Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Here's How Artists are Navigating the World of Music Amid the Coronavirus Outbreak

We spoke to several artists to find out how they're working on still getting their music to fans while in self-isolation during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The world is still coming to terms with the recent coronavirus outbreak.

As countries put in place various lockdown measures in the hopes that social distancing will prevent the further spread of the pandemic, African artists have been hard hit. Scheduled performances have been cancelled and entire tours in some instances.

On the other hand, the grim reality has also allowed artists to become more creative with how they put out their music and engage with fans. Artists such as DJ Black Coffee and singer Berita have already led the way with livestream performances on social media—a trend that's fast becoming popular.

And so we spoke to a few African artists about how they've been personally affected by the coronavirus outbreak and tried to find out some of the ways they're going about connecting with their audience.

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Photo courtesy of Boskasie

Cape Town's Boskasie Wants Everyone to Know Her Story

The eclectic soul singer discusses embracing natural hair as a form of challenging Western beauty ideals, her diverse music influences and her new single that's about to drop

Growing up, Boskasie's Sundays were filled with the fragrances of home cooked Cape Malay dishes and a soundtrack of George Benson, Hugh Masekela, Abdullah Ibrahim, Gypsy Kings and the carnival sounds of "Ghoema"—sounds and flavours that still influence her music today.

Born Nicole Davy, Boskasie hails from the Cape Flats but grew up partly in the Netherlands and is now based in Johannesburg. She comes from a musical family with a trumpeter mother and a father who is a vocalist and guitarist in the Boys Brigade. While still in high school, Boskasie represented both her state and South Africa nationally in hip-hop dancing.

As a teenager she taught herself to play guitar before she began composing her own songs. Her debut EP Memoirs was released in 2016 shortly followed by her hit single, the hypnotic and silky "Weak in Love," and two other songs, all airing on radio stations across South Africa. Her talent swiftly caught the attention of the Cape Brewing Company who signed her on as an ambassador and invited her to collaborate with internationally recognised artists Spoek Mathambo and Die Heuwels Fantasties on the theme song for the company's 'Be Independent' campaign.

Beyond her artistic pursuits, Boskasie graduated university in 2015 with a degree majoring in Psychology and Anthropology, she is also a trained counselor further drawing on these everyday experiences in her art. Two years since her last single was released, Boskasie has formed her own band with whom she's about to drop her new single. I caught up with Boskasie via phone from Mexico City.

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