FPCC is proud to share the creative ways communities and individuals are changing their projects during COVID-19. This series features some specific examples of how a willingness to be creative and flexible during this challenging time has led to new and exciting work.
Joseph “Joey Stylez” LaPlante is a Juno-nominated Hip Hop artist who has been named as one of Canada’s top 25 rappers of all time by the CBC. He is a current grant recipient of an FPCC Individual Artist award and we recently spoke with him from his home on Haida Gwaii.
When the COVID-19 restrictions were announced in March, Joey knew that his original touring, recording and music video plans were no longer possible. Facing a lengthy period with no performance income, Joey needed to revise his plans and come up with a new strategy for his goals.
He decided to focus on the opportunities that this time could bring, rather than what he was losing: “Right now is the perfect time to strengthen what you are doing and I have been working on my live shows. I always knew a bit of guitar, but now I am strengthening that so when I do come back, I can play guitar with my band and this element will make my show bigger and better.”
Joey’s plans for a new EP and music videos also changed as he could no longer travel to Vancouver. He has built an in-home studio where he records his music and has been working online with his sound engineer and producer to complete the tracks. Joey has also gotten creative, changing his original music video vision, to include animation that can be done remotely, and planning a scaled-down shoot with fewer people for a later date.
Joey sees this period of being at home and not touring as a chance to work on other areas of his career that musicians often struggle to find time for: “I find it enjoyable to think up creative ways to present my brand and market myself. Right now is a good time to write, work on your business plan and research for grants. Artists don’t have time to look for all the possible grants out there, but right now we have that time.”
While Joey admits that the loss of income is definitely a challenge, he’s hopeful that the work he’s doing now will set him up for success as he adapts to new ways to share his music:“You just gotta find ways to creatively do your best and whatever the new normal is – just be willing to adjust to it. The good thing about the Arts is that we are creative. If you can use that creativity and translate it into your business, then you are going to win.”
You can find out more about Joey Stylez and his music here: www.joeystylez.com
View our other COVID Success Stories here.
Share Your Story!
Do you have a story about how you have adapted the work you do in First Nations languages, arts and cultural heritage in B.C.? We want to hear from you! Please send your story to email@example.com and check back as we post more stories of the good work being done across the province.
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