County music artist, Evansville native discusses how COVID-19 has affected his career

Local News

(WEHT) – Sean Stemaly is an Evansville native and country music artist. While he continues to work on his music, Sean’s schedule has not been as busy since the Covid-19 pandemic, canceling all concerts.

Eyewitness News Brandon Bartlett talked with Sean Thursday about how the crisis has affected his music career and what he has been doing.


Brandon Bartlett: Sean, thanks for joining us tonight. This pandemic has changed a lot of things in the music industry. How have you been affected?

Sean Stemaly: I live down in Nashville, Tennessee. I’m originally from Evansville. But I tour for a living and play music and it’s affected us quite a bit. I mean, we can’t tour obviously, because crowds and all that it’s affected my band more than it has me. So I’ve spent a majority of this time trying to make sure they’re all right but yeah, it’s completely completely taken away our job and what we do.

Brandon Bartlett: Personally, what is this been like for you? I know you love to get on the stage and you probably feed off of having a live audience, but you haven’t been able to perform for a few months now. What has that been like?

Sean Stemaly: Honestly, at first I thought it would be rough. But I always try to make, try to make light of situations and try to make the best of everything. So I’ve been kinda using this time to write new music and just reflect on what I need to do in my career to advance whenever we get back in action, and just kind of been taking a breather. You know, as far as traveling and all that goes, it’s kind of nice, you know. But, at first, it was a little bit hard to get adjusted cause I’m so used to that, that life of always go on and go into a different city everyday. But overall, it hasn’t been too bad, honestly.

Brandon Bartlett: Now, before the pandemic, you traveled all across the country performing in various venues, and recently you were on tour with Sirius XM. Now with those venues closed, have you found other ways to get your music out to your fans?

Sean Stemaly: Yeah, so we’ve been pushing the latest single come back to bed. It’s doing well. That song still has plenty of life left in it. And we’ve been doing Instagram lives, Facebook lives, you know, just however we can, we can still play music and get it out to fans and whatever audience will watch we’ve been taking that lane. And we’ve also been recording videos of unreleased songs that we’re going to start putting out next week. So we’re just doing whatever we can, you know, that’s all you can do.

Brandon Bartlett: Yeah, well, financially, how do you bring in the money if you can’t perform shows

Sean Stemaly: So luckily, I’m a songwriter as well as an artist. So it’s a kind of a whole separate career for me as a songwriter. So luckily, I have that income still. All the writers were still writing through Skype and Zoom and all that. So as far as the writing thing goes, it really hasn’t changed. Besides, you know, the fact that we can’t see each other in person. I’m still pulling that money and pay my bills.

Brandon Bartlett: Well, that’s good. Well, for a rising performer like you it’s important to make as many connections as possible in the business, but has that been hard to do with everything shut down? Have you found other ways to make connections?

Sean Stemaly: I’ve been connecting with, you know, other artists that recently that before this I did not connect with just through social media. I mean, social media is a great tool. And during a time like this, we’re lucky to have it you know, for entertainment and, and keep interacting with people that way, you know, or else we’d probably all go insane.

Brandon Bartlett: Well, things are slowly starting to open back up in some states. Are venues starting to reach out to you yet to book shows for down the road?

Sean Stemaly: Yeah, I mean, the festivals and all that are still questionable. Whenever you have audiences that big, it’s gonna take a little bit longer to open those venues back up. But as far as the clubs that we play, a lot of those have been rescheduled to September, August, October all those months in the fall. So that’s what we’re looking at. Right now, we’re looking at a pretty empty summer unfortunately.”

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