Like many during this time, the music industry in Malaysia has taken a big hit as a result of this ongoing pandemic
Shows have had to be put on hold, many performers have lost their jobs, and the creative entertainment industry has been forced to find ways to not only survive but to thrive.
Four music industry experts in Malaysia recently sat down in a panel discussion to talk about how to navigate these turbulent times
As many are no longer able to perform at live venues and have lost their main revenue stream, creative director and co-founder of Creative Agency Asia (CAA), Hayze, lobbied for a training programme to help musicians, artistes, and producers upskill and stay relevant to the changing needs.
With support from HRDF Penjana, Hayze, who is also one of Malaysia's biggest electronic music exports and DJ, partnered with Meredith McLean, executive producer at Maveriq Studios, a leading studio in Southeast Asia, to set up the programme called The Intermediate Music Production Course.
"Looking at the way that the pandemic affected the community, we realised that upskilling was the key component to helping the industry. Not by giving financial handouts, but actually skilling them up to help themselves," explains Paul Morrison, founder of Maveriq Studios and an award-winning composer and producer himself.
Joining the course run by CAA, performing artiste and singer-songwriter Russell Curtis shares how the pandemic has meant that he needed to find new ways to put his music out there
On 18 April, he performed live from his home for the first time on his show called the Russell Curtis Homecoustics Session.
"That was my turnaround, driven purely from realising that the scene has changed, after being a live performer for 15 years. This is going to be the biggest upskill project of my life."
The course introduced him to the new skills needed for him to navigate this new environment.
"We all realised that the industry was in trouble. Everyone across the board, from those in the DJ community, performing artistes like Russell who couldn't perform in live venues."
"We saw the opportunity to approach the government and try to get them to see that this was an industry that really needed support. These musicians needed to learn new skills in order to be able to transition into this new landscape and to create new revenue streams," Meredith explains.
They share that the main goal is not only to upskill and adapt to new technology, but to also support each other within the industry
CAA's training programme is a means to encourage artistes and musicians to adapt despite the challenges, and to continue to lift the standards of the industry as a whole.
To find out more about the programme, click here.