Lilakk found her voice through the COVID pandemic and online community

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Right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, we were hitting our stride as a band.

We had just released our very first music video called “Prep Rally”, which was also our first single. We had just opened for our first headlining band, 10 Years, this New Years Eve and followed up with a show headlined by Hed PE shortly after.

Then we got the news of the lockdown.

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It was a strange and mysterious moment as a silence seeped into the air like a dagger through a puff of white clouds. And as strange as it may seem, for the first time in my life, during these two weeks of isolation, I felt like I could actually breathe.

The roads were quiet, the air seemed cleaner, the trees looked brighter, and animals from all walks of life began to come out. Even though Kirk and I live in the countryside, our roads are still quite busy with the tractors and farm life surrounding our area.

Roast marshmallows as a family during the pandemic.

So it was nice to be able to take a moment out of the chaos that life brings and have that much needed family time with picnics, camping and roasting marshmallows over a bonfire under the stars while our girl sings on our acoustic guitars.

And take a moment to absorb the simplicity of life and appreciate who and what matters most.

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We had gone from such a busy schedule to playing one after the other that, like many other bands, we were forced to make the heavy decision of whether or not to continue this adventure as a relentless artist. But with a leap of faith and a goal, we decided to keep going, Lilakk.

We were so dependent on our gigs and this interaction with the live audience that we didn’t realize we were neglecting the creative writing and recording of our music.

Lilakk created music outdoors at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We had purchased a school bus before the pandemic and were in the process of converting it into a tourist bus. But since we knew we weren’t going anywhere anytime soon, we decided to use the space as a temporary recording studio.

And that’s where we felt really inspired; sat outside and watched the bunnies roam the yard as the sunlight shone through the cracked window.

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Kirk and I separated in our own space in order to spend time with ourselves to express our pain, our memories and our stories in song.

During the lockdown, we both wrote two songs which will later be recorded on our EP, “School Bus Sessions”.

We had just filmed and released our second music video titled “Rain,” and we were getting a lot of global interaction and meeting new people online every day. We did a local quarantine gig, an interview on local TV channel WJCL, a live performance for a show in Ireland and an online interview with a radio host from the UK

We were lucky enough to meet all the friends we had met through social media at that time. But there is something that I noticed at that time: people really relied on the arts.

Calli and Kirk Joiner on the tour school bus creating music for Lilakk.

During this time of isolation, where you couldn’t go anywhere, we relied so much on TV shows and movies, and podcasts and music. Concerts and entertainment streamed live over the internet were our escape and our sense of normalcy as we tried to adjust to this new historic moment.

And even though we still live in a time of uncertainty, we know that we are not alone and that we have each other and the ability to spread a message where people can relate or find comfort in the lyrics.

“A song can mean one thing to one person and a million different things to another.” It’s about experience and interpretation –– translating emotion into sound and connecting us all together.

Calli Joiner is part of the Savannah-based rock band, Lilakk. Learn more about the band at lilakk.com and on Instagram at @lilakk_band.

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