Erykah Badu has always been a boss, but now she’s closer to a CEO. When the Covid-19 pandemic halted concerts and the music industry scrambled to adapt, the iconoclastic neo-soul singer and songwriter started rethinking how she’d produce, play and interact with fans at concerts.
Less than 2 weeks after the U.S. began shutting down this spring, @erykahbadu had created her own interactive streaming network.
“All of a sudden, I’ve been resurrected in some kind of way with new ideas and thoughts and releases of things that I didn’t even know I was holding onto,” she said.
She had family to take care of, and crew that have been part of her team for 2 decades. So when she created The Quarantine Concert Series: Apocalypse, Live From Badubotron, a high-production, interactive live show from her home, she charged fans $1 to watch. Then she did it twice more, charging a little more each time — 3 increasingly elaborate live-streamed performances in the space of a month, with costume and lighting changes, and fans voting on the set list and even what room she would perform in. In the last concert, she and her musicians appeared to be inside clear giant bubbles.
The process energized Badu, 49, a mother of three who lives in Dallas, where she’s also a doula. She said there’s “nothing like performing and filming and creating and delivering something in the same moment.” Tap the link in our bio to read more about how she is blazing a new trail from Badubotron. Photo by @rahimfortune.