Toronto residents turn to music for comfort during pandemic

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In the last few months of the pandemic we have seen people engage in all kinds of interests and hobbies to pass the time and deal with stress (baking, new fitness regimes, etc.) .One thing that seems to really keep people’s minds is the music. Whether you’re listening on vinyl, CD, radio or streaming, it can make all the difference in a day.

The right melody can make it easier to just get out of bed and turn a simple walk to work into a Saturday Night Fever style strut.

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“The Arkells are definitely one of my favorites,” college student Lani Copeland told Global News as she strolled along Queen Street West with her headphones on.

“I really think it’s really important to help me cope with whatever is going on. Just taking a walk and listening to music really helps me feel better that way.

For Jada Leakey, it all depends on what touches you.

“Honestly, I think the female rappers like Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi B… they made it fun,” she said.

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Although she started listening to many newer artists during the pandemic, she said she usually listens more to the tunes she grew up with.

Music industry expert Eric Alper says many use music to escape today’s problems and, in theory, go back in time.

“It also allows you to reflect on happier times – before this pandemic hits,” he said.

“We have certainly seen a huge increase in music consumption over the past six or seven months.”

The recent peak in ratings on Toronto radio station Q107, owned by Global News parent company Corus Entertainment, is proof of this. Veteran on-air personality Joanne Wilder said she hears it in listeners’ requests all the time, especially at the start of the pandemic when we were all stuck at home.

“I felt honored to be their friend, their companion through it all,” she told Global News.

“Certainly, requests for music were quite frequent at that time. And there were things all over the map, but mostly things that took them back to a happier time: a concert they saw, times in high school with their buddies, times we got to get together and to party.

“And if they’re not listening to music, they’re making music,” added Alan Cross, host of The Ongoing History of New Music.

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“If you look at parts of the music industry, you’ll find that guitar makers can’t make enough guitars fast enough. Music has therefore become a very important element in surviving all of this.

Toronto musician Brent Lunney can attest to this sentiment. Playing under the nickname “FourOneSix” he said so much downtime has helped him immensely.

“In a strange way, I was a lot more creative because of it. At first it wasn’t so much, but now that we’re sort of normal, yeah, it’s been creative for me.

While the pandemic hasn’t stopped us from listening to our favorite music, even relaxed public gathering restrictions have kept us from enjoying it together in large crowds at live performances. This has made it difficult for musicians and venue operators to make a living, and for fans to show their support as they wish.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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