Kalisha Quinlan: Isolation Selection

Today we’d like to dedicate a bit of time to the many venues currently under threat of closure due to Coronavirus. Having been forced to close (very late in the day bear in mind) due to lockdown measures and unable to generate revenue through their usual means – ie putting on shows – hundreds of venues around the country are still having to pay rent and utilities.

This is at a rate that was already astronomical due to the governments ongoing desire to value overpriced housing over the culture and arts of our country. With landlords’ incredulous lack of support for the businesses that support them, many venues won’t see the light of day once quarantine is lifted.

Music Venue Trust, a national charity that sets out to ensure the survival of said establishments, have initiated the #saveourvenues campaign – with 556 venues each starting up their own Crowdfunders within the initiative in a bid to ensure their safety and reopening in a time of great uncertainty and lack of help.

The response thankfully has been vital – the campaign having raised over £1m in just under a week, with many venues already near to reaching their target and promising any profits towards other venues that are in the same position. The sense of community and togetherness that has risen from this motion is heartwarming – and vital in such difficult times.

We ourselves ask, if you are in a position to, continue to support independent businesses, donate towards the Crowdfunder of a venue, purchase physical releases from artists and labels, subscribe to one or two of the many great independent music publications that are on offer to you – you wouldn’t believe how far your personal contribution will go.

Onto today’s Isolation Selection – Kalisha Quinlan of Then and Now and Fred Perry is at the helm.

Having her own popular radio show on Totally Wired Radio and as a vital member of the Fred Perry Subculture team – Kalisha has made a name for herself as a prominent part of the independent music community. If you haven’t already, check out Then and Now – a vibrant and informative radio show provided by Quinlan’s wonderfully warm and passionate presence. You not only find rare new favourites, but really get an insight into Quinlan’s desire and love for connection through music – an important and distinctive feature.

With Fred Perry Subculture, Kalisha has captured so many of the crucial movements of the last few years through interviews and features with many of the most exciting upcoming acts and expressive personalities – once again establishing the importance and influence of an ever progressive, evolving brand.

Her Isolation Selection is an absolute catalogue – four hours worth of her favourite music that never leaves the stereo. A deep dive is crucial here.

These really are unprecedented times, how are you, how are you all feeling in all this?

I’m holding up okay, back at my parent’s house. Watching a lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, playing club penguin, listening to my old CDs. Generally regressing and missing my friends.

Can you quite comprehend the impact this is having on the music industry?

Everything’s come to a halt. All tours and festivals have been called off for the foreseeable, album releases have been pushed back. It’s very anticlimactic and means that people will be losing money.

I know at this stage it’s perhaps not the most important of things to consider, but do you think when all this is said and done, the foundations and the nature in which the industry runs will change??

I think we all need to slow down a bit. I can’t see things going back to normal for a while. It’s been cool seeing how musicians have adapted with live-streaming and everything. If God forbid, grassroots venues can’t afford to re-open when things go back to normal then bands won’t have anywhere to start out and local scenes will really suffer.

How has this effected your work personally?

I’m lucky to be able to work from home and have an amazing team around me (digitally). It’s made me realise that people, like myself, who continue to receive regular income need to do our bit and re-invest money into the small businesses and freelancers that are struggling at the moment. Subscribe to the magazines, order the merch, buy the prints, donate to the #saveourvenues trusts where we can.

How are you finding trying to be creative while being in such a restrictive environment?

I told myself I’d use this time to learn guitar but that hasn’t happened yet. I’ve been doing a lot of DIY around the house. Tie-dyed some bedding. Taking film photographs, mainly of my boyfriend and dogs to try and document this strange time. I recorded a radio show remotely which was much more complicated than I’d anticipated but it felt good to be productive still.

Talk us through your playlist, what does it represent for you?

Quite simply four and a half hours worth of songs I always listen to.

Music Venue Trust’s #saveourvenues initiative is live now – helping towards grassroots independent venues surviving these uncertain times. If you feel you are in a place to, please donate towards the official campaign here.

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