Words by Tammy Walters
They had to put their livelihoods on hold, their industry decimated, and their friends and family shut away … all before they or their friends and family even got COVID-19. But as five Melbourne musicians came together to honestly reveal their COVID-19 stories, rather than fear and desperation, we were reminded of the love and community for which Melbourne’s music scene is famous.
THANDO – “Our relationship with each other has changed”
We start with Zimbabwean-born Melbourne singer-songwriter Thando as she poses and answers the question: ‘What has Covid taught you?’ via an Instagram roll. She tackles perhaps the most difficult issue of all – how Covid has changed the way we look at each other.
“The experience I’ve learned from this pandemic has really opened my eyes over the last few years. Seeing people question it and making decisions about our health based on their emotional response,” she says.
“Our society is so empowered with such incredible access to information. We are really vulnerable to misinformation and in some cases disinformation. As things reopen and we re-enter society, our relationship with each other has changed. What the situation is like after two years of arguing over the Internet. It’s been really interesting. “
The powerhouse responsible for the pieces ‘Naked’ and ‘Numb’ used much of the pandemic lockdown to dive into its debut EP Life in colors which fell on March 10th. A collaboration between Zimbabwean artists with different perspectives on the Black experience in Australia, Life in colors began dripping fodder in 2019 with the main single ‘Gag Order’, where Thando used the album to navigate her own acceptance of being a colored person while offering guidance to her son in his upcoming journey. Her view of Covid casts an eye on the future of society in the same way that given her personal connection is packed with emotional resonance.
ED MOON – “I had taken it for granted – health – until this pandemic that I think we all had”
Soul star Ed Moon continues #covidchats focusing on the same shared experience that many young people have had during the pandemic. After releasing the singles ‘Moon’ and ‘Pass The Blame’ during the 2020 lockdown period, Moon reveals that although music was in his mind, his primary lessons have been health related.
He comments: “In my case, it has taught me the importance of health. How important and how top-priority it is to keep my family and friends safe. I had taken it for granted – health – until this pandemic, which I think we all had. “
FRANCOISTUNES – “We just have to adapt”
Francoistunes keeps it strictly positive and describes the positive lifestyle changes that many of us have experienced during the pandemic, but which (with good reason) have tended to be overwhelmed in a sea of negativity. He uses his caption to describe his message: “For me I learned that change is the only constant in life, in the last 2 years we have not seen a lot of changes, I thought I would share a few perspectives with you , “as a preface, Naararm artist Francoistunes jumps into the conversations to provide an insight into his covid experience.
He says, “One thing Covid has taught me personally is to embrace change, because change is the only constant in life, and if you do not change, you will not grow in my mind.”
He continues: “Everything is much more than music. I make music, but I like to read, I’m starting to kickbox to get my fitness up, as you know a 1, 2, 1, 2. It’s cool “Relationships have changed in recent years. We started from person to person and then moved to the Internet, and now we’re back to seeing each other. We just have to adapt, because we’re moving and changing.”
YARA – “Covid has taught me … how to be alone”
For ‘Man Hater’ singer YARA, lockdown offered some more personal insights. Participates in the #livingwithcovid conversation, she says
“I think one thing Covid has taught me is how to be alone. It became very clear during lockdowns that I am actually and truly an outgoing person. Very interesting to learn to be alone. Learn to care for me and perform genuine acts of self-love and self-care. Not just the superficial things – not just the face masks and taking care of my physical health and most importantly, mental health. “
PRICIE – “Sympathy for people I would not normally associate with”
After just supporting Kaiit for their Brunswick Music Festival showcase, PRICIE has built a name for her smart soulful sounds. The rapper, singer-songwriter and producer hit us with the track ‘Too Dang Good’ last year and has recently joined the huge Splendor in the Grass 2022 series.
While the global pandemic stopped much of the music events, PRICIE still stopped away and is now returning with the lessons of the lockdown now embedded in her daily routines. She describes how Covid has taught her greater sympathy for people who are different from herself, which in her heart is one of the greatest lessons we will all ultimately have to learn from the division Covid has created. in our wider society.
“Covid has not only taught me to be more aware of other people’s personal spaces, as well as my own, but to cherish and honor other people. And also to have a lot of sympathy for people I would not normally associate with or share a common foothold with. with, ”she says.
“Covid has taught me to be strong, positive and consistent in my mental health and mental well-being.”
With these life lessons in mind, it’s time for you to join the conversation and share your experience. So what has Covid taught you? #live with covid