Celebrities are aware of how much social distancing sucks. It might seem dumb for them to complain that they are stuck in their houses, as if they don’t have tens of acres to play on and sometimes multiple buildings on their property to venture to at their leisure. What average people do not understand is that social distancing and self isolation are a disruption to their life. Sure, they might have more luxuries, but they are still unable to go to their favorite coffee shop, they are still unable to meet with their friends, and they still have to put many group projects on hold. If they are unable to work on their normal projects they are going to be bored. To combat this boredom they have been interacting with fans constantly. Thanks to technology and boredom, celebrities and fans are interacting more than usual. These interactions are through daily live-streams, dropping songs, as well as writing completely new songs and releasing them while self-isolating. Some have even bought new phones and gotten new numbers so that they can interact with fans. In my honest opinion, these are some of my favorite things that are going on during this tragic time.
Promoting albums, movies, and tours has been something that celebrities have struggled with. They have had to figure out how to promote themselves without being able to hold concerts in major cities or have screenings in popular theatres. Taking advantage of Instagram’s livestream feature, many bands have held live streams daily. The Australian pop-rock band 5 Seconds of Summer released their fourth Album on March 27th. To promote their album, titled CALM, the four-piece decided to hold a listening party. The day before the album was set to be released, the group posted their idea on the band’s Instagram. At 12 AM EST, when the album was set to be released, one of the members would start a livestream. At 12:05 everyone would hit play on the album, that way everyone would start and end the album at the same time. The idea was that the entire 5SOS FAM would experience their first listen of the album together. It was a truly magical experience to be there and see the joy on their faces. After a few songs, the members would switch who was on the live stream, that way we got to see and interact with each of the members.
Another band who is struggling with the same dilemma is All Time Low. They are set to release their eighth album on April 3rd. To help hype up fans, they have decided to host multiple live-streams leading up to the release. Every day at 3:30 EST, the band goes live on Instagram. Some days they release songs from their fifteen track album, others they perform tracks from the new album and answer fan questions. Something else that All Time Low has decided to do is hold a happy hour. The group released their own wine label “Everything is Wine” a few months back. To promote themselves and interact with their fans, they decided to host a happy hour on twitch that took place on April 1st at 5pm EST. They did a great job at promoting themselves during this time. The band knows that releasing this album is important to their fans in this unsure time.
Some artists are not this fortunate. Their albums were not able to be released because their titles could have been taken the wrong way with everything that is going on. Sam Smith has decided to push back his album release and has decided to change the name entirely from “To Die For” to something completely different. He has not yet released what the album title is going to be but still plans on releasing it this year and releasing singles gradually to keep fans hyped for the pending release.
There are other musicians who have taken this time to do something completely different. Not only are they constantly interacting with fans, but they are also recording and releasing songs at their homes. Troye Sivan decided on March 19th that he would be releasing new music. He also enlisted the help of fans who are graphic designers, animation artists, and anyone else who has artistic abilities and is a freelance artist to be a part of this process. On March 22nd he posted on Instagram that the song titled “Take Yourself Home” would be released on April 1st.
As a music fan, I encourage all artists to use their best judgement when it comes to albums, tours, and releasing their work. Fans love new songs but not at the expense of their idols’ health. If that means postponing a tour (like Harry Styles decided to do) or pushing back an album, we would rather that be done, than have a potentially dangerous situation arise. Take advantage of social media and tune in to live streams from your favorite artists and try to find some light in this dark time.