Isolation Drills: Soraia

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.

ZouZou Mansour (vocals): For me, as soon as COVID was labeled as a pandemic, I became fearful. Yet, also, as soon as our first show was canceled, it occurred to me that we all have to stay connected. Those words kept ringing in my head: “Stay connected.”

And I realized, too, that even if I didn’t “feel” like doing that some days, I could still do it for others. It became about something bigger than myself, or even Soraia. And more about making sure our fans and friends stayed OK during this time, and we were providing them with what they needed as well.

So stay connected we did. More Facebook Lives, more livestreams, more video recordings of performances, reaching out to partner with other artists. Everyone in the band got better with a craft they were working on.

I got better at writing and, also, giving myself downtime. Time to be introverted and think–yet not isolated. I used the time to read and get lost in TV series and movies I would normally think I didn’t have the time to do.

A lot of those new influences came out in a killer video we did, too—the mind is always working. You have to direct it to the things that build it, as well as emotionally building connections between you and others.

I’m going to go ahead and say I’ll be walking away from the pandemic (at some point!) as a better artist and human being. I really believe that.