By Beverly Grafton
As promised, today I bring you the words of a good friend of mine, Md Yazzit. A fantastic bass player and owner of The Basement Studio, I reach out to him to share his struggles through this pandemic and the process of recovery, if any. Read on to find out more.
Beverly Grafton: What are the struggles you have faced as a studio owner during the pandemic?
Yazzit: Not being able to operate for nearly 4 months was tough on me as the owner. Not only was the studio my main source of income but bills kept piling up with no income coming in. It took the studio awhile to recover even after re-opening because live entertainment and regular performance venues are still not opened and that, in turn, creates a ripple effect leading to the lack of rehearsals and equipment rental. For the studio business to grow, we need the regular gig circuit shows to come back. With these shows back in effect, musicians will then need band rehearsals to rehearse towards the show. That's where studios like mine come in. It's all part of an ecosystem.
BG: How have you coped with those struggles?
Y: I did my best to cope by teaching online classes and working on a new business plan for when the studio could reopen. One of the ideas was to offer liive streaming and live recording services.
(Here are some pics of jammers/musicians back in 2019 and now in 2020 as well as shots of the extremely versatile studio)
BG: Do you foresee live streaming (facebook/IG/zoom, etc) as the future of entertainment?
Y: Yes and no. Yes because during the pandemic, we were forced to go digital and to adapt. Now, music can be played from almost anywhere. It’s a different kind of experience but nothing beats the experiencing of a real live performance.
Playing live is a very motivating factor for both musicians and the audience. Music is suppose to inspire people and sometimes watching it in front of the tele or on a computer, it’s just not the same. So, in short, both has its advantages n disadvantages.
BG: As a musician yourself, do you accept and welcome that future or would you prefer a return to physical live performances?
Y: I welcome the new changes because it gives us more options than in the past but I would still prefer to have physical live performances.
Live streaming is here to stay for sure but maybe we can use it for reasons where playing in a live setting is limited. It’s always good to have options.
Well said, my friend. In a time where many of us have lesser and lesser options to continue with a career we've maintained for decades or more, anything new that can be incorporated in as a new avenue to continue working is a godsend.
That's it for this week but tune in next week as maestro Mario Serio shares his wisdoms on the same questions.
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