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.

Forming one half of the duo Orties with her twin sister, Antha was one of the first artists to blend hardcore rap with genres as diverse as witch house, black metal and dark wave. Her radical and often misunderstood project, arriving in the early 2010s, frequently seemed lightyears ahead of its time. She recently went solo, offering cutting-edge rap tracks with a brooding, provocative and raw attempt to find beauty in the banal and transcend everyday reality. With her melancholy pen, she captures the spirit of the times and transports us to her imaginary world where the sky is lined with black neon and death seems like a movie.

How has your daily life changed since the quarantine began?

My daily life hasn’t changed much, since I spend most of my time alone. I never see anyone except people connected with music, like the sound engineer at the studio, other beatmakers or my sister. Since the quarantine began, I’ve just been making phone calls and only for things relating to the ANTHA project. Other than that, I go running in the woods, which I really love, and I listen to the birds. I watch the crows flying along my path and the flowers falling from the trees like white confetti: there’s nothing more beautiful than that. Spring is a living work of art. When I run through the woods, I feel like I’m running through a Sandro Botticelli painting: it’s orgasmic. It hits you in the heart.

Have you changed the way you create?

Not really. I’d love to have my own studio at home, but at least I’ve got my sound engineer who still wants me to come and record during quarantine, so I’m going to stop by there. I’m going to go out looking like Joan of Arc, all done up in mail and armor.

Have you realized anything during this time?

Yes, for example, I read Notre Dame de Paris (700 pages and all, but it was a piece of cake), and Dracula: I decided to read the classics, since it’s super important. I would hate to die thinking “Shit, I forgot to read this or that book”. It would be unbearable. Otherwise I listen to more music than usual, mostly rap and medieval music.

Are you worried?

Of course I’m worried. I’ve been worried since I was born. But things have been getting much worse for some time now: between global warming, terrorist attacks and now this pandemic, I’m in an almost permanent state of stress. Luckily there are huge woods right next to my house where I can relax and still see some beauty in this painful world. I would love to just get away from it all, to have an isolated mansion by the sea or a house in the middle of the forest. Whenever I read about monks who live in retreat, I always feel a little jealous even though I also find them totally selfish. Lol.

Does the quarantine inspire you or rather paralyze you?

Quarantine doesn’t inspire me, but what inspires me is reading books and watching movies with all the free time that has been thrust upon us. People should stop watching Netflix and take the opportunity to meditate a bit rather than trying to fill the emptiness they might be feeling.

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

I’ve started dreaming again: I’m dreaming even more than I normally do. I’m all alone with my thoughts, so I’m exploring the cathedral of my mind: I’m reliving my childhood as a lot of memories come back to me like mini movies, and then I try to remind myself to write them down. It could make for a good book later.

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

I’ve learned that life is very absurd. We’re constantly told to study hard and get a stupid job and so on. But in fact we’re seeing that none of it really matters: a little pandemic comes and then boom, no more future, we’re in a recession, society is turned completely upside down. The same society that can put people on the Moon is incapable of getting us the protective masks we need. I’m also taking note of the massive reduction in pollution and the glaring truth that human beings are a greater virus than Covid 19.

How do you see life after this crisis?

All humanity must realize that our planet is our only treasure, and that it is not an amusement park designed to amuse and distract us. We must realize, after this virus, that tourist flows, overpopulation and pollution are serious threats. Stop jetting around for what you call “vacation”, stop buying unnecessary clothes, stop eating food wrapped in plastic, stop doing all that and just plant your own vegetable garden. Stop eating animals all the time, since it doesn’t make any sense. I think the next wave of punks will be totally fucking green in 50 years. Otherwise it’ll just be No Future, but for real. Anyway, don’t expect me to have kids… I’d rather make songs. Or adopt a monkey.

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