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News |  13 Apr 2020 13:48 |  By RnMTeam

10 best artist collaborations during lockdown

MUMBAI: Every second notification on your Instagram or Facebook might just be about an artist you follow going live. With virtual concerts very quickly becoming the norm in the music space, we curate a list of must-watch past and continuing music live streams to tune into. Take your pick from seasoned brands, veteran musicians and even virtual festivals:

EASTER SPECIAL: Bocelli: Music for Hope

To mark Easter Sunday and as a way of supporting his home country of Italy, famed opera singer Andrea Bocelli will perform to an empty Duomo Cathedral in Milan, accompanied by cathedral organist Emanuele Vianelli. The webcast of the concert is also supported by the city of Milan, labels such as Sugar Music and Universal Music Group, plus YouTube. At 10.30 pm IST on April 12, Bocelli’s powerhouse vocals will echo through the cathedral and perhaps evoke chills the world over.

Some Good News

Rising beyond his role as Jim on The Office, John Krasinski also became well known for directing horror movie A Quiet Place. In self-isolation mode, however, things are thankfully much brighter. For the follow-up instalment of his DIY show Some Good News, Krasinski surprised a young fan who had called in by jamming with Lin Manuel Miranda and the cast of Hamilton, which is probably the best Zoom call of this pandemic, even if we’re calling it early.

Bright Minded

You’ve seen that cringe-worthy compilation of Hollywood actors hamming it up for a cover of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’. Turns out the musicians are doing far more worthwhile things. Pop star Miley Cyrus, for example, has been hosting a daily livestream and video chat session called Bright Minded. Hosts have ranged from Alicia Keys and Selena Gomez to her own dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, DJ-producer Diplo and plenty more stars. Surprisingly, there is no fluff here, just openhearted, fun-filled talks and even exploring the importance of mental wellbeing.

Together at Home

Another pop star who’s got the curation game going strong is Lady Gaga, as picked by Global Citizen for their Together At Home video concert series. Held on April 18, the One World: Together At Home concert to support WHO and frontline healthcare workers will feature everyone from Paul McCartney and Coldplay’s Chris Martin to Elton John, Alanis Morissette, Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Keith Urban, J Balvin, John Legend and of course, star power from Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Idris Elba and his wife Sabrina. Hosts also include the instantly charismatic Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel. With a concert of this magnitude, you better hope no one’s internet lags.

The Glass Minute

Veteran piano and composing mind Philip Glass could have as well sat out the pandemic, but cancelled concerts and tours meant that the genius started his own online video performance series that’s bite-sized. Over the last couple of weeks, he’s had a tribute to Pandit Ravi Shankar on his birth centenary and hosted classical musicians from all over the world daily. The Glass Minute’s minute-long performances include some renditions from himself.

Tiny Desk (Home) Concerts

The hugely popular American service National Public Radio (NPR) has been garnering streams in the millions for their Tiny Desk Concerts. When the pandemic struck and made everyone stay indoors, one of their editors was just about to get their turn to host indie rock artist Soccer Mommy. Instead, they asked her to record a performance from home, which led to the creation of the Tiny Desk Home Concerts, which has gone on to feature dazzling performances of artists in their attics, basements and home studios.

Ben Gibbard: Live From Home

One of the earliest to take up daily livestream performances via YouTube, indie band Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard is holed up near Seattle and is feeling just fine. Running through the band’s 23-year catalog, there are emotional piano ballads like ‘What Sarah Said’ and can’t-fail hits like ‘I Will Follow You Into the Dark’, deep cuts and rarities that even Gibbard is surprised about. Best of all, the now-weekly show (every Thursday) gives Gibbard a chance to promote a charity or foundation that is seeking funds for needs of the hour, whether it’s food, shelter or medical gear.

JioSaavn’s Live Anywhere Series

Closer home, India’s indie artists are being helped by brands to amplify their reach while also entering into a deal that’s almost similar to real-world gigs. Streaming platform JioSaavn’s Live Anywhere series works on ‘donations’ that can go straight to the artists and a recorded performance on Dolby On will also be available for streaming. The bi-weekly live streams have so far featured singer-songwriters such as Taba Chake, Dhruv Visvanath, Ankur Tewari and Euphoria frontman Dr Palash Sen.


DIVINE can always rise to the occasion when he’s needed and provide a nuanced take while he’s at it too. The Mumbai rap star released 'Salaam' as part of Project Salaam, in collaboration with Budweiser, who have pledged Rupee 10 lakhs each to Give India and PharmEasy. Additionally, the BUDXHome live streams, which have been taking place regularly on the Mixmag Instagram account, have been raising awareness about how the music ecosystem can stay afloat. Funds of Rupee 1.5 lakh have also been disbursed via the India Nightlife Collective - a relief organization especially developed to assist at-risk workers of the community, co-founded by DJ-producer Anish Sood.

Anil Srinivasan’s #PlayItForward

Chennai-based pianist Anil Srinivasan has helped raised over Rupee 8.6 lakh via his live stream series #PlayItForward. As much as he’s a musician, the guests invited range from storytellers such as Vikram Sridhar and Janaki Sabesh, actors like Prasanna and of course singer-songwriters including Shakthisree Gopalan and keyboardist Stephen Devassy. The funds go to the Bhoomika Trust, who are providing food and supplies to the needy, the elderly and those with limited access. While the #PlayItForward series concluded on April 2, Srinivasan is now on to the Rhapsody Online Challenge for Kids, which wants to encourage young musicians. “This is going to be exclusively for children up to 15 years of age with prizes attached and many surprises galore. All online,” his post states. Expect piano, vocal and percussion performances, plus a quiz segment.