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Musicians during COVID-19: Josh Roberts, drummer & composer

Julianne, in Community news
Sep 02, 2020 | 7 min read

When the COVID-19 lockdown kicked in, individual musicians and bands worldwide struggled to make ends meet.  Josh Roberts granted us an interview on his experience as a musician during lockdown in NYC, and how his positivity helped him through these challenging times.


1. What was the initial effect of COVID-19 to you?

“Initially, I had three tours cancelled – two national and one international, and now I’ve heard similar news for next year’s international tour. On top of it all, I also had cancelled some freelance work. For the foreseeable future, they also postponed my off-broadway contract.”

2. How did you see the music industry adapt to COVID-19?

“It seems like most people first did nothing, and we just sat there thinking this would be over soon. Then it appeared that people started streaming and started teaching more online. Then there was the mass exodus out of NYC, and now we see that over 13k apartments are empty. My church gig positively just moved to live stream and recording, so I was able to keep that going.”


3. Have you been inspired or has your creativity been harmed by Covid-19?

“In the beginning, I was very inspired, and then it kinda sat in that. However, I realized that this pandemic is here for a while, and then I dipped down into a more melancholy season. Now I would say I am rising as things open and people move back here.”


4. What are some ways for normal crowds to support a musician during COVID-19?

As much as tuning in a live stream shows support, Josh Roberts recommends to also support musicians outdoors in a safe manner. This also encourages live venues to invite musicians to perform again.


“Also vote, especially here in the US, vote for representatives who will value the lives of lower-income artist and creatives and who will instate programs to help us.”


About Josh Roberts

Josh Roberts is a drummer and composer recognized for his genre blurring approach to musical situations and improvising. Currently based in NYC, he performs and records extensively in North and South America, Europe, UK, and Brazil, and is an adjunct instructor at New York University.

Learn more about Josh Robert’s music


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