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From Erykah Badu to Megan Thee Stallion: A List of Quarantined Artists Staying Connected Through Live Streaming

Written by on March 27, 2020

Graphic: Evanka Williamson

With coronavirus hitting the world hard, many of our favorite artists have turned cabin fever into jam sessions and regular interactions with fans through social media. 

DJs aren’t the only ones who have been streaming more.  

As the nation has been requested to stay home to increase social distancing — in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (aka the coronavirus) — many of our favorite artists have turned cabin fever into jam sessions and regular interactions with fans through social media. 

With numerous tours being postponed well into the fall, performance changes have altered the schedules of artists, but the quarantine has given fans the ability to boost support of their favorite acts. Last Friday, Bandcamp waived their share of revenue for digital music sales, paying artists 100% of sales through music and merchandise. Though concerts have been put on pause for the foreseeable future, this hasn’t stopped artists from maintaining a connection with their audience.

Okayplayer compiled a running list of artists who are keeping fans entertained from the comfort of their homes.

Tinashe

@tinasheDad wants in 🤖 ##computerized ##foryou ##fyp♬ computerized love – jubyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

 Following the postponement of select dates on her TOUR FOR YOU, Tinashe has been joining in on viral traction via TikTok. She has done everything from join in on Megan Thee Stallion’s #SavageChallenge to dance with her dad to Zapp & Roger’s “Computer Love.” As death rates due to the virus have heightened, she’s even offered to auction some of her paintings to support families in need during the pandemic. That’s not all: on Thursday, March 26th, she announced that she was going to live stream a concert from her home studio.

The show must go on! Tomorrow I’m gonna do a fun live Stream “concert” from my home studio… 💕 I’ll be performing “Songs For You” on livexlive, YouTube, and IG TOMORROW pic.twitter.com/0KPe6NPG7D

— TINASHE (@Tinashe) March 26, 2020

Tyler, the Creator

Tyler, the Creator and ASAP Rocky talking about coronavirus on Instagram Live has to be the funniest thing i’ve seen all day 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/jKDSURN8kT

— Odd Future Fans (@itsOddFuture) March 23, 2020

if you’re looking for Tyler, the Creator, he’s gone sledding. After giving fans a taste of production, he was joined by A$AP Rocky for an Instagram Live chat full of trolling. While Rocky was intent on listening to Tyler’s new music, Tyler was solely intrigued by seeing what Rocky was wearing.

Swae Lee

@SwaeLee bringing @lildurk on stage for the first ever Corona Virus Festival 😂💀 pic.twitter.com/1fkhr2IH4R

— ✰ Flex Finito ✰ (@flexfinito) March 21, 2020

Swae Lee is stuck in the studio. So he decided to transform his setting into a makeshift concert, inviting fans to join in through Instagram Live. With no fee for admission, Lee went all out, performing hits from Rae Sremmurd, stage diving for his “sold-out” concert and inviting one lucky fan “on stage.” Viewers were even surprised by an appearance from Chicago rapper Lil Durk, who tuned into Swae Lee’s studio antics.

John Legend 

Inspired by Coldplay’s  #TogetherAtHome performance, via Global Citizen, John Legend followed suit. For the performance, which went down last week, he was joined by his wife, Chrissy Teigan, and their two children. As Teigan cozied up to Legend on the piano, he uplifted the spirits of viewers by performing “All of Me” and debating the government’s pandemic tactics on Twitter. In support of her husband, Teigan has even reinvited viewers into their family’s household through daily meal prep. Perhaps a quarantine cooking show is on the horizon?

H.E.R.

The usually reserved two-time Grammy award winner H.E.R. didn’t shy away from fans, hosting an Instagram Live performance from the privacy of her bedroom last Wednesday. With a guitar in hand, she sang new single “Comfortable” and even covered Stevie Wonder. Keeping the #StayatHome vibe cozy, H.E.R. even curated an “At Home” playlist for TIDAL.

Miguel

Requested by John Legend to do a follow-up #TogetherAtHome performance, Miguel jammed on Instagram Live while simultaneously holding a Q&A with fans. The performance closely followed his feature on Jhene Aiko’s new single “Happiness Over Everything” alongside Future. But Miguel was open to hearing fans’ song requests prior to the live stream. As nearly three years have passed since the release of his fourth album, War & Leisure, listeners are in high anticipation of his next project.

Thundercat 

With his fourth full-length album, It Is What It Is, set to release next week, Thundercat’s rollout has been comical, reciting a spoken-word version of “Slob on My Knob” alongside Zack Fox, Eric Andre and others in light of the celebrity assembled tone-deaf “Imagine” cover. (He also found time to praise actor Don Cheadle for his electric guitar skills.)

Megan Thee Stallion

Megan Thee Stallion is going viral for her #SavageChallenge. The dance has boosted streams for Megan Thee Stallion’s new EP Suga. Properly crediting the choreographer, Keke Janajah, numerous celebrities have picked up the dance during the quarantine, including Keke Palmer, Justin Bieber, Normani and Ryan Destiny. Janet Jackson even joined in on the #SavageChallenge, using a compilation of past music videos.

Jhené Aiko

While promoting her third solo album, Chilombo, Jhene Aiko has helped fans find inner zen by playing sacral singing bowls on Instagram, reflecting her “Trigger Protection Mantra” from last year. Despite mainly staying at home, Aiko recently sat down with Ebro Darden of Beats 1 Radio to introduce him to her collection of singing bowls and speaking on the creation of Chilombo.

Saweetie

Along with throwing a quarantine party of her own, the ‘Icy Girl’ Saweetie hasn’t stopped her bag. Following an intimate makeup tutorial with Vogue, Saweetie capitalized on a makeup move of her own, releasing a festival-centric collaboration with MORPHE. While Coachella has been postponed until October, Saweetie’s movement is still rolling creating a one-of-one pair of Adidas Superstars on Complex series “Custom Made” and joining influencer Nikita Dragun on the YouTube series “SLURPS & SHADES” over a seafood mukbang.

Travis Scott 

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👁 Igtv

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Before releasing the visual for JACKBOYS single “OUT WEST” with Young Thug, Travis Scott held a surprise production session on IGTV. While it’s unknown if Scott is releasing a new project in the near future, his Nike SB Dunks have steadily sold out upon release, and he’s soon to unveil Houston boutique, Space Village, with Chase B.

Ari Lennox

Returning to her faithful Instagram Live followers during a recent livestream, Ari Lennox was surprised by actor Lakeith Stanfield, who asked her out on a date. Comfortably wearing cornrows, Lennox jokingly vented about the coronavirus with fans, and even did an impromptu cover of Aretha Franklin.

Snoop Dogg

“I know ya’ll need some music to get by right now,” said Snoop Dogg, hosting Levi’s 501 Live on Instagram as DJ Snoopadelic. With a mix of old school and contemporary soul, Snoop was right at home, with fellow LA rap veterans B-Real and DJ Battlecat giving their support in the comments. Despite social distancing, Snoop has continued viral momentum, last hosting an episode of YouTube series GGN with recent guest Lil Skies. He also has been going on Live to play some jams. 

Masego

Continuing his streak of “Sego Sundays”, a crowned Masego played a saxophone version of “Tadow” on Instagram as fans begged him for a live stream concert in the comments. 

Erykah Badu

Probably the most anticipated livestream performance was straight from Erykah Badu’s bedroom in Dallas. With a drum machine at hand, Erykah and her band cozied up for “Apocalypse One,” the first of her Quarantine Concert Series. With a $1 admission for fans to watch the concert on Twitch, fans had the ability to explore merch on Badu World Market and vote for which songs she could perform. At one point, fans could decide if Badu could take off her pants or take off her wig. Keeping the live stream relatively PG-13, Badu did the latter, singing “Twinkle,” “On & On,” “Bump,” and “Master Teacher,” shouting out producer Georgia Anne Muldrow. Always ahead of the times, Badu implied that government martial law was soon to come, but that fans were welcome to return for the remainder of the Quarantine Concert Series, as the live stream didn’t end until well past 3 AM EST.

James Blake

On Monday, March 23 James Blake (and his piano) broadcasted a live performance on Instagram Live. He did songs from his catalog, like “The Colour in Anything” and “Retrograde,” and covered jams from Frank Ocean, Radiohead, Bill Withers, and more.

Talib Kweli

Legendary rapper Talib Kweli has been hopping on his Instagram Live to broadcast very specific hip-hop sets. On Wednesday, March 25th, he did a set featuring some of the greatest rap verses of all time. On Thursday, March 26th, he’s planning on doing a set where he plays only ’90s raps. Plug in.

👀💪🏾🎶🎧THE GEN X HIP HOP EXPERIENCE: LYRICALLY DEFT RAPPER/DJ TALIB KWELI LIGHTIN’ UP HIS IG LIVE!

Video credit – @TalibKweli. #TalibKweli #rap #djtalibkweli #djs #hiphop #GenX #GenXers #GenXHipHop #IGLive #Lockdown21 #ThursdayMotivation #21daylockdown #music #NYC #NJ #Philly pic.twitter.com/tvI8bv2rKB

— STEFBLACKGENX! (@_stephanbaker) March 26, 2020

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Jaelani Turner-Williams is a writer based in Columbus, Ohio, contributing monthly to the city’s entertainment guide (614) Magazine. She has also written for the likes of Bust Magazine, Bandcamp Daily, Vinyl Me, Please, Vibe Magazine, AFROPUNK and more. Inspired by Columbus writing veterans Hanif Abdurraqib and Scott Woods, Jaelani focuses strongly on cultural pieces, especially within the realm of music and social criticism. You can follow her @hernameisjae

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