Why Quarantine Killed Creativity

In Beats + Bytes by Nue Agency

When the world hit pandemic pause, it seemed like a great time to focus on creating would emerge. But did it? The answer is complicated.

Artists are used to going to the studio and being in the room with their collaborators, creating together, and bouncing ideas off each other in real time. Does that same energy exist on FaceTime? Hell no. If you’ve got even a one-second delay or your connection cuts out, it’s a vibe-killer.

On top of that, during most of quarantine, there have been no outside experiences, no adventures to tap into, and no energy from fans and friends. We take for granted how much our daily lives fuel our creative endeavors.

More recently, the question of whether people even want to hear music that isn’t relevant to the news cycle has arisen. With the nation facing a much-needed reckoning on race, it’s harder than ever to stay focused on anything but affecting change. And don’t get me started on the impact the election will have. That content compiled BC (before Covid) is gonna hit different…and probably in a bad way.

But it’s not all gloom in this moment of doom. Lil Baby made a fantastic protest anthem and video for Black Lives Matter. Charli XCX recorded and released a full length album in quarantine, and on Clubhouse the other day, Rodney Jerkins said he was making all sorts of tracks via Zoom sessions. There is work to be done and moves to be made. I think Spike Lee said it best: the pandemic is going to be its own cottage industry for generations.

To add to this dialogue, we’ve invited Splice CEO, Steve Martocci, as Thursday’s guest on Beats & Bytes Live. Martocci’s mission is to create an artist-to-artist marketplace where musicians can collaborate online just as programmers like himself do. As Steve puts it, “Music has always been my motivator, but code is my canvas. Artists come up to me and hug me because I’m changing the creative process.”

I’m excited to shine a light on what he’s seeing. If anyone knows how music is going to be made in this era and beyond, it’s Steve. Tune in Thursday at 5pm EST for a candid, creative conversation.