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"It's Been Awesome Seeing Our Team Suit up and Show up, Adjusting to These Times"



Barking Owl's Ashley Benton and Hannah Alter give a glimpse into their lives in lockdown from the east to west coast of America

"It's Been Awesome Seeing Our Team Suit up and Show up, Adjusting to These Times"

Barking Owl New York EP, Ashley Benton, and Los Angeles producer, Hannah Alter share their quarantine q&a and how they adjusting to the 'new normal'. 

 Q> What have you been doing during quarantine to stay positive and inspired? 

Hannah: Continuing to connect virtually with the people that fill up my soul! My morning routine and going on walks gives me inspiration. Making music, listening to music I’ve always wanted to but never made the time, solo dance parties, challenging myself to do new things and being consistent with creative ideas I put on the back burner. Working out always seems to clear my mind and being in nature tends to make me feel gratitude which in turn I’ve seen brings up lots of inspo for me. 

Ashley: Regular exercise and staying in touch with friends and family (virtually) have both been a huge help. I tried to build a home office so that work feels a little more official...of course, my laptop stand is a bunch of books and I’m using a keyboard so old it needs batteries, but it works! Playing with our pup is the ultimate daily pick me up. 

Q> Have you picked up any new hobbies? 

Ashley: Trying to pick a few creative outlets backup...painting, writing. They’re not new but they are certainly out of practice. Letting your brain relax and focus on purely creative things is such an amazing respite from all of the heavy news out there at the moment. 

Hannah: I’ve been running and cooking more than ever! Not sure if I’d count these as hobbies though lol. 

Q> What music are you currently listening to? Movies and tv shows?

Ashley: I’m quarantined with my mom and we have very different tastes in music. We’re discovering more artists that we can agree on and that has been a fun challenge: Michael Kiwanuka, Amber Mark, Leon Bridges, Maggie Rogers, Anderson .Paak, Dua Lipa, Madonna, The O’ keeps it interesting. Khruangbin releasing a new single was a treat. It’s always fun when a friend recommends a good listen as well. One of our amazing composers, Jacob Plasse from Chulo Records, called out Jorge Ben Jor’s album ‘Força Bruta’ for a quarantine listen and he was spot on. 

Hannah: Music wise I’ve been listening to Doja Cat, Nirvana, Jack Harlow, Nina Simone and Tame Impala. I’ve watched Waco, #blackAF, Ozarks and Narcos.. loved em’ all. 

Q> What's the soundtrack to your day to day right now? 

Ashley: ‘Be Thankful For What You Got’ by Love. 

Hannah: ‘Landslide’ by Fleetwood Mac or ‘One More Year’ by Tame Impala. 

Q> What's one thing you've learned about the industry during this time? 

Hannah: How adaptable and creative people are under pressure. It’s so inspiring. It’s been awesome seeing our team suit up and show up, adjusting to these times. Everything from finding new ways to make sh*t happen, working remotely to even creating their own social content. It’s so fun and unique and learning more about everyone on a deeper level has been really awesome. It feels sincere, human and refreshing. 

Ashley: It’s very resilient. People are coming up with innovative solutions to produce content amidst incredibly challenging circumstances. I’m impressed. Our own team was extremely quick to adapt, but no surprise there. Everyone wants to stay busy and they’re constantly making an effort to create relevant, up to date work that will continue to speak to the world at large. 

Q> What have been your biggest struggles with this transition and what are you doing to get through it? 

Ashley: I think everyone hits the same walls. You just have a day here and there where you’re sick of the same old and there’s nothing you can do about it. You miss your friends, your family, your office, eating out. I’ve come to terms with that and realised that just like anything else, it passes. The next day comes along and you feel more motivated and positive again, and you can feel grateful for the many blessings that you do have at this time. You just have to take it day by day. 

Hannah: Not being able to be out in life with spontaneity and human contact, fun things like dinners and shows. It’s brought up interesting feelings that suck, but I just lean into the next positive action I can take which almost always results in a better head space, it always passes. This has overall forced me to get more creative and learn a whole new level of acceptance. It’s such a process, but there’s so much to be grateful for. Gratitude and authentic connection have really been helping me overcome any negativity I’m facing. 

Q> What's your favourite part about working from home, least favourite? 

Hannah: My favourite would be wearing cozy clothes, bonding with kitty and not having to drive in traffic. The flexibility in the day has been nice. Least favourite is not being at the office with everyone and vibing off their energies, having that structure and not being able to eat Chefs food! Cracking jokes with Justin and Kelly all day at our desks and watching Moose (office pup) do dumb things like try to eat metal bowls. 

Ashley: I love being able to break up the day a little more...multitasking here and there. And sweatpants. Jeans are slowly morphing into mortal enemy number one. As it turns out I’m also happy to take fewer showers, ha. Is it me or are the days just 10,000 times longer? 

Q> What do you miss about pre-Covid life the most? 

Hannah: Not having to wash as many dishes, oh mah god. The spontaneity of life. Nights out at restaurants and connecting with people. Eating sushi at the restaurant, take out sushi is never quite the same. Getting dressed up and feeling cute. Traveling! 

Ashley: Weekends with friends, socialising and meeting new people, and goodness does vacation sound good. 

Q> What about your time in quarantine did you not expect? 

Ashley: I haven’t spent this much time in Sacramento since I was in high school. It has given me a new appreciation for this city. The river is beautiful in the Spring and you have so much more space here. You get so used to operating in smaller spaces in larger cities. I think when I look back on this, years from now, it will be a really strangely unique time that my mom and I had to spend together as well. I’m lucky to be in a situation where this has been a period of family reunion rather than separation. 

Hannah: That I’d learn a deeper meaning of self-discipline. 

Q> What's been the biggest positive change for you recently? 

Hannah: Self-discipline. Being forced to get creative and do certain things myself that I would normally rely on someone or something else for. Feeling like a kid, like a student, again by being excited and open about new activities, projects and people. 

Ashley: Life moves slower in quarantine for better or worse. I’m getting more sleep, finding more time to exercise and meditate. I’m feeling really healthy and that’s amazing. 

Q> How do you feel about coming back to work and how does that look for you? 

Hannah: I’m so excited to get back to work and get back into the swing of things. I won’t lie, I have nerves about how things will change with this new world we’re entering back into. It’ll be different and probably weird at first but I know we will all adjust and be stronger than ever. 

Ashley: I’m excited to go back to work. Life will feel normal again. I think we’ll all still be adjusting to new rules and circumstances...but how fabulous will it be when we have a vaccine and you can get all up in everyone’s personal bubbles again!? In all seriousness though, I can’t wait to stand within six feet of everyone and hug and all that Jazz. 

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Barking Owl, Wed, 20 May 2020 08:57:10 GMT