By Alice Butterlin

Most of the world has been in lockdown for over a month now due to the COVID-19 crisis. A moment frozen in time, when people are faced with solitude, grief or anxiety and see their daily lives shift for the better or the worse. In this time of extreme uncertainty, we can also take the time to reflect, create and enjoy the passing of these strange elastic days. We thought it would be interesting to ask musicians around the globe how their creative process has changed during the quarantine and if it has been an inspiring or rather daunting experience… with a quick snapshot of themselves in lockdown. You may remember Austrian musician Mavi Phoenix from our issue 87, a young prodigy who blends pop and rap to create a fun, upbeat hybrid sound. Always very personal, his music reflects his trajectory and when he came out as transgender this year, he knew his tracks could convey all the feelings he kept boxed inside. As a result, his latest album Boys Toys is the perfect open letter to lost souls and mutating bodies who seek the strength and power to be themselves.

How has your daily life changed since the quarantine began?

I just released my debut album on April 3rd and in the course of it I would have had a tour starting today. Obviously I had to reschedule it, plus a lot of other fun things. I did lots of interviews from home and talked to the fans a lot on live streams, etc.

Have you changed the way you create?

I’ve always written and produced music from at home so it’s not really a totally different situation. But I miss going to the studio with my main producer. At the same time, it’s cool to be starting stuff all on my own again.

Have you realized anything during this time?

Of course like a lot of others I realized that we should never take simple things like going out and meeting friends for granted. This situation makes us notice again how connected everything and we are. That is a beautiful thought but I also don’t like it when people compulsively try to make this seem like a good situation that’s so full of opportunities – people die and it’s okay to say when things are just bad and fucked up.

Does the quarantine inspire you or rather paralyze you?

To be honest I can’t really say. There are days that just feel like an hour long and I don’t get anything done. And then the next day I write a bunch of songs. I feel like I’m in school again and this is summer break and I can’t remember what day of the week it is.

Have you started or resumed any activities that you do not normally have time to do?

I started gaming again. Playing online on my Playstation. And to even that out I also started working out a little.

What lessons do you think you will take away from this shutdown?

As I’m in a phase of life that’s very overwhelming on it’s own, I’m kind of glad I have so much time to worry and think about myself. So to answer your question, I’m positive I’ll take away a lot of growth.

Are you worried?

I’m not worried so much about the virus itself, but of how it will effect our future lives and especially as a musician and performer I’m worried about when I can tour again.

How do you see life after this crisis?

I hope it all goes back to normal and that we take a thing or two out of this crisis for our individual lives. Like understanding that we’re all in this together and we need to take care of each other and this planet. I hope that at least the Earth can heal a little. And after that so will we.

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