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  • Writer's pictureJake Brewer

How Quarantine... Sparked My Creativity

About a month ago I moved out of my college apartment in Boston and hopped on a nearly-empty flight back to San Francisco to spend quarantine with my family. I'd be lying if I said a huge part of me feared how being back home would influence not only my academics and conclusion to my junior year, but my creativity and the initiative I only feel when I'm on my own in Boston.

However, I learned it takes some interesting scenarios for you to surface feelings and emotions. I recently was talking to a friend of mine over FaceTime, walking around my parents' neighborhood, talking about how much writing I've been doing. It's not only the excess free time I have due to the absence of all curricular activities, but the desire I have to constantly fill every hour of my day with some defined productivity.

In the months preceding the worldwide pandemic, I was finishing my third album. I wrote a lot of somber music, reflective ideas came to mind and I poured an emotional burden into 12 songs. At that point, I decided I'd be taking a hiatus from music for a while. I wanted to take the time to focus on finishing my final semesters strong and enjoy being with my friends before we go separate ways. I also wanted to invest every hour I had into building out my headlining summer tour, which was slated to start at the end of April (and obviously has been postponed into the fall. Crossing my fingers I still get to hit that stage soon!)

As I sat on my parents couch and closed my laptop after Zoom classes, I found hours left in my day to fill. I began writing thoughts and tried manifesting and imagining the feeling when I'd be back with my friends again. As summer got closer, I brought my microphone into the car parked outside and began recording some new stuff, mostly to entertain myself at this point. I fell in love with these songs and ironically found myself writing some of the most upbeat and hopeful songs I had.

When I wasn't making whipped coffee or baking vegan treats, I was writing, dreaming up this new concept, a new EP and collection of music of a time in my life and story I don't think I've told. I had my little sister take photos after we cleared some furniture and we spent a few hours editing them to see what we could make from a simple iPhone picture.

If this time isn't driving us a little stir crazy and making us thankful for the little things, then I think it's also opening our minds to the thought creativity doesn't take a large budget, massive studio, or team of professionals. I've produced a new collection of songs, filmed a video and taken cover art with my sister, and wrote some of my favorite lyrics.

I've also begun writing a few scripts (something I never even thought I'd tackle) and set goals for myself, thinking of how I can expand my YouTube and build an even larger show to share later this year. The silver lining is that time, no matter where we are or under what circumstances, is a blessing. If I wasn't forced to move out and come home, these songs, this project, this ideas would have never been developed. There would be no new music. The show I'd be creating wouldn't be the same, or as good as it stands right now.

It took me a while, and trust me when I say a while, to realize the blessing in disguise of this time. If you're stir crazy and beginning to feel a lack of purpose like I am, then think what will give you purpose. It's much easier said than done, and will take time, but turns out we have plenty of it.

We see our everyday lives and feelings from a new perspective when we don't have them. And, at least in my memory, there's been no time like right now that feels like an out of body experience, where I feel so detached from a daily routine I'd complain about. Now, all I want is to walk the same streets and say hi to the same people again. Until then, I'll be creating, because what's giving me hope right now is thinking of the celebration we'll have once this is all over... and the new music I made that we can all dance to.

That being said... enjoy the first release of many. "Sad for the Summer" out now, let it be your anthem to not let the good times go away. I hope you enjoy.


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