Erykah Badu didn’t make any profit on her first livestream from her Quarantine Concert Series.
After most of the world went into lockdown last month due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Erykah was worried about how cancelling all of her shows would affect her band and crew so she worked with a company to set up a livestream from her own home.
The 49-year-old artist only charged fans $1 each to log in to her first livestream and while she didn’t make any profit, she insisted it was worth it as it helped her to iron out any technical glitches.
Erykah told Variety: “On March 13th, I was preparing to do a weekend of shows — I’ve toured eight months out of the year for the past 22 years, and it’s how I make my living and support my band and my techs and my crew.”
“I had to quickly think of something, and like every other artist in the industry, we thought of livestreaming. But I couldn’t just put a phone up on a tripod and do a livestream on one of the social platforms, because that would just feed me: I had to figure out a way to keep morale up for all [my] musicians and techs and engineers and keep all of us employed.
“Ordinarily people would pay $40 to $200 for this [kind of show], but we’re in a climate where so many people have lost their jobs, so we only charged $1. I didn’t make any [profit] the first time, but it was a learning experience and I figured I’d take one for the team.”
Erykah – whose first livestream performance was dubbed ‘Apocalypse One’ – admitted charging so little is not sustainable but insisted that she will start to charge more.
She explained: “It’s not sustainable, but I’m going out into the wilderness to walk a path that has not been created yet. I didn’t know what I was doing at first and I was petrified, and when it was finished, we all exhaled — but not too deep, in this climate!
“‘Apocalypse Two’ was $2, and ‘Apocalypse Three’ will be $3, and as I progress my productions will get more elaborate as well. I go by what the people want — they want to support me and they want me to charge more because they say it’s worth more.”
2-Time Grammy Award winner Badu is already celebrating the third installment of the livestream Quarantine Concert Series.
To learn more about supporting Badu and her band of musicians, check out her instagram account, and website .