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Mykele Deville Breaks Down How Coronavirus Is Impacting Artists…

Written by on March 16, 2020

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As COVID-19 cases continue to grow, the creative community is among the many that are grappling with the uncertainty of what may come next.

We checked in with our friend Chicago poet, rapper and hip hop artist Mykele Deville to see how he is staying creatively active during this era of self-isolation. 


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Mykele, of course, it’s hard for everybody, but you’ve got a few different income streams that are being affected by something like this. How are you holding up today?

It’s been a really, really rough day because, you know, this thing is unprecedented. In my lifetime in many people’s lifetimes, I don’t think anybody I know has dealt with something like this. And when you have a lot of income streams all tied together to work around your work for your ambitious, artistic career, when something like this happens, where you have to disconnect from society and community, all of that kind of comes crashing down. I know a lot of friends out there in the service industry and entertainment industry, people who were pushing projects and put in a lot of money behind the scenes are devastated. They feel like they lost a child. They feel very much like they lost the creative energy to continue to move forward because they are depressed and losing their jobs and things like that. 

One of the things that’s kind of feeling the wildest, to me is just kind of the inability to plan for the future. We can’t, even as consumers of art, think about buying tickets or pre-ordering albums or anything like that. It’s uncharted territory here. We’re not all the most organized folks in the world, but we do have things in front of us. How is that? How is that forward calendar looking for you?

You know, I’m doing a lot of relying on the community, through my artistic career and my life in general. I think in order to look to the future and make plans, we have to get through this really, really hard moment, which is still very raw for a lot of people. And like you said, it is already hard on a day-to-day basis to look ahead in this kind of world that we live in, in this country that we live in. But what I’m learning right now, after just the shock wave of all this stuff happening is that you got to kind of come down off your pride, you have to ask for help if you need it. People will provide.

You know, I think there’s gonna be a long time before we can see really far into the future about our financial stability and artistically, and how we can continue to create things in groups of people, and what that may look like and so, you know, we have to get really creative about “The Right Now” so that we can have a future. Which is scary, you know?

There is a silver lining here, I think. All of these creative people are staying home and having the opportunity to come up with new ways to share their art. Are you thinking of new ways to share your creativity?

Due to being forced to be inside of your house in your home this is how many creatives, they have this part installed into their creative regiment anyway where they incubate and they think about new creative ways in which to not only sell their art but sell themselves to the public, and how to how to show that you are still making art and give people more access.

I thought about ways as a rapper, “How can I  continue to rap and do shows and give people a little piece of me?” If anything, they’ve become more aware of my art for today, I’m doing a live stream of just me rapping, kind of like this small concert in my living room. I’m seeing that we can still feel connected through our technology and through the things that we have maybe taken for granted in a world that didn’t have the Coronavirus. I think there’s gonna be a lot of people getting really creative and that’s something I am excited about and keeping my spirits up.

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I can’t wait till this whole thing is in the rear-view mirror and we can get you back into the studio and more importantly, we can come see you in real life doing what you do best on stage. Thank you so much and keep your head up. You always have a home here. You know that.

Thank you for everyone for sticking together. That’s all we got.


HERE ARE WAYS YOU CAN HELP THE CHICAGO REGION GRAPPLE WITH COVID19 COURTESY OF OUR FRIENDS AT WBEZ.