KAVINA KUMAR - DJ/WRITER
"I am a DJ and live music industry content writer. I guess that gives me some firsthand artist involvement plus a journalistic birdseye perspective of the music landscape. On a perfect day in a thriving industry, I would be playing a combination of club sets, festivals, radio streams and warmups for international DJs about four times a week. I’d also be writing music content part-time and educating venues and artists about how to participate in a thriving live music industry.
Since there’s currently zero live music there’s a bit of awkward thumb twiddling when it comes to the halt in all facets of my work but i’m going to take a different approach on this. Artist life is measured in two stages. The roughly 30% of actually playing gigs and writing articles and the 70% of work behind the scenes with practising, research, prep and all the other stuff, so you’re always working, even when you’re not playing. Now has been a busy time in taking stock of all the things I'm happy with about my music journey and streamlining my direction coming out of this quieter period.
As a musician you learn to adapt to the everchanging pace, and the consistency of gigs during the quieter months. During downtime you focus on making music, getting inspired and having a free flowing schedule, which has been incredible for my productivity, because there’s no pressure.
The writer in me has enjoyed taking a break and reading for fun. I've even gone as far as downloading audible and smashing audiobooks and it’s been an absolute gamechanger to consume large volumes of literature without getting tired book arms haha.
With music, there’s been a fascinating shift in how consumers have so naturally adapted their interaction with the scene and it's been exciting to navigate. Earlier this year I wrote an article about how virtual reality and online streaming would be blowing up the 2020 trends, but we obviously couldn't anticipate how massive that was going to be with a looming pandemic.
Since I’d already taken a break from music and was just about to start playing live again before COVID-19 graced us with its annoying presence, I was concerned that this pause was going to be really difficult for me because I was mentally prepared to go for it again, but i’ve been super busy online.
After many requests, I decided to start a weekly live broadcast and it’s been one of the best things as a DJ that I could have done for my career. My music collection keeps growing consistently on a weekly basis, I've been able to track how quickly my mixing has been evolving because I've been trying so many different genres and I've got this epic stash of beautiful tunes ready to go for when we get back to it. It’s to the point where I've decided to set up my own streaming site which I will use for the rest of my career. Having an active online audience has been great for my confidence.
I’ve also been watching a whole lot of tutorials and trying out new software, just to keep growing. The cool thing about musicians is that they can't separate music from their lifestyles, it’s all one in the same. So I don't put too much pressure on myself because I’m naturally wanting to be immersed in it.
I’ve also eaten a lot of coco pops.
If you’ve got the money and financial security to get by, then appreciate this honestly chill time and go with the flow. Life is going to be so hectic once we all get back to it, and I think mental health is a major priority when it comes to the arts scene. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by information and humans so take the time to drink some tea and give some love to that inner voice. I reckon when you’re in a good place you actively want to do some work too. Especially when you’re not feeling guilty about time, being productive or having to be some place. When it comes to the world physically stopping through no control of your own, you really start to realise that it’s what you do with the things you do have control over.
I hope you honestly come out of this rested and happier than ever."