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ISM member and classical soprano, Donna-Marie Povey discusses the challenges faced by independent artists during COVID-19 and taking a leap of faith by releasing her latest album, 'First Take'.
Choosing to reinvent myself, both in light of and in spite of the COVID-19 crisis, has been terrifying and liberating, in equal measure. I have, as a singing teacher and performer, been challenged by the ongoing circumstances.
The enforced silence in theatres across the land, the rules about no public singing, the need for virtual lessons and the empty orchestra pits, paint an uncertain landscape for so many of us.
I, like my fellow music professionals, will not be deterred. We are a resilient community and I have found new strength and creativity within myself that has been born from this very challenging time. It is very true, that it has never been more important for musicians to be protected, supported and represented.
So many have worked tirelessly in lockdown to get the stage doors flung open once more, whilst simultaneously seeking to embrace the digital democracy of the current era. For me, this began with singing to my pupils and friends via social media, as a way of connecting, and with the support of my digital community raised an awesome amount for the NHS. I am no Captain Tom Moore, but it made a small difference.
From this, my following grew, and now, after many requests to do so, I am proud to say that, as an independent, female, British, classical artist, I have released my debut album. It is a beautiful live recording of classical pieces, which feels rather poignant given the current restrictions on live singing. It was recorded some time ago, in a beautiful Cheshire church with wonderful acoustics.
As I am sure you will appreciate this is a huge leap of faith. With neither a record label, nor radio play, to amplify this shot in the dark, I am curious to see if one voice really can 'break-through' and be a beacon of light to others who have considered similar ventures, but perhaps have not yet dared to dream.
On the point of radio play, truly independent artists, such as myself, do not seem to have access to the radio station contacts that can help make such a huge difference to an artist's profile. Please don't think I will accept this as a done deal, I will endeavour to get this 'On Air'. Until I brave that horizon, please know this; each order that is placed, or each friend that you tell about the girl from Manchester who is locked down, but simultaneously ‘released’, makes a massive difference.
The ISM have supported and encouraged me to share my story, in the hope that it might inspire other musicians in these uncertain and daunting times.
I truly believe that together, we are a powerful voice, not just for music but also due to our adaptability and entrepreneurship within our community.
Thank you for your support.
Donna-Marie's album First Take is now available at donnamariepovey.com and is available for download via iTunes Store.