The music industry is one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown that resulted from it. ‘Coronavirus Might Kill The Music Industry,” announced the headline of an Esquire article. The Rolling Stones reported that artists such as Pearl Jam, Post Malone, and Billie Eilish all had to cancel their tours and that major arenas and even underground clubs were forced to close their doors. “By mid-March, the coronavirus pandemic had effectively put the multibillion-dollar concert industry on indefinite pause and brought cataclysmic knock-on effects into the rest of the music business as well,” the report read.
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The pandemic couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time for up-and-coming rock/pop band Miou Sky. The group had just released their debut album last January after a nine-day marathon recording session in New York led by award-winning producer Robert Cutarella. Cutarella has worked previously with several industry luminaries including Eric Clapton, The Police, and Keith Richards. To date, the band’s debut single has almost two million streams on Soundcloud. Several gigs were lined up to further promote the EP. But if Pearl Jam can’t play a live gig, then obviously Milou Sky can’t as well. The pandemic has proven to be a momentum breaker.
But the band didn’t let the pandemic get them down as they tried to remain productive even under quarantine. “We spent the lockdown writing new material and rehearsing to not get rusty,” shared Ryan Beckett, Milou Sky’s singer, songwriter, and lead guitarist. They also turned to what has worked for them since they were formed as The Reasons in Reading, Pennsylvania back in 2018: social media. The band, whose other members are Liam Meadowcroft (vocals and rhythm guitar), Nolan Meadowcroft (bass), and Zach Ninfo (drums), has always used their different social media platforms to interact with fans and promote their music. Actively engaging their supporters has paid well for Milou Sky, which currently has more than 100,000 Instagram followers.
“Social media is definitely the way we communicate with our fans,” Beckett admitted. “It also gives our fans a chance to message us and comment on our posts so we know how they feel about us.” The band also considers themselves as social media influencers. They use their social media accounts to give shoutouts to other artists to help them grow. In return, these artists give them shout outs too. This shows how musicians can help each other as they all try to adapt to the changes brought about by the pandemic.
Beckett definitely sees the importance of social media as part of the new normal for musicians in the COVID era. “I think it’s gonna be important to really just use your account to communicate with fans since there are no large gatherings,” he said.
The music industry may not return to what it was before the pandemic struck. But artists such as Mikou Sky will always find ways to be creative.