Every week, we ask a different local artist to provide their unique perspective on the pandemic experience from a musician’s point of view. Through words, video and music, each musician will share their story, along with an audio or video sample of a recent project, and a link to purchase their music so that you can support their work.
This week, pianist, singer-songwriter and radio host Laila Biali talks about seeing the silver lining, even through the low times: the benefits of new technologies, the blessing of family time, and potential new projects on the horizon.
"On the one hand, the pandemic and its associated lockdown measures have hugely streamlined our activities as musicians. When I released Out of Dust a year ago, 5 months of global tour dates had to be cancelled without warning. Like everyone, we shifted to doing things virtually – livestreams and pre-recorded presentations. We saw just how much the world needs art and music. In fact, I would argue the pandemic made this even more pronounced, and that's ultimately a good thing. I also think we'll be able to keep using some of these new technologies and presentation options as ways to enhance in-person live performances – to reach wider audiences and people who might not be able to attend live shows themselves.
I've learned that one of the most important qualities to survive this business (pre-pandemic but even more so during) is resilience. That said, I've also learned how important it is for us to give ourselves permission to experience the slump, the disappointment of it all. I've had many blue days over the past few months, and I know I'm not alone; but after the dark, comes the dawn, and the good things feel even sweeter for the bitter times we've had to endure. It's also been powerful training to look for the proverbial silver lining. I'd say the best silver lining for me personally has been more time with our family trio than we've ever had together. Even just a few months following Josh's birth, we were back to touring all over creation, often apart for many weeks out of a given year. The uninterrupted family time over this past year has been incredibly rich for all three of us.
My husband Ben Wittman and I had only performed together as a duo once or twice over the 10 years preceding the pandemic. But while we've been "at home together" this past year, we've had to find our way as a duo. Now we're thinking we'd like to craft a project, and maybe even record an album, specifically designed for this format. We'd also love to involve our son, Josh, on a few tunes and make music as a family band. Who knows – maybe Josh will even join us on stage once venues reopen to the public!"
Learn more about Laila's projects, including how to purchase her music, at lailabiali.com.
Here's a brand new video for Laila's tune "Satellite", made by her creative team in Brooklyn totally within their apartment.