The Survival of the EccentroSoul 1 Woman Band During Covid-19

by Chaquis Maliq

COVID-19 has impacted everyone differently and has definitely been a drag for me. Some may have not been affected at all. While some effects are horrifically worse than others; I wanted to thank the colleges and universities that have booked me through Neon Entertainment, despite all the challenges of this pandemic, world-changing events, and tragedies that have yanked us out of our element.

I was so ready to go on my college tour after playing the 2019 NACA Mid-America showcase in Kentucky. But then everything changed for me in October. A natural disaster happened hours before the show, and it was canceled while I was en route. Then a local book festival’s private event.

was canceled just days before the performance. Then it was just a domino effect from there. Performing is my living, there’s no back-up plan. This entire journey involves me and music.

Thus, March 2020 comes around and now I’ve been in the house since October 2019. Yes, my one year mark is coming up. But I can’t make any anniversary plans to celebrate without a stimulus check number two. Wondering what I did with the first stimulus check? Well, my account was already overdrawn of course, like so many other people, so the check dwindled faster than I wish it had. But I wanted to make some cosmetic updates to my apartment. I hated the way it looked at this point. My living is touring, so I was never home a lot.

Photo by Andrew Whitaker

I had actually planned to move. But COVID-19 had other plans. And then the virtual performance requests started, and full-blown anxiety mode commenced. I wasn’t ready, and for sure did not want the look of my space at the time to become public. So, thankfully, virtual shows were moved to later dates, and I was able to have a decent serene space to perform for college students.

I was so ready for my virtual show(s) to be catastrophic. But Neon Entertainment made sure that sound checks, internet connections, lighting, and video frames were in place prior to performances. Though nothing beats connecting with a live audience and the shared energy. There’s a sense of freedom, and room for improvisation and crowd participation. But I do my best to make sure I’m playing as if the viewers are actually in my home with me. I speak to them, tell them about my songs, give words of encouragement, and more. I feel that just because it’s not a physical show, doesn’t mean that I can’t provide the same spirit of me performing in front of a live audience, to a virtual crowd. 

Thanks for reading! I’ll be back with more updates in November.

-Chaquis Maliq The EccentroSoul 1 Woman Band