Reel Feelings: Artist Jane Weaver | Coping in Lockdown

Following a three part mini-series curated by the Abbey Road team (Dom Dronska, Claire Renfrew and Karim Fanous) exploring mental health and wellbeing in lockdown, we wanted to expand upon this to see how our artist friends have been coping in quarantine.

From this, the series entitled Reel Feelings was conceived. First up was Australian-born, London-based singer-songwriter Cloves, which we then followed with Kate Cudbertson, Manager for FKJ and The Sundrop Garden. In our third instalment we heard from English singer/songwriter, musician, producer, and label owner Jane Weaver.

 

How have you been feeling, really?

Since the start of lockdown, it’s been all the feelings really. A friend died, we couldn’t go to the funeral or see anyone, it made and still makes me feel very sad. Like a lot of people I also have concerns about close family who are sick or shielding; the anxiety of feeling like you are not doing as much as you normally would has been very frustrating and upsetting. I’m thankful though, my family are safe and well, I’ve tried to be more mindful and calm, and accept that a global pandemic is not something I can change. So far I’ve coped by not projecting too much nor catastrophizing about the future every given minute.
 

How are you adjusting, how did your life change, and how have you changed?

I was recording my new album and it just came to an abrupt halt. It’s not something I can continue without going back into the session, so I’ve been doing things like opening an online merchandise store and planning visual content and creative ideas for when I finish my record. As lockdown measures lessen I can definitely feel the anxiety creeping in. I’m nervous about how everyone is going to get back on their feet, it’s one thing being resourceful or having to adapt, but I’m worried about what reality will look like once we are faced with the actual aftermath and damage to the infrastructure of how we normally work.
 

Jane Weaver by Nick Chapman

 

Where is your ‘inspiration hotspot’ i.e. where do you have the space to think and be creative?  What inspires you creatively now (is it different to your usual sources of inspiration)?

Currently I have a nice spot under a parasol in the garden where I’ve been writing, we have an apple tree that’s full of different birds visiting throughout the day. I don’t normally write at home… it’s too noisy and hard to focus. I like to go away alone; even if it’s for a few days I can get a lot done. In December last year I was in France looking at the sea and writing album lyrics… it seems luxurious and absurd now. I’m grateful that there is a green space at the back of my house and I have a view. My sources of inspiration vary, sometimes I have a defined concept sometimes I don’t. My last album Loops In The Secret Society was mainly instrumental reworks, using lots of drones and heavy synths.

For my next record, I’m trying to work on different sounds, still some electronic stuff but keeping it vocally melodic. Since lockdown I’ve been listening a lot to what other family members are listening to. My husband plays a lot of experimental jazz records, my kids have really good music taste and listen to a lot of American Rap and Hip Hop and I’m always ear wigging asking them about certain songs…and it infuriates them!
 

What do you wish you had known before lockdown?

I really miss going to and playing gigs. It’s such an important part of my life. I’ve been watching live music since I was a teenager – it’s always been there one way or the other and for that to suddenly disappear it’s tough. I don’t think I’ll take it for granted again. So many artists have had their livelihoods thrown up in the air, release schedules halted, tours cancelled, when most musicians and freelancers rely on different income streams and royalties to survive, it’s pretty devastating because no one had a chance to plan or prepare for this. I think it will take a long time to recover.
 

Jane Weaver by Andy Votel

 

What three things would you advise to anyone who is struggling right now?

Tell someone how you are feeling, don’t feel guilty about admitting that you’re not coping well, feeling sad or not enjoying lockdown.

If social media is affecting your mental health, pause until you feel more able. It can be overwhelming and upsetting to see other people suffering and feel like you have no power or influence. Give yourself time to think and then think of small ways you can make a difference.

Be kind to yourself.
 
A massive thank you to Jane Weaver for taking the time out to speak to us. Listen to Jane's discography and follow her on social media below.

Instagram: @janeweavermusic

Twitter: @JanelWeaver

Facebook: @janeweavermusic
 
 

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