QUARANTUNES PLAYLIST VOL.09: KELLY MASON

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Kelly Mason
Photo: Ashley Gellman

“The latest from me… To be honest, I got extremely lucky with unemployment and suddenly have the opportunity to create just to create. This was a tough pill to swallow when I wanted nothing more than to build my business after getting laid off in January, however, I think it was a sign that I needed to slow down, switch gears, and be grateful the system worked in my favor this time.” – Kelly Mason

HOW IS QUARANTINE LIFE? WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO KEEP YOURSELF OCCUPIED AT HOME?

Kelly: Quarantine has its extreme ups and downs for sure! I’ve been using this time to hone my real-life skills, help my partner Kirby with a daily-ish project where he writes a song in 15 minutes, hang out with our cats and houseplants, and as soon as I start to feel like everything is pointless I find a random creative project to dive into for 6-8 hours without blinking.

Also, I just got into Animal Crossing. That game slows my brain down in a way I didn’t realize I desperately needed. It also fills all the in-between feelings of drifting through the void. So wholesome.

PEOPLE ARE GOING CRAZY FOR YOUR SONG BRACKETS! TELL US HOW YOU KICKED OFF A VIRTUAL TREND! HOW DO YOU KEEP THEM FRESH?

Yay! What a time to go viral, eh? Honestly, I made the first one because I was angry.

Backstory: One day I filled out someone else’s “early 00s emo” bracket and felt the bands did not encompass the era, so I casually started making a list of my favorite bands from the mid-2000s. My career in music started as a writer in 2005, and I’ve always had a deep desire to share the music I like with anyone who will listen. Even the act of creating this list was deeply cathartic.

A few weeks into quarantine, I found myself on Facebook battling a conspiracy theorist I went to high school with. After realizing what a colossal waste of time this was, I ripped my brain out of its pointless rage, opened Photoshop, and redirected my energy for the next six hours to make the first emo bracket.

I tend to challenge my negative emotions with humor and just wanted to amuse my friends. I didn’t care to understand the concept of March Madness and started by pitting all of my favorite bands against each other. Apparently they were everyone else’s favorite bands too and this caused some serious emotional strife.

The day after I posted the first bracket, Halsey filled it out and my account blew up. I have no idea what happened for the next two days because I was so laser-focused on making more, but I’ve heard other celebs posted it too.

At first, I was creating a new template—sometimes two or three or four—every single day. I kept them fresh by entertaining people’s ideas and letting anyone submit lists. This quickly became a burden and resulted in me throwing tantrums at my computer, so I decided to stick with topics that are personally relevant to me. This seems to be less confusing for “my audience” too, especially considering that I’m not trying to be the Bracket Queen forever. These days I try to post 3ish new templates a week, which seems to be a perfect balance and gives me time to think of fresh new ideas!

I also have a friend who I pay to make playlists, seed, and sometimes create entire lists for me. He wants no credit but I gotta give it where it’s due. It takes a village!

WHEN THIS IS ALL OVER, WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE MOST?

Traveling! Live music! Leaving my residence without having to run back inside because I forgot my dang mask again!

LET US KNOW A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE PLAYLIST YOU’VE COMPILED FOR US!

The first three songs are quarantine releases that have been on heavy rotation. Hayley Williams needs no introduction. PVRIS is one of the most inspiring bands I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and it’s always amazing to hear Lyndsey explore her creativity in new ways. She’s so damn prolific! MisterWives just officially entered my worldview after sleeping on them for way too long. The rest is mostly a mix of all-time favorites.

Connect with Kelly Mason: Instagram | Twitter | Website | Facebook

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