Vancouver musician performing for strangers during COVID-19 shutdown
VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – As the live music scene is blocked due to COVID-19, a local musician is doing what he can to make the most of a bad situation by performing for strangers on the beaches of Vancouver.
Singer-songwriter Travis James has been pursuing music for almost a decade now, and he says being an artist is a struggle and the pandemic has only added to the pressure. But the barriers COVID-19 has placed on the industry have also given it a new perspective.
âPart of the quest to be an artist is, you know, that money isn’t the main goal, and you always do it because you really love it,â he says.
While James wondered how he would make a living from his art in the past, he says the challenges of the pandemic have helped him refocus on what matters.
âI really have a mentality not to let COVID be a reason not to go ahead. It’s just different things and finding different ways to stream your music. “
A few years ago James started performing for people on Vancouver beaches, but with the popularity of TikTok he started posting old footage. And when the weather started to heat up, James and his team headed to local beaches to serenade other strangers.
@travisjamesmusicJust a man and his dog. ## Vancouver ## fyp ## fyâ¬ original sound – Travis James
âIt actually gave me a chance to play more than likely a lot of artists. I really tried to take it as an opportunityâ¦ I did 10 shows this week, âhe says.
âLet’s move forward, let’s be positiveâ¦ I understand that for a lot of artists it’s just a really tough time and I hope I can be an inspiration for anyone who loves art to think outside the box beaten. And it’s a story where people can say, “Hey, there are waysâ¦ to be creative or different.”
James adds that the response from strangers has been amazing and TikTok users seem to agree – he has drawn hundreds of thousands of viewers for his mini-concerts.
âAs an artist, some of the deepest moments of my life have been experienced doing this,â he says.
âI feel like every person, I get to see a little glimpse of who they are. When you play music it’s that really vulnerable moment where I let my guard down because I share my art, and they let their guard down because the art kind of cuts off the exterior that they have. This allows these truly beautiful and authentic moments between two strangers.
@travisjamesmusicCan I serenade you afterwards? ## Vancouver ## fyp ## fyâ¬ BDE (Best Day Ever) – Mac Miller
James created a TikTok last month where he said his goal is to perform so that every person in Vancouver is one of the best-known musicians. While the goal may be ambitious, he says he knows that “the only way to get there is to do this job.”
âI am ready to meet everyone. I am ready to put myself in the public and in the eye of the storm and share my gifts with people. And it’s my main goal to just share my music with as many people as possible. “
@travisjamesmusicHit if you live in a van ## Vancouver ## guitartok ##songwriter ## fyp ## fyâ¬ original sound – Travis James
If you are lucky enough to spot James with his guitar, he promises that he will also keep a safe distance and adhere to COVID safety advice while offering you a song.