“What Does Quarantine Time Mean for Artists and Fans?”

Due to festival and concert season, in general, being forsaken for the time being – it’s quite a disappointing and melancholy time for both artists and fans. Some of my friends saved for months for their concert tickets and it’s something they kept in the back of their mind at all times – they held onto the show date like it was their lifeline, it was something for them to look forward to on bad days.

Artists alike are also devasted, many have just announced tour cancellations for projects that they had put an enormous amount of time and hard work into – only for them to no longer be able to play live for fans and connect intimately with them through that exchange of energy.

So how exactly are artists spending their time in quarantine? For many artists that thrive amongst collaboration – this time for them may be extremely challenging and quite desolate. For other more reclusive and independent artists, the concept of quarantine is quite familiar to them. Many artists are working on projects and albums – they spend months at a time holed up in a shady room with just microphones and instruments to keep them company.

Even for bands, groups, and producers – the internet has long been a tool being utilized to make collaboration easily accessible. This may be a time where we see artists producing some of their best work. At a time where the world is at a standstill and engulfed with fear – this is when we need artists the most, this is their moment.

Self-expression, reflection, and imagination are blooming within the confines of the walls and silence. Many artists are taking this time to drop playful, uplifting singles to give to fans during this time while they go within. Particularly in the realms of Rap music, an abundance of secret projects and singles have been illuminated within the past week.

The artist, Childish Gambino, who hasn’t dropped a project since 2016 and has claimed he’s retired from music in the past – dropped a reported album to uplift fans spirit during quarantine. The untitled album was available to stream for just 12 hours and was only accessible through Gambino’s website. The fleeting project reportedly had features from Ariana Grande, 21 Savage, and SZA.

Rapper Rico Nasty dropped new single, “Lightning” on March 17.  She keeps the song incredibly casual and bubbly with her energetic bars – Even Nasty isn’t toning down her lively and rambunctious nature during quarantine. Smino also dropped a new single, “Tempo” on March 14. Both Nasty and Smino maintain their high spirits with these singles – bringing in an air of lightheartedness and a care-free disposition in moments where control is no longer an option.

There have been whispers among social media of a Circles Deluxe Edition from the late rapper, Mac Miller, circulating for weeks now. Fans have known its coming, but we just weren’t sure when we could be anticipating added posthumous tracks and how many we would be receiving.

Photo Credit to Time

Miller’s family, again picking the perfect time to release and handle his posthumous career – went ahead and dropped two singles on March 19. The two singles, “Floating,” and “Right” can stand on their own, but acts as accompanying tracks to Circles. Both tracks carry that same introspection, regret, and longing that Circles so miraculously expressed.

“Floating” has a jazzy feel to it, with Miller releasing a soulful twang erupting from his vocals. “Floating” expresses the desire and craving for escapism that Miller is fantasizing about. This escapism he is touching on is something a lot of people are clinging onto during this period of isolation – dreams transforming into a necessity to get through the day-to-day.

Miller’s track, “Right” is the other side of the emotional coin during quarantine. “Right” is immersed in nostalgia – the reminiscing of moments before destruction takes center stage.

Although we have a lot of loss to endure, artists are still finding creation amongst desolation. Whether the concert or festival of your dreams has been canceled or postponed – know that this is not forever. Your favorite artist right now could be using this solitude to not only create more music – but to experiment with different sounds, tones, and themes to expand their craft. Revel in the musical gifts that dropped this week and know there is only more coming.

Maddy Ipema

My name is Maddy Ipema, and you can usually find me with headphones blaring and a book on my lap! I am a senior at Columbia College Chicago, where I am majoring in fiction writing. I love writing in all forms, and mostly work in fiction, non-fiction, and poetry! Music is my main source of inspiration for life as well as my writing!

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