Isolation Drills: Kate Nyx

Like the majority of you, all of us in the Philadelphia area are staying at home, learning to adapt to our “new normal.” MAGNET is checking in with local musicians to see how and what they’re doing during this unprecedented time. Photos by Chris Sikich.

My name is Kate Nyx, and I believe I was built for this apocalypse. I’m a musician and maker; I run a business with my husband making professional wrestling gear out of our home. A few years ago, my health took a turn for the worse, and I’ve been mostly housebound since due to chronic illness.

Last summer, frustrated by my inability to get out to play live gigs, I started a livestream concert series that I called the Lullaby Lounge, which I broadcast every week on as many platforms as I could manage until May. I started to stream two to three times a week and injured my voice from overuse. I ended up on vocal rest for a few weeks to give my body a break from working overtime; this resulted in me changing the structure of my show into seasons. I’m currently in the middle of season two on and every Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST.

I’ve only gotten busier in quarantine. Suddenly, my social media and live-streaming skills are actually useful; the first weekend of May, I spearheaded a digital music festival with 1,000 attendees, and before that, I hosted a class about livestreaming and social media to help out my artistic friends who were less digitally inclined.

I’ve been extremely online since I was a young teenager, including going to online high school, so I’m used to the majority of my social interaction and business occurring in a digital space. For years now, it’s been a mission of mine to get people to treat online spaces with the same respect they do in-person communication. There’s still people on both ends of the line.

My husband, Ophidian The Cobra, and I have been making face masks for family, friends and a few clients we know from making wrestling gear. Without shows to wear costumes at—and given how difficult it has been to get materials shipped to us—we’ve been relying on our Patreon, as well as music and merchandise sales.

That’s been the strangest part of all of this; normally, he’s out performing at shows and working as a trainer, and suddenly I’m the breadwinner. We’ve been making content part time for years, and now it’s our full-time gig; we consider ourselves very fortunate to be self-sustaining in this unstable time.

In recent years, I’ve learned how vital the skill of making and performing music is to society. There are times when I tell myself what I do is frivolous or silly, and then I get message from someone about how one of my records got them through a depressive episode, or helped put their newborn baby to sleep.

We provide such an important sense of unity and catharsis; the bonds we forge aren’t weakened by distance. You hear the right song, and it can transform your perspective. 

That’s important.