‘Using the Power of Music to Heal and Bond during Coronavirus Pandemic’

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Solomon Islands musician, George Kuper aka Sio.

BY ALEX DADAMU

USING your voice to share the healing powers of music during the coronavirus pandemic can help deal with issues relating to the Pandemic, according to Solomon Islands musician, George Kuper aka Sio.

As cities all over the world shut down to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, a new crop of videos emerged on the internet: Music Challenges, COVID19 Songs, etc … Sio in an exclusive interview with Sunday Isles shares his perspectives on how music-making can bring people together during the coronavirus pandemic.

He said that writers and music composers use music to ‘shares ideas and emotions’ from personal experiences – Substantial Concepts to collective ones.

“In our case, people all over the world including the Solomon Islands are feeling the same pain through this Corona Virus Pandemic which has created an emotional urge/tendency to share their feelings or efforts to help deal with issues relating to the Pandemic,” Sio expressed.

George Kuper was a core foundational member of Onetox band which burst onto the scene in 2008 with their ground-breaking viral smash hit song “Ramukanji” which took the Pacific region by storm, hitting no.1 on charts in many small and big island states.

Though the band has been quiet lately, Sio is currently a solo music artist, featuring collaborations with renowned reggae and dancehall artists both local and international.

Power of Music to Heal and Bond

He explained that there is a reason music is found in every known culture. Music moves us at the level of the body, the brain, and the group. The interactive reaction that we achieve through making music links our minds and bodies, enhancing social cohesion, bonding, and other positive outcomes.

“Right now, in a period in which the need for social bonding is perhaps greater than ever, we are glad to see socially isolated people still finding a way to make music together. Sing on, together!”

He stated whether it be about the loss of lives during Corona, Social Distancing, Economical Recession, or Racism.
“Only Music that resonates feelings/message relating to how people currently want to feel can bring us together during this time of Trial,” Sio said.

The well-known Solomon’s musician further said that music represents expressions of feelings by actions or reactions.

“I think during this time of Crisis the best representation Music can offer is to support ‘Campaigns’ for Cultural Preservation and Sustainable Development,” Sio expressed.

Solomon Islands Music Society Affected by the Pandemic

In the meantime, when asked about if there has been any plan initiated by members of the Music Society who are affected by the crisis – to seek help from the Government Economic Stimulus Package, Sio said, “Not to my knowledge but if there isn’t one, there should be.”

He revealed that he as a Member of the Australian Royalty Collection Society Namely APRA (Australian Performing Rights Association) Member Writers/Composers like himself have been notified and has applied for the AUD$2000.00 COVID-19 Stimulus Package without any strings attached.

This grant is intended to inject cash flow to continue production both Audio and Video within the APRA’s Member community.

APRA said that this should help with the Projected Financial loss by the end of 2020 and 2021.

Advise for Local Performing Musicians

Sio advised fellow musicians in the country is to deliver as much 2020 Contents as possible especially Official Music Videos for each product since he said more fans are isolated at home.

“Not forgetting Live Video Performance streams to engage with fans and crowdfund donations for a greater cause like helping victims affected by the Corona Virus Pandemic. These should help with building a healthy fan base, remember this sequence, Record, Publish, and Promote.”

He said live bands in the Solomon Islands depend on live performance in night-clubs and venues across Honiara city but that has been shuttered leaving the biggest income revenue for live bands affected.

However, Sio revealed, that is just one out of four (4) Services in the Music Industry – there are other three (3) Services to Capitalize on, meaning that Live Performances in Public has now being reduced to Isolated Live Video Performances on Social Media and other Musical Promoting Platforms.

“Now since Live Performance along with its revenue has come to a halt due to COVID-19 Social Distancing. Promoters/ P.R.O’s (Performing Rights Organizations) are encouraging Writers/Composers to maximize production and capitalize innovatively in Recorded Performances (Audio+ Video). This is the reason for the New Crop of Videos emerging.

“For Example the string of Reaction Videos caused by the Recent Release of DMP products to the World on DJ Victor Lopez Publishing Network.

“Since only One out of Four services is being Affected Due to Social Distancing, Musicians with Online Marketing Knowledge and Support will be the Only Ones who will Transpire with the remaining three (3) Services, targeting Local and Global Distributions Online,” he explained.