Photo credit Donté Maurice
Quarantine Diaries: World Music Performer Nahko Is Doing Cardio & Performing From His Living Room
As the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the music industry, the Recording Academy reached out to a few musicians to see how they were spending their days indoors. Today, Nahko, of world music collective Nahko and Medicine for the People, shares his Quarantine Diary.
Thursday, April 2
[9 a.m.] I woke up this morning to my alarm at 9 a.m. It's been hard to get up any earlier than that since nothing seems that urgent right now. The only real urgency seems to come from my own internal manic behavior that scolds me for losing daylight. I take time at home, alone, very seriously since my day job usually robs me of that. A routine helps an Aquarius like me ground out and feel sane in my day-to-day. I'm a big fan of lists, mood boards and schedules. Today's schedule is pretty packed. With all the staying at home, I've happily turned my living room into a filming studio for the myriad of requests coming in. One thing I'm grateful for is the gift of music ... a service that can withstand times like these, a welcomed form of resilience.
[10 a.m.] At this point, I've showered and eaten breakfast, which consisted of granola and raspberries, and am drinking my morning quart of lime water. Drinking lime water in the morning helps digestion. Limes are acidic and help saliva break down food—pretty cool. I'm a pretty regular guy though, just trying to be productive at a time where we may find ourselves doing nothing to care for our bodies. Pretty sure that I'm going to come out of this quarantine looking like a Winnie the Pooh on steroids. Honey never looked so good. Anyways, there I was, drinking my lime water post brekkie and preparing for my next move: yoga mat.
[11 a.m. - 12 p.m.] Yogi Bear life. Somehow I've managed to maintain the motivation to keep up my practice. After 30-45 minutes of yoga, it's time to head out to the training course that is my driveway. I do laps around my circular driveway like a hamster on the wheel, hit my garage gym for bench presses and sit-ups, and then hit the driveway again for that daily dose of cardio. You've got to work with what you've got.
[1 p.m. - 4 p.m.] I had back-to-back live Instagram sessions today. This isn't unusual as of late. I've been doing a Sunday Service for our community where I share a live two-hour performance from my living room. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I do a segment called "Real Medicine" where I casually check in with a wide spectrum of my friends over Insta live to get their take on the global crisis and get pearls of wisdom. Guests so far have been Aaron Rogers, Aubrey Marcus, Shailene Woodley, and Trevor Hall. It's hardly a podcast. Made for IGTV. Our attention spans can't handle more than that anyways, let's be honest. Today, like so many other days, I've been able to use my superpowers for good and humbly accepted the request to perform for Global Citizen + WHO. It's good to see NGO's thriving right now, we're all getting creative as to how we can support folks who've lost their jobs and homes and so much more. So, here I am with my afternoon cup of Joe and today's mantra: I am a ray of f**king sunshine.
[5 p.m. - 7 p.m.] After having been on the phone screen for hours, I had to blow off some steam and do some laps around the driveway again. I swear my calves will be Hulk like post 'Rona days. Must be my lucky charms because as I was getting some of that fresh Pacific Northwest oxygen boost, a double rainbow graced the sky and I went ballistic. It's the little things. Ok, no, it's the rainbows. I gladly threw up a shaka and Care Bear'd the F out of that moment. Small victories in a long term search for that mystical pot of gold.
Sitting on a stump, letting the light rain tickle my face, I smiled and closed my eyes. In the background, birds chirped and sang in excitement. Spring isn't canceled. I could hear the quote my auntie shared earlier in the day reverberating in my head like a mantra: in the words of Arundhati Roy, "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing...."
I know how important it is, little moments like this, to just literally soak in and exude gratitude. There are millions less fortunate—it makes me angry to think we are the richest nation in the world and yet we don't have the system set up to protect the most vulnerable in society, let alone small business and so much more. It's just so insane. I take a deep breath. The only solutions I'll be discovering today will be in how I navigate my energy and time. That collective pot of gold is within our reach, but it's going to take all of us working together to discover it.
[8 p.m. - 12 a.m.] Welcome to the final hours of my day. What on earth have I even done today. Plenty. So, what's for dinner? In an effort to make life harder, I committed to no red or white meat till quarantine is over. Yeah, I'm nuts. More challenges? Hit me up. So, a handsome stir fry with vegan chicken is tonight’s serving. Top it off with a healthy, medicinal shot of tequila and boom you've got a meal. Tequila is definitely not canceled. After my five-star meal, I spend the remaining hours of healthy brain activity typing up this journal for you all.
Thanks for reading and remember, there is a future we can believe in right around the corner.
If you wish to support our efforts to assist music professionals in need, learn more about the Recording Academy's and MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.
If you are a member of the music industry in need of assistance, visit the MusiCares website.