My lockdown: Toman »
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The up-and-coming Dutch producer tells us how he’s coping during the Covid 19 crisis…

What was your initial reaction to the coronavirus pandemic? And when did it start to feel serious for you? 

I was playing at After Caposile in the Northern part of Italy a few days after the outbreak there. They weren’t sure if the party was going to happen before, but when I arrived it had already started. I played my set and I think that was their last event. The week after that, I left Europe for my South America tour. I followed the news in Europe and heard about the lockdowns. In Chile, Argentina and Brazil there were no cases yet so I could finish my tour but traveling between those countries changed because I had been in Italy the week before. At every airport they did a full check. One day after I arrived home they cancelled almost all the flights into Amsterdam so I was super lucky with my timing.

Naturally, everyone is worried about their finances now. Have you looked at any more creative ways to make money?

At this moment I’m preparing an online Ableton course. And I’m also working on a sample pack. 

Overall, how have you found the isolation period? Have you found it a good time to be creative?

The first 2 weeks were nice to rest after my South America tour and go back to basics. At this moment I’m working on new music at my kitchen table. I’ve had a cold for the last few days so I am staying inside just to be sure. 

Are you someone whose mood (or indeed, the mood of the world) affects how you approach making music?

Back in the days I made hiphop beats and also recorded rappers. I still get inspired by hip hop, soul and RnB. During this period I’m also working on new instrumental hip hop and downtempo stuff to listen to. In a few weeks I will release one of those tracks. 

Have you helped out with charity during this time? Are there any causes particularly close to your heart who you think deserve a shout out right now?

I signed up for “Voor elkaar in Amsterdam”. This is an organisation that helps the elderly and weak in Amsterdam. They can’t leave the house at this moment so we help them out with groceries and more (of course, whilst maintaining enough distance). 

Has working out been an important part of your routine? If so, how have you adapted to working out at home?

I used to go swimming 1 or 2 times a week. But of course the pool is closed now. To be honest I haven’t been working out yet, but it’s definitely time to start!

Do you think the electronic music industry (and the world in general) should take lessons from all this? What do you think those lessons are?

This is something unpredictable. Maybe contracts and insurance will change, but we shouldn’t live in fear after this. 

Are you a politically-minded individual? What’s been your take on how the government where you are has adapted to the pandemic? 

I’m happy with the way our government handles things. In The Netherlands we are practising a so called ‘intelligent lockdown’. We can still go outside, but only when 100% healthy. The thing I don’t like is the fact that our finance minister is blocking European help for Italy and Spain. We should work together now. 

Do you think humanity will emerge better from all of this?

People will be grateful for the freedom we have. We can practically go everywhere we want and do almost everything we want. I learned we should appreciate the little things more. We also see that we can change climate in the opposite way. 

Can you provide us with three pieces of music (from any genre) that you feel best sum up (for you) the current situation? A few words about why they resonate with you right now would be great. 

Ezra Collective, Loyle Carner – What Am I to Do? 

This has been on repeat all week. Their album cover has a cool slogan for the current situation: “You can steal a lot of things from me: My ability to travel freely, My access to education, My right to a level playing field, Even my ability to live life to its full potential but as long as I don’t forget my core truth, You can’t steal my joy. 

A Tribe Called Quest – The Hop

First thing in the morning. 

Chris Stussy – Nunchi

The very last track I played in a club before quarantine. 

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