The spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus has confined people to their homes and most people are working from home. This, however, hasn’t stopped people from being creative and innovative. As a part of World Health Organisation’s #TogetherAtHome series, a slew of international celebrities have been doing concerts live on Instagram and Twitter. From Chris Martin to Charlie Puth to John Legend, musicians have been doing Instagram lives over the last week. As fear rises across the world, these concerts provide some comfort as we try to navigate our work.
Even Indian artists like Vir Das and Aisi Taisi Democracy have announced an Instagram concert, but the date that it will take place on is not certain yet.
Gully Boy music arranger and music composer Ankur Tewari also did live concerts on Instagram. He’s already done three and also put up a story on 23 March saying that there will be one more tomorrow.
Tewari’s soothing melodies ‘Aainda’, ‘Dil Peparwah’ help people unwind and after the massive stress and panic caused by coronavirus. Tewari also released a playlist he had created for himself so that people have a bunch of calming songs to listen to, at any given point. In an interview with The Hindu, Tewari said it was imperative for him to share the playlist because, after all, ‘music is healing’.
Singer and composer Prateek Kuhad too announced a concert that will take place on 25 March at 9 pm. He put out a tweet mentioning the same, and also mentioned that he might play some of his ‘new’ tracks.
These concerts feel a lot more informal because they’re being streamed on a social media platform. It feels like you’re hanging out with a bunch of friends, and people send in requests for their favourite songs. Most musicians use either just a guitar or a keyboard, so it’s quite minimalistic.
Lyricist and singer Swanand Kirkire also did an Instagram live singing some old melodies like ‘Bawra Mann’ and ‘O ri Chiraiya’. The interactive nature of a live, also meant that several requests came in particularly for Bollywood songs. And so he ended up singing ‘Eena Mena Dika’ and ‘Saanjh dhale gagan tale’.
This, however, isn’t the only way members of the film and music fraternity are reaching out to people. Filmmaker Ritesh Batra has been conducting online screenwriting workshops at 2 pm EST every day on Instagram.
There is also a classical music concert that is happening on 29 March at 7:30 pm called ‘The Home and the World #ShutInConcert’. While you’ll have to pay to access the concert, it is for a good cause. The funds collected are for artists whose concerts have been displaced because of the coronavirus spread. The concert streams on Shaale.com and will feature artists like T.M. Krishna, Akkarai Subhalakshmi and B. Sivaraman.
Meanwhile, artists abroad too have been doing the same. Coldplay’s lead singer Chris Martin was one of the first people do a concert live on Instagram. He sang one of their most iconic songs ‘Yellow’ among others. The concert went on for about 30 minutes with Chris playing the guitar and piano. He later mentioned how different artists should do this every day and passed the baton to John Legend who happily took it up.
Singers Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello also went live on Shawn’s Instagram handle as they sang “Kiss Me” by Ed Sheeran. It was followed by “Lost In Japan” and “Havana.” The live then ended with the duo’s massively successful collaboration “Señorita.”
Pakistani singer Ali Sethi has also done an Instagram live, humming songs while playing the keyboard.