Lindi Delight and Or Soker chat about the backstory behind Masks For Music, their previous work in the scene prior to the pandemic, and more!
The music industry is facing some immense hurdles this year with the global pandemic, but in these difficult times, we’ve seen the industry adapt and endure in ways that deserve all the praise. Cue Lindi Delight and Or Soker, the innovative founders of Masks for Music. They have quite literally created an easy and efficient way for those within the music industry to combat the financial stressors that come with the global pandemic.
How? The Masks for Music initiative allows artists and others associated with the music industry to have the ability to have a side hustle until things go back to “normal.” Anyone in the music industry can take advantage of this opportunity, which is so helpful considering that many have lost their main source of income until shows can finally return. We were so excited to be able to chat with Lindi and Or, the founders of Masks for Music, and to see how this brilliant initiative to help the music industry came to be.
Read on to get to know founders Lindi Delight and Or Soker a bit more, or click here to support EDM Identity by purchasing some masks for yourself!
Hello Lindi and Or, thank you so much for sitting down for a chat with us! We’re very excited to be partnered with Masks for Music and stoked for our readers to be able to get to know the two of you. Lindi: Can you tell me about what inspired you guys to come up with such an amazing initiative to help artists and the music industry during such a difficult time?
LD: We were inspired by the music industry, as during the lockdown when we started on this initiative how everyone was losing work and revenue right before our eyes. We knew that solutions needed to be found quickly, and not every country’s government could be relied on to help those who work in cultural sectors. If there were countries helping, it was a bit of money to assist for a short period of time.
We knew that there was revenue out there, we just needed to find a way to divert this revenue and funnel it into the music industry. This is how Masks for Music was born.
How has it felt for you personally to be able to come up with such an impactful initiative to help struggling artists and other music industry workers to combat the financial stressors that are a result of the global pandemic? What has the feedback been like?
LD: I feel very proud to have created this initiative with Or and my team at De Light Management. They inspire me every day. We worked for hundreds of hours throughout the lockdown, sometimes 10/11 hour days to get this off the ground as soon as possible. I am very grateful that we can help facilitate people in our industry to earn revenue during this challenging time, and all around the world. It’s also important to support charities, so in addition to the 50% revenue that goes to our music industry affiliate partners, an additional 10% is donated to music-related charities. We really want to make a difference and have a positive impact on our community.
We have been receiving very positive feedback across the board. It also feels really good to get approval from our peers, people that we have been working with over the years. Altogether it’s been an incredibly rewarding experience, but really, it’s only the beginning.
OS: This is our industry, we live and make our living in it so we know how hard it gets firsthand. Feedback is great. I feel we are now ready to make some change, we had about two months of trials and sorting out the system, and hopefully, now we could help a massive number of music industry employees.
Or: Can you tell us a bit about yourself? How did this dream team come to be, and what compelled the two of you to start coming up with unique solutions to support artists and other industry folks?
OS: I’ve been in the music industry for some time now, 10-15 years I think. I used to have a mini-club for electronic music, used to book amazing house and techno underground DJ’s. Amazing parties for 300 people. Following this in 2016 I founded Grounded Festival with my amazing crew and partner, and it’s been my baby ever since. That’s how I met Lindi. We kept good contact and at the end of 2019 when I felt its time to expand the brand globally and thought she was the right person for the mission. We’ve been working on Grounded plus an amazing new adventure… until March – then Covid hit and everything went from 100-0.
I think both of us are positive and optimistic people who always keep pushing forward. Even when things get a bit dark we’ll keep pushing ourselves to the light… this was a mutual effort. Couldn’t have done this without her.
Lindi: I see that music is a huge part of your life. You’ve been involved in the Electronic Dance Music Scene for quite some time, and are the Berlin Chapter Founder for shesaid.so – a global network of women in the industry. Would you say that this experience really paid off in regards to starting up Masks for Music?
LD: Everything I have done in the past 15 years in music has given me the experience to work on this new business. A lot of the skills are transferable, but I have to say, there is so much that I have taught myself and learned since we started working on Masks for Music. This was a huge pivot we made, and I’ve been enjoying the learning curve.
I think the passion, ambition and drive my team and I have, plus the incredible amount of support we have received from my music industry friends and colleagues helped us a lot. I appreciate the time they have taken for me and their belief in the initiative – Shesaid.so and the Association for Electronic Music included.
Or: I can also see that you have been immensely involved in the music scene for some time. You’ve promoted and produced Elrow Tel Aviv and much more, and even founded Grounded Festival in Eilat, Isreal. How has your workflow changed since 2020 and since the global pandemic began? Has it been hard to roll with the punches and to see live events disappear for a while?
OS: Almost six months ago, on March 10, I produced the last Circoloco party for this year In Tel Aviv. Was very complex production, 5,000 people with pandemic regulations and uncertainty were making it almost impossible. It was an open-air event going from 1,600-2,300. I remember at 20:00 (8:00 pm) we heard the news that the new restriction took into place limiting the number of people gathering for 2,000. We just had to wait until the event ended. It would have been chaotic trying to ask 3,000 people to leave.
The next day they lowered the number of people in a gathering to 100. Since then I’ve been trying to keep myself busy. Planning ahead, always trying to think about the next thing. It’s a very challenging time… 2020 is a tough cookie.
Lindi: You’ve had your fair share of working with artists such as techno heavyweight Chris Liebing and Lee Burridge’s venture All Day I Dream, and you’ve even launched your own management agency De Light Management. What made you want to get involved in the EDM industry, and who are some of your favorite artists?
LD: I was hooked on electronic music since my first rave when I was 17 years old. I knew quite early that the music would be in my life forever. I promoted my first party in Toronto when I was 25, and from there I basically taught myself everything as I went. It was the time before Facebook and social media, so I was out meeting people, collecting email addresses for newsletters I’d send out. From there to Dubai, then to Berlin, working with some of the biggest artists of our scene along the way. I was definitely on the right path, and will keep going.
Music-wise I listen to a lot of different types. I love roots reggae to 90’s hip hop and R&B, soul and disco to techno. When it comes to electronic music. Some of my favorite acts are Moodymann, Andrés, and Larry Heard. Also, Ciel, Jayda G, and Raven on the female tip. And of course, I love the music of the artists I manage, Hybrasil and Öona Dahl. They inspire me on a regular basis.
Or: What’s been some of your favorite memories throughout your career in the music industry? What artists have you met and worked with, and who are you listening to these days?
OS: It’s hard pointing out just a few. I feel lucky working and creating in this industry. Becoming friends with artists I admire like Ivan Smagghe and Kristian Raedle (Ame) is really magical. Music-wise, I’ve been listening to Chromatics quite a lot these days. It’s political chaos in Isreal at the moment and lots of protests are taking place against our government. Chromatics is the perfect chill pill I need after protesting.
The music industry and all of those within it are obviously dealing with a very difficult time that no one saw coming. What advice would you like to pass along to our readers to offer support and wisdom?
LD: Take this time to learn new skills, get inspired, think of innovative ideas, but it’s also important to take care of yourself and your mental health. We will make it through this, and those who push themselves and keep a positive mindset throughout will come out on the other side even stronger.
OS: Take baby steps. Keep yourself as busy as possible. Don’t look for your next big production or gig next year, or who knows when. 2020 is rough seas and we are all in the same boat. Hold on and try to enjoy the ride.