This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing indie artist Ana Lete. Centered in Boise, Idaho, Ana brings a unique, ethereal vibe to her performances and studio tracks.
Alisha: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Ana: My name is Ana Lete. I’ve been a full-time independent musician since 2017 and make most of my income from a combination of live performances, merch sales, and teaching private guitar & ukulele lessons.
Alisha: How has COVID-19 affected your income as a full-time musician? Have you had to pick up a non-music job?
Ana: COVID-19 dramatically changed my income overnight. Once the threat of COVID-19 became real and everyone began quarantining themselves in mid march, I went from having about 30 private students to 14 students overnight.
Luckily, I was able to move several students to remote online guitar & ukulele lessons, so I haven’t had to find a non-music job yet.
Alisha: How are you adapting within the field of music [in order to bring in more money in non-traditional ways]?
Ana: Interestingly, I thought teaching guitar lessons online remotely would have several drawbacks and wouldn’t be as successful as in-person lessons, but I’ve actually found the opposite to be true. I’m able to teach everything I normally would over the internet. While I can’t play along with my students in real time like I could in an in-person lesson, I can send them what I would play via recordings. I think students actually prefer this because they can practice with my backing tracks throughout the week and still get a sense of what it’s like to play with another person.
On the live performance front, I’ve found that Facebook & Instagram Live sessions are a great alternative. While it will never take the place of being on a stage in front of a crowd of people, I have found that those who do tune in to my Instagram & Facebook Live sessions are extremely supportive, giving, and come from all over the world. It feels great to perform for a world-wide audience over the internet and not only be limited to playing locally.
Alisha: Any advice for musicians who are struggling mentally and emotionally in terms of lack of live, in-person performance?
Ana: I’d say this: Treat your instagram & Facebook live sessions like an actual performance. Pretend you are on stage and do everything you normally would do. I find that by treating them that way and jumping in like I would at a real gig, it feels more like a real performance to me. I find that even if I start a live session and only play 2-3 songs, afterwards, I feel great because my need for performing has still been met.
While we’re on the subject of mental health, though, I’ll be real: the first month of quarantine was extremely hard. I felt down for losing so many students and not being able to perform at Treefort Music Fest, and I felt anxious because of the sudden overnight changes and the social challenges that came with quarantine.
Now, I’ve been quarantined for a little over 2 months, and I find that I’m finally starting to adapt to quarantine life in a better way. Instead of being down on myself for losing so many students, I do what I can to bring more new students on board and appreciate the students who have stuck with me in these times. Instead of lamenting over the loss of all the live shows I’d be playing this spring & summer, I do what I can to share my music over the internet in hopes that it makes other people feel less alone or bored at home.
You can hear Ana’s most recent [and very fitting] release, Eternal Hibernation, here: https://analete.bandcamp.com/album/eternal-hibernation.
If you are interested in viewing her live, virtual sets, you can find her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter: @AnaLeteMusic
For those interested in taking guitar or ukulele lessons from Ana Lete online, you can learn more about online lessons and contact her through her website: http://analete.com/guitarlessons
Photos from: http://www.facebook.com/analetemusic
Stay healthy –
| Alisha Peru | www.alishaperu.com