endless journeys discovering more music than ever before. And, you know what, whether it’s been watching an artist deliver a ‘live-from-home’ set on Instagram or Facebook, or finding music to add to the #AprilFinds playlist, I have felt so much better for music simply being there. You see, music has this magical power to transport, to stir emotion and to forget. And let’s face it, that’s what we all need right now.
So, if you’re a new artist wondering what to do with that release date, don’t feel guilty for keeping it, or search for reasons to postpone, but instead, think of reasons to go ahead as planned. Who know’s, you could just bring those few moments of escape that someone really needs.
New to this feature? See below to find out how you can join the discussion:
- View the question for the month, which will be pinned to the top of Listen to Discover’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
- Comment directly on the pinned post with your thoughts, include the #12bigquestions tag, and @ those you feel may also benefit
- Retweet and/or share the question among your own followers and encourage them to do the same.
- Check back every so often during the month to see what you’re missing out on and hopefully find ways to help you become even more successful.
Additionally, at the start of each month a brief post like this one will explain why I feel the question is of importance, and at the end of the month, a round-up post will summarise the key points and key advice from the discussion. For this, it would also be great to have some of you share your thoughts at length (circa 100 words) so if you would like to do this, please email them to me here with the subject line: Contribution for Listen to Discover’s 12 Big Questions.
So I now invite you the artist, you the PR company, you the artist manager and you the venue – in fact, you, the person that is involved in the music industry in any way – to join the discussion. The second discussion has just started.
Founder of Listen to Discover