A Day in the Life: Social Distancing with Joe Barksdale


For me, the quarantine started with a mental breakdown. I had never lived through such a severe pandemic and in my mind, the world was about to close and I wasn’t even going to be able to leave the house at all and that’s when the anxiety and depression kicked in. My mind started racing and before I knew it I was in the middle of a panic attack that led to an episode that I am so thankful that I had in private. This wasn’t my first ever mental upheaval, but I realized that I needed to find something to focus on as I worked myself out of it.

My wife (I wrote a song about her called “Danielle”) gave me the idea to start publishing some of the beats that I had been making for fun. “You’ve gotten so good at it since you started in January!” she said. “Maybe you should think about putting together an instrumental album of sorts.”

I took that idea and ran with it, and I had finished what would come to be known as the R&B(eats) Vol 1. project. The projects, among other things, was me processing going through a lockdown as well as processing the disappointment of my musical plans changing. 


For those of you that don’t know, I recently retired from an eight-year NFL career and the plan was to hit the ground running in terms of scheduling shows, regional tours and so forth to keep the momentum going and get more exposure for my music. All of that came to a halt at the beginning of the year and I realized that I could either fold, or find a way. I’m so glad that I found a way, and in doing so I have also become a legitimate producer and the R&B(eats) project has been received with overwhelmingly positive reviews and now I am working on more projects for myself as well as other artists that I have begun to collaborate with and produce for.

I know that this story isn’t life changing, but I just want you to know that adversity can hit you pretty hard at times, but if you get back up and keep moving forward you will find that that same adversity has made you better in ways that nothing else ever could have. I hope that y'all are doing well and thanks for coming to my TED Talk!

While practicing social distancing, listen to my new song "Moonbeam":