How Creating Music Salvaged my Quarantine

My name is LTE Offy, but my music name is Offy. When I was in high school, my friend, Adam Clasky and I started The Single Sock Conspiracy, an alternative rock and jazz influenced musical duo. We each worked on our own songs and helped each other with small parts in each so that there was some influence of both on all of the songs. The album is still floating around on soundcloud and I am still really proud of the Lola the Lounge Singer Ft. Asante, that song still slaps. After releasing that album in 12th grade, I went off to a different university than Adam and the band fell apart. We both kept making music separately and he now has 2 full solo albums. I didn’t release any music but I kept making it on my own, recording, producing, writing lyrics, singing, mixing and mastering. I do it all. 

In March, as the pandemic hit, I was sent home from school early in my senior year. My graduation was cancelled, I didn’t have a job and my summer camp job that I had lined up was also cancelled. There was a global pandemic on the loose, I was cooped up at home doing nothing all day and I have always used music as my hobby, so it felt like a good idea to pick up my guitar and start playing around. I decided that I was going to take this strange time and use it as productively as I could, allowing myself to be creative and escape the walls of my room through sound. I thought to myself, what better time to try and get my music career off the ground and hone my craft that I had been practicing for over 4 years. So I started playing my guitar everyday for at least 2 hours. Writing lyrics, learning how to use new effects, recorded a ton of demos, many of which never really made it past it’s original idea or just didnt excite me in the way that it should have. I ended up writing my first song that I ever released on spotify called Unemployed. 

I was sitting in my room playing this fun upbeat progression and I was particularly sad that day about my current situation. I started thinking back to how much fun it was being a student prior to the pandemic and if you didn’t have a job it was ok because you were a student and you had a perfectly good excuse. Now, I was sitting in my room playing guitar, just graduated and I had no job. The main words of the chorus came to me, “But now I’m not a student anymore. Just Unemployed.” The rest of the song came together pretty quickly after that. I recorded my vocals on my Xbox headset microphone and had absolutely no clue as to what mixing and mastering really were. I am not trying to say that I am by any means close to a professional at mixing and mastering, but back then I was almost entirely clueless. You can hear me learning through each release which culminated in my most popular song You and Me ft. Koji Shimada. 

In June, I took a production class on with Blanks, one of my favorite youtubers/musicians, as the instructor. I met some really cool people through it and learned a ton about the process and specifically about effects, mixing, mastering and song structure. Koji is someone I met through that class and I am super grateful because his trumpet playing really took my song to the next level. After I started making music during the quarantine, my days changed dramatically. Every day I was excited to wake up and create. Now I have 4 songs on Spotify and Apple Music with more on the way and it’s all because of this crazy pandemic. Creating is good for the soul and I encourage you reading this to find something to create because it really frees you from a lot of negativity. Start with baby steps, getting pen on paper, throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. What works for someone might not work for someone else so do not compare yourself to others. As long as you are enjoying it, it is worth your time. 

You can check me out on all music platforms under the name Offy and also check out my good friends Adam Clasky and Koji Shimada because their music is amazing as well.