Living La Vida Lockdown: The Lads Behind the Livestreams

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Our online editor Andrea Loftus (virtually) caught up with a few of the musicians and DJ’s meeting our live music needs through weekly livestreams.

SANDY ROWLINGSON

Sandy went to Leeds College of Music and has had his fingers in many a musical pie since he graduated. He plays saxophone in both The Rebel Sounds and Zilah, gigging in and around Leeds as well as abroad. However, with social distancing bringing live shows to a standstill, Sandy decided to put his musical skills to use and bring those sweet brassy sounds to a (laptop) screen near you.

How has Covid-19 impacted you as a musician?
I was actually in Austria on tour with The Rebel Sounds when Covid-19 really kicked off in Europe, so that was sadly cut short and we had to isolate as soon as we got back. I’ve also lost my residency at The Whitehall Restaurant and Bar, and as the majority of function spaces have had to close it means all paid gigs both for my bands and myself have been postponed or cancelled. Like many other musicians, I also work in the hospitality industry part time and so have sadly lost my work at the University as well.

What inspired you to start live streaming?
My aunty is in the extremely vulnerable group and I wanted to try and do something to lift her mood as she’s been isolating for quite a while now. When my friends back home asked if I’d do a little gig for them too, a livestream seemed like the logical option to give everyone the option to tune in at once.

What has the response been from viewers?
I’ve had a lot of positive responses from family and friends alike which has been nice. It’s clear that everyone is struggling with social distancing so providing a space where people can tune in and switch off from their worries for an hour or so every Monday has really helped to bring a bit of normality to the week.

Is this something you would still consider doing when lockdown is over?
Normally I’m too busy to learn this many new tunes every week, but it’s been a great way to spend my time and it’s cool to see the positive impact it has had. As long as people don’t mind me repeating my repertoire here and there I’ll probably keep going a little longer!

When can we catch your next online set?
I go live on Facebook every Monday at 6pm!

ODJ

Ollie Jackson is a Music Producer and DJ that goes by the alias ODJ. He is another of the wonderful Leeds musicians who’s using their time in isolation to bring a host of bored Brits some beats.

How has Covid-19 impacted you as a musician?
It’s had its ups and downs when it comes to making music as lockdown has led to cancelling a lot of gigs I had lined up. However, I’ve been able to do a lot of writing and producing with my free time as well which has been one big positive from all of this.

What inspired you to start live streaming?
Lockdown has obviously taken gigs right off the cards for the next few months so I thought it would be a good way to play my music and DJ sets to people without them having to leave their homes.

What has the response been from viewers?
The response has been great and it’s cool to get feedback from other people other than my friends! I’ve found a lot of people have been watching and engaging with the videos by commenting and sharing etc. too so that’s been good for exposure.

Is this something you would still consider doing when lockdown is over?
Lockdown has given me space to work on my music and, as long as I can find the time, I’d definitely love to continue doing livestreams after lockdown is lifted.

When can we catch your online set?
My next set will be on Friday 8th May on my Facebook page!

Listen to ODJ’s Soundcloud here or check out his Instagram

DANCE WITHOUT ISSUES / DJ CASIKA

Joe Johnson is the founder and owner of Dance Without Issues, a collective of DJs, producers, promoters and graphic designers ‘facing issues within the dance community’. Joe also DJs independently under the alias of Casika, blending techno and tribal beats to create an infectious soundscape that’s a treat for the ears.

How has Covid-19 impacted you as a musician?
This time has given me an opportunity to work on my producing and hone my skill and craft.

What inspired you to start livestreaming?
I just thought it was an easy and accessible way to give DJs a platform to play their music and that’s something I’ve always loved doing.

What has the response been from viewers?
We’ve had a really good reaction to our streams and I think that’s mainly due to the diversity in genres our DJs are playing, as they range from house/ techno/ acid to breaks/ minimal and more.

Is this something you would still consider doing when lockdown is over?
Yes! We already have plans in the work for what form these online gigs will take after lockdown, including hosting some guest livestreams every week.

When can we catch your online set?
You can find us on Facebook Thursday to Sunday every week for the foreseeable future!

Find Casika on Instagram @casika.dj or have a listen to his Soundcloud and Spotify to keep good tunes going

During these strange times, livestreams have been an innovative and enjoyable way to share music online, usually reaching a much broader audience than you’d catch at Brude on a Friday night. If you’re looking for a mood booster that can cater to aunties and ravers alike, grab a pint and check out what these lads have got in store this week.

ANDREA LOFTUS