Jarrad Ricketts on staying connected through virtual concerts while social distancing

Ja??rrad Ricketts
Ja??rrad Ricketts
Photo: Supplied by Clayton Morar Media

  • Jarrad Ricketts is hosting his fifth virtual concert experience on Sunday 12 July.
  • Virtual shows have become a way for fans to connect with their favourite artists, from the comfort of their own homes.
  • Tickets for Lunchtime Live cost R70 and can be purchased from Quicket.

South African musician Jarrad Ricketts is hosting his fifth virtual concert experience on Sunday 12 July, performing original music and some of his favourite songs.

Speaking to Channel24, Jarrad talks about how he is staying connected with his fans - right from the comfort of their homes and how he staying positive during the national lockdown.

About what to expect from his upcoming concert series, Jarrad says: "My virtual concert series called Lunchtime Live has grown with each and every show, and usually feature an extensive lineup of artists from across South Africa. This time around I will be performing on my own, singing some of my original music from my Sama nominated album Break The Rules, and also sharing some of my favourite memories and songs, which you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home." 

Known for hits like Take Me To Your Heart, Jarrad says that he is also looking forward to "connecting through song and conversation."

Partnering with Penny Lane Studios, the 32-year-old presented his first virtual concert experience in March, and he says from conceptualising to planning and implementation it takes a full team to bring the production to audiences. He says: "For every virtual concert there have been teams of people behind the scenes handling audio, visual and live streaming." 

About how Covid-19 has impacted his career, Jarrad, who is from Cape Town, says: "The Covid-19 pandemic initially caused a lot of my forward bookings for festivals, corporate events, and shows to be cancelled, which left a lot of uncertainty as far as how I will be able to survive during these times."

"Fortunately, a few days before lockdown began in South Africa, myself and my team put together a virtual concert which not only ended up being successful but also gave us a window into the 'new normal'," he adds.

Despite the challenges, the pandemic has brought on in the entertainment industry, Jarrad says it has also been a time of strengthening his faith.  

"My relationship with God has been strengthened further, as I am able to see his hand over my life and the lives of so many during these times," he says, adding: "I give all praise and glory to God for filling me with his light, love and strength on a daily basis to get through these times." 

"The pandemic forced me into a space where I had to start thinking differently. The world as I know it started to change - and so I quickly realised that I have to acclimatise as well," he says, when asked how his perspective on life has changed during the national lockdown. 

"On a personal stance, my sense of community outreach has been heightened as I've been able to reach out to various impoverished communities in Cape Town, where The Jarrad Ricketts Foundation has been able to assist in collecting and distributing PPE and food to those in need. As much as I am experiencing so many blessings, it is important for me to pay it forward," he says.

According to Jarrad, Covid-19 has forever changed the way artists engage with fans, and although virtual concerts are still relatively new to local audiences, he believes we'll still be seeing the concept in the future. 

"Now more than ever, we are all operating online, which has definitely seen us have higher interaction levels with our supporters as more of our projects move to the virtual space," he says, although it "can't replace the connection experienced during a live concert."

"The evolution of our virtual concerts has been rather organic for myself and my team. With each venture, we undertake we discover something new, whether it is identifying an unprecedented opportunity or curating content. The possibilities are endless in the virtual space, and my aim is to explore and exploit every inch of the online spectrum to contribute positively to the entertainment industry during these times," he says.  

"The one thing we must all remember is that as much as we can not control what transpires externally, we always have the power to choose our reaction. When we wake up each day, we have the opportunity to choose who we want to be that day and in turn create positive habits that eventually form part of our daily thought process," he says. 

Music continues to be a comfort for Jarred, as it has been for many people during the national lockdown, he says: "My debut gospel single You Are Lord has been a great source of spiritual upliftment."

Jarrad is a regular feature on SABC3's Expresso Breakfast Show every Monday between 7:00-9:00, where he performs gospel music. "This has become the time and place where so many South Africans start their week giving thanks by praising God. This is such an honour for me to be able to share gospel music on a massive secular platform," he says. 

Lunchtime Live on 12 July

Tickets are available at R70 each.

You can purchase tickets via Quicket here

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