We hope you all are doing well, under these extraordinary circumstances, and that you are with your loved ones, making the best out of the current situation.
After having processed what’s going on, and having accepted the (necessary) measures of the government(s), we are now slowly starting to fully realise the enormous impact this is having on most aspects of people’s lives, not in the least economically/financially. Although this ordeal for sure brings some positive perspective as well, and for many an amount of unexpected free time to consider and/or reconsider a whole lot of things that would otherwise just be ignored during the usual rat race, the financial disasters many of us are facing are also putting a huge amount of stress on our shoulders.
Our industry and specifically the field of independent performing artists/musicians is taking a massive hit. We keep hearing of colleagues and friends who are losing all sources of income, due to the complete cancellation of all their activities – shows, gigs, rehearsals, tours, … nationally and internationally. We don’t want to talk about ourselves too much, but we have already lost a a lot of money as well, in what was supposed to be one of our busiest periods of 2020. We count ourselves lucky with one almost full-time income from teaching, and with the fact that Tutu worked very very hard the past half a year and in that way built a bit of a buffer. But if the government measures would be extended, and from what we are hearing, those chances are rather big, there will probably also come a time when we run out of resources as well…
Most of us independent musicians lead pretty modest lives, and don’t really have the opportunity to rely on big saving accounts. Being a musician means in many cases accepting a life of making ends meet, where busy periods have to make up for down periods. Some of the work we are all losing now might be recovered by a rebooking in the future, but it is a fact that that will be more the exception than the rule, for many practical reasons, AND first and foremost it doesn’t solve the current cashflow-problems at all… We hear that some important cultural instances are already seriously working on finding structural solutions that can benefit as many artists/musicians/… as possible. Of course we support them and their work fully and wish them lots of success, and we hope that our (Flemish) government is finally ready and willing to listen.
BUT IN THE MEANTIME, here’s what we are thinking.
We have this label, this platform, with fourteen albums in its humble catalogue (and number 15 on the way :-)). Some of those are our own productions, but there’s a good lot of beautiful music in there that belongs to the very type of independent musicians we are talking about in the above paragraphs. We are fully aware that nowadays the majority of music fans out there listens to their favourite albums/songs/artists via streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, etc… Nevertheless, we do still print a certain stock of physical CDs of each production, because in our experience there’s still quite some people who like to buy a physical album, especially AFTER CONCERTS, often as some sort of a souvenir. And yes – those ‘after-concert-sales’ have also gone down the drain right now of course.
So we have decided to organise some sort of COVID-19 SALE in our webshop. From now until the government revokes the measures to contain the virus (officially still April 3, but possibly/probably extended):
1) we offer a 5 euro discount on ALL ALBUMS in the catalogue,
2) we pledge that we are waiving all our own commission/royalties on the individual albums of our ‘external’ artists, and that the full revenue of the sales within this period will go to the respective musicians.
Prices are exclusive shipping, but that still means that in most cases, an album will still be cheaper while being brought to your postbox than when purchased after a live concert. We do ship internationally, but at the moment only within Europe, due to the current measures taken by our postal services.
IN SHORT: here’s a warm invitation to pay a visit to our webshop. To everybody who was planning on going to see a concert of one of the artists in our catalogue that got cancelled: buy the album you would have bought after the gig in our shop. 🙂 To everybody else: feel free to support.
Cheers everybody, let’s help each other in whatever way we can. Let’s stay positive, be thankful for life and learn from this bizarre yet very real truth we find ourselves in today.
All our love, please stay healthy and if you get sick, get well soon!
Ewout & Tutu
Ps. The cover image for this post was made by our two children, Mpho & Motsumi. (Anything to keep them busy these days :-)). They say hi! 🙂