An exclusive interview with Karina Galicia, a Mexican singer, and songwriter

Karina Galicia is a Mexican singer, songwriter, and arranger originally from the city of Puebla. Graduated from the Bachelor of Jazz Studies at the Center for Jazz Studies of the Universidad Veracruzana.

Karina Galicia’s music represents a musical experience that she names “Songbook of the New Millennium”. A balance of soul-jazz, Mexican song, and forceful lyrics.

Karina Galicia talks about her context and her surroundings, defies the traditional forms of the author’s song, and leaves a mark that lasts for its rawness, honesty, and beauty.

She has participated in different national and international festivals such as the Cantares 2019 CDMX Festival or the Cumbre Tajín Papantla 2019 Festival.

Musician selected as part of the Advanced Jazz Performers Workshop organized by CENART and De Quinta Producciones in conjunction with New York All-Stars 2016 and 2018.

She is currently in the Composition Workshop of the Society of Authors and Composers.

Tunitemusic could have an exclusive interview with this stupendous independent musician and talk about the effects of coronavirus on the music industry and life of the independent musicians with Karina Galicia from Mexico.

Did you have to cancel any of your performances or new releases because of the Coronavirus?

Since the first prevention recommendations began in Mexico, we began to be very afraid

about canceling concerts.

In my case, the first thing that happened was that an art festival in which I had a presentation scheduled with my band, they sent us an official email to reschedule the date and they still did not know what date the festival would resume. They have not contacted us again.

On the other hand, I had a season scheduled in a theater in Mexico City, there were 4 full-band

presentations that were going to be part of the programming of the City’s Theater System and were going to be paid for by them. In the same way, they contacted me to reschedule the dates (we still do not know if they can be rescheduled since the Secretary of Culture does not have information about it) and that they would pay us the dates in advance as a sign of support for the participating artists and companies.

All the concerts we had scheduled in Jazz Clubs and independent forums were also canceled, both in Mexico City and in nearby states, practically in a matter of a week, we had already run out of concerts for the next 3 months.

What was the effect of the pandemic on your income?

Affect significantly. At least in my case and in the case of several colleagues, playing in private

presentations, festivals, artistic tours, or concerts of our projects were what gave us 40% percent of our monthly economic income.

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Did the pandemic and new situation have an effect on your lifestyle?

Definitely yes. The first thing that started was the chaos, anxiety attacks because we were running out of work and they were not providing us with payment waivers in the rent of our apartments, for example. Then came insomnia, because I worried too much about work and that the world was changing. Then I wanted to be extremely productive now that I was locked up at home like I felt guilty for not doing the same amount of work, and for a week I spent practically all day glued to the computer looking for how to transfer my work and my artistic work to an online version.

Two weeks after the quarantine was decreed in Mexico City, my partner and I decided to go to the house of my parents who live in a state close to the city. They offered us help to save the money we were earning and That would help us cope with the pandemic.

So far, 3 months have passed like this, I have learned to be patient and my study routine has also changed, I decided to take singing lessons again and set composition and creation goals.

I made a routine for every day, I have learned to enjoy the moments of my days, every morning I get up at 7 am to exercise (now I have more time to exercise, which I appreciate). After that, I dedicate myself to giving singing and composition classes and together with my brother who studies cinema, we have created videos and content for my youtube pages. I have also had the opportunity to collaborate with different artists remotely and we are creating several songs.

It makes me very curious how we all understood that we had to adapt and now I have more singing classes than I had when everything was in person.

My perspective of my priorities in what to consume, what to create, and what to do in my day have changed forever.

Do you think this situation affects your creativity?

We are all thinking about this pandemic, every day, at all hours. So I know that many songs that portray this historical process are going to come out in a few months or years. It is normal, creativity is affected by the environment that surrounds it. In my case, I have made some songs that talk about the pandemic, but it has also made me write about the little details that we did not notice before. For example, since we are not in the streets, birds sing more and more in all the streets, or that it is ironic how nature is being reborn and we cannot go out and see it. I signed up for a pandemic challenge, where every day we wrote something creative and it has made me reflect a lot about the perspective we had of life before all this happened and

how it was reflected in the creations that we exhibited.

If the virus ends today, will you go back to your routine precisely as before?

No, you could not go back to what you were before. I’m going to be honest, it even makes me a little nostalgic to think about the day when little by little we return to the streets and to our old jobs.

First, because I have already taken a routine of focusing on my well-being, exercising, cooking, talking with my family and my partner, enjoying the day, and being grateful for the work I have.

I feel that of the things that I would change it would be first, to be a priority in what I want to do with my time and why not spend so many hours on public transport or know that there are certain meetings that can be arranged only with a call.

Second, in learning to relax and live my present, I will obviously continue planning my year for my musical and artistic project, but I will pay the necessary attention to my day-to-day process and be patient and persevering with it.

And above all, I learned to be careful with the environment around me, to understand that I am fragile and that I must be aware that at any moment everything can change.

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What is your opinion about the effects of the pandemic on the music and art industry in the future?

It taught us that the system in which music moves is not functional and can leave us helpless in crises like this.

It also taught me to emphasize to my audience that art must be paid for to have access to it. The streaming platforms help us to spread the music, but really the earnings from the reproductions do not earn even 10% of what was paid to make a production.

We must create a system in which the consumer has the culture of paying fairly for the work and we as musicians must compel the streaming platforms to pay the author a fair percentage.

They should also check the cultural reforms and demand that the budget for culture gets in use to support their artists at times like these.

On the other hand, unionizing is extremely important, because it protects us and even gives us support in the face of crises.

What is your opinion about the future of art and more specifically music, from the cultural and artistic view?

It will take us a long time to be able to introduce ourselves as we did before. I think that online pay per event could even start to be consumed more, which is a certain solution to the pandemic.

Did your government or any other organization in your country, support you or other artists around you against the pandemic?

Yes, an aid program called “Contigo en la Distancia” was created where we presented projects and several of them gave us financial support. Private organizations have also been creating similar calls with one-time financial support for artists.

I am originally from Puebla and a few days ago they also took out a call for economic support to the natives of the state, they also contacted me to do an online concert from the state secretary of culture and they paid me, but for example, my boyfriend, who is from Chiapas, he has not had the same luck, they have not issued any call for support for their creators and the activities that they have been transmitting online on their culture pages are without financial remuneration for the artists.

As an artist, did you get any support from society?

Fortunately yes. I opened a profile on Patreon where I am offering exclusive material for my project, as well as creativity classes and YouTube content and I have had a positive response from some of my followers. Others have paid for my album at Bandcamp.

As an artist, did you support your community through the pandemic?

I try to share the publications of all those who, like me, are offering their services such as classes, food, etc. We also try to buy in stores near the house to increase the consumption of small businesses.

In your opinion how can artists help people through pandemic time?

We are a means of entertainment for the population, so on the one hand we are the means of distraction for those people who may have the time to be on platforms. And for those people who are working and living daily, the work of the artists serves as a therapy, to remove stress and to distract or put the mind in a better mood.

Music is a therapy for everyone.

If you could save only one artist from the Coronavirus, who would that be?

Lianne la Havas.

If you knew about the 2020's pandemic from a year ago, what would you do differently?

First of all, I would save as much money as you could. And I would have played live as much as I could to exploit these months only in production and creation.

I would also pay more attention to taking care of my health and that of my family.

And I would not have bought new jeans, only shorts, right now who wants to wear jeans inside the house?

You can have just one of your wishes come true, what will you wish for?

Do what I love (music) every day, without worries about anything.

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