With tours on pause because of the coronavirus pandemic, several artistes have migrated to online events to promote new music.
Tory Lanez promoted The New Toronto 3 mixtape during his Youtube “quarantine tour” in May; Chronixx premiered new tracks from his Dela Splash album during his ‘Cool as the Breeze: Live Stream’ in August; and Lila Iké and Protoje performed records from their individual projects in separate performances for NPR’s Tiny Desk (At Home) concert series in the last two months.
Though this is becoming the new normal, veteran singer Echo Minott isn’t entirely sold on the virtual concert experience.
“I don’t think the online show is the same energy like when you feel the people in front of you and see them,” he told BUZZ. “At the end of the day, we don’t know when things are going to come back and artistes will be able to travel. It’s the system, so anywhere the system goes you have to go if you want to be in the game.”
The reggae-dancehall performer recently released his Man A Do Road album and said he may consider an online showcase if restrictions get worse.
“I would do it if everything is in place and things get more sticky,” he said. “I’ve been on the road for 30-odd years touring, so when I look at the situation, I think maybe it’s time cause it’s the new world, and this is what I’m seeing.”
The 12-track album is a collaboration with African instrumentalist DJ Air Afrique and pays homage to the 80s sound that shaped Minott’s early beginnings. It was launched at a small party in late August in France where the singer has lived for a decade.
“I had to do it private, but it was good. I wanted to keep one in Jamaica too, but that mash up because of COVID,” he said.
The pandemic has also disrupted his plans to release four albums this year.
“I hate to make promises and not fulfil it, but everyone knows it because of COVID why I didn’t put out the four albums. I have so many songs put down, and I decided I couldn’t put out all at one time so the next album will be out in March. By next year all four albums will be out, as well as more singles,” he said.
Minott is handling all the details in the backend as an independent publisher and said artistes should use the stillness of the pandemic to increase their visibility.
“This COVID thing is good and bad because the gate is open right now,” he said. “Many people are waiting in line to get big, all you have to do is come with good tunes, and it will work now. It’s also important to promote your songs yourself as an artiste. It’s not like one time when you could do the songs and leave it up to the promoter. You have to play your part so it can go somewhere.”