As the world alters to the new landscape of social distancing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, author/creator of the Offset series** Delvin Howell is collaborating and creating. We caught up with him and here’s what he had to say:
What’s New with Delvin Howell?
I’m doing okay just trying to keep busy amidst the pandemic. Just finished prepping Offset- Volume #1, which are the first four chapters of the Offset comic series. Now I am collaborating with some partners on the second novel Offset- Children of the Gulf. Hopefully, we can get that out to readers soon.
** an urban fantasy tale following a young sticklicker who discovers an underground obeah trade in the island of Barbados
What impact has COVID 19 had on the creative industry?
Impact of Covid -19 on the creative industry? Well, it has forced people to rethink how their business works. If you are a content creator, you will be affected by the lack of news or events with which to entertain your platform and may end up using other means to keep people engaged. Example, movie reviewers, people who cover parties, events, or who perform for audiences etc.
However, I’ve seen people finding new opportunities to bring content to audiences who are starved for entertainment. Live shows, versus battles, collaborations with viewers and other creatives etc. I think it acted as a catalyst to get people to innovate their business and it has been met with positive results.
In my case, I found a lot of my collaborators suddenly had clear schedules, so I was able to get some work done for Offset and other projects. It has also forced me to think about the direction I want to take with regards to how I promote the series and get it to audiences.
With the lack of flights and the closing of stores, it was difficult to fulfill book orders, especially to overseas readers. That was a problem we had to solve quickly in terms of deliveries etc. We’re still experimenting with digital distribution and other channels, but we will have more news on that very soon.
All in all, I think COVID-19 has been a giant pause button on the world, and it has given people more time to discover things they had never noticed before in the hustle and bustle of the year. This interview, for example, would’ve probably not happened if we still had the Crop Over circuit which usually occurs around the summer.
However, we do miss certain events where we would have made more social connections with our audiences. Along with the fact that Barbados is still behind when it comes to maximizing platforms such as Youtube, Spotify etc. to get artists exposed to the outside world. Still, we are optimistic that this might change soon, and we are preparing for when that inevitability arises.
What are some of your favorite discoveries during the lockdown period?
Verzuz battles have been giving me life. I think Beenie Man vs Bounty Killa was a historic event, where we as Caribbean nationals got to demonstrate what true clash culture is all about. The energy, the nostalgia, the personality reignited my love for Caribbean music. Especially what I call “badass” Caribbean music- the stuff that would score some cool moments in my mind. I would love to see a Lil Rick vs Bunji Garlin or an Allison Hinds vs Destra Garcia one day, but the world might not be able to handle that hype. I know my paling wouldn’t, for sure.
Author/Creator sourced from the NCF database