Pandemic Profs: Music Industry Major’s Advice to Help Musicians [Spotify Playlist]

Jen Green stands in the Rowan University bookstore, looking toward her phone with the Badflower album cover OK I'm Sick

Welcome to our series to give you a glimpse into Rowan University, our campus culture, and the lives of our students, while we’re practicing social distancing to protect society from the spread of COVID-19. Today’s story is from Tommy Bell, a junior isolating from his home in Atlantic County, NJ, during spring break. Tommy is a music industry major who normally lives in Triad Apartments.

With concerts and tours being canceled or postponed because of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, musicians have already felt big monetary losses. For smaller artists, the impact is huge and immediate. 

Soraia on stage in the middle of a show.
Philadelphia-area band Soraia had their East Coast tour cut short due to coronavirus. Singer ZouZou and drummer Brianna live in Pitman, the town next to Rowan. (Photo courtesy of Soraia. Photo credit: Jen Green.)

Not only are musicians not getting paid for playing shows and not able to sell merchandise at shows, but they are also missing networking opportunities. Smaller bands thrive off of networking at their shows. Meeting new people and getting to know them is what helps a band grow. 

But all hope isn’t lost, there are still a few ways that you can support local artists from your house.

Here is what I’m doing – and how you can help local artists. 

  1. Add smaller artists’ songs to your playlists. Streaming platforms pay attention to this, and will suggest artists to new listeners based on related artists from playlists they’re on. 
  2. Even though streaming doesn’t provide much of an income to most artists, listening to and sharing their music could lead to them making it onto a major Spotify playlist which is great exposure. 
  3. Go to artists’ websites and buy merch. If they don’t have a website contact them on social media to buy. Most artists are still able and willing to send out merch to fans. 
  4. Follow artists’ social media pages and have your friends follow them. 
  5. Stream music in the background while you’re home. 
  6. Some artists are hosting virtual shows to watch and listen online. Buy tickets for this alternative type of show. 

I created a Spotify playlist of my favorite local bands to listen to. It includes a lot of Rowan student bands (Pastelephone, Upon Knee Hill, Aftyn, and Sanity Falls) and local bands such as Soraia, The Underground Thieves, Deal Casino and a few others. So go and stream while you’re stuck at home and support local artists!

Pastelephone singer kicks in the air during Battle of the Bands.
Rowan music industry students make up Pastelephone, shown here during a Battle of the Bands on campus. (Photo courtesy of Pastelephone.)


Story by: Tommy Bell, junior music industry major

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