The new coronavirus has devastated the live-music industry and gigging culture. Many musicians have found themselves in the midst of a financial crisis with no venues to perform at and no studios to record in. If you’ve wondered about the best ways to support artists who suddenly lost their main source of income, the best answer is to skip streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music and actually go out and buy their albums. Right now is one of the best times to do just that.
As the music online retailer, Bandcamp, did in March, they are waiving their fees that typically come when an artist sells music on their site and allowing 100% of all sales to go to the musicians themselves. Fans have paid artists $496 million USD using Bandcamp, and $16.5 million in the last 30 days alone.
The website has pledged to do the same on the first Friday in June and July as well while the nation slowly opens up and the economy attempts to get back up on its feet. So, if there’s a time to invest in some new music, it’s today. In a letter from co-founder and CEO Ethan Diamond, he explained how important it is to help artists struggling during this health crisis.
He wrote, “On March 20, 2020, we waived our revenue share in order to help artists and labels impacted by the pandemic. The Bandcamp community showed up in a massive way, spending $4.3 million on music and merch —15x the amount of a normal Friday— helping artists cover rents, mortgages, groceries, medications, and so much more. It was truly inspiring.”
Bandcamp is home to thousands of musicians and artists who need the music fans’ support more than ever. Here are some crazy talented people that you should buy a record from today.
Knxwledge has been a major collaborator with Anderson .Paak, but Knxwledge is just as creative with his soulful hip-hop beats and over 100 releases on Bandcamp. His latest album, "1988", is available now for purchase.
2. Nick Hakim
Nick Hakim, a Brooklyn-based artist, announced his new album "WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD" will be released on May 15, 2020. According to his Bandcamp profile, he says the record was made as an ode to his late friend and a reminder to check in on your loved ones. "If I really sink into a recording, I don't want it to end," Nick says. "It's repetitive and hypnotizing, like a trance — that's intentional. The song is my ode to him. It's my attempt to relate to how he must have been feeling."
3. Nicole Amine
According to her Bandcamp bio, Nicole Amine is a songwriter hailing from the metro Detroit area but now is based in Chicago. With Motown and soul influences, Nicole’s smooth voice sings along with her thoughtful lyrics. She just recently released an acoustic EP called "n/a" that she actually wrote recorded at her home while in quarantine.
4. Chicano Batman
This psych-soul quartet from Los Angeles brings all the groove that anyone could need for a good pick me up during this unprecedented time. The band released their latest album, "Invisible People", on May 1, 2020. According to their Bandcamp page, the album “is a statement of hope, a proclamation that we are all invisible people, and that despite race, class, or gender we can overcome our differences and stand together.”
Minnesota native and rapper, Prof, also known as Jacob "Jake" Anderson, recently released his single, “Squad Goals,” which is the first single from his soon-to-be-released album, "Powderhorn Suites". Prof is known for his eccentric and eclectic style as he alternates between rapping and singing, between humor and drama, between joy and anger. "Powderhorn Suites" is available for pre-order now on his Bandcamp page.
6. The Bros. Landreth
There is nothing quite like family harmonies, and The Bros. Landreth have that in spades. A Rolling Stone review praised the band’s “quiet storm of slide guitar solos, blue notes, and three-part harmonies.” The brothers got together to play music in their hometown of Winnipeg in 2013 and have recently released another album, "'87". And right now, you can purchase their entire discography on Bandcamp for under $20.