Tiny Shed: Pandemic Performances on Campus and Artist Interview with Toxic Holiday’s Tyler Jenkins
“Tiny Shed” is a student-run initiative where artists can showcase their work. Despite campus restrictions due to the pandemic, Tiny Shed has been able to continue hosting events that bring people together in a time where everything feels so seemingly isolated. We had the opportunity to interview Tiny Shed event organizers Imani Crews (’21) and Luisa Bryon (’21), and Tyler Jenkins (’22), a member of the band Toxic Holiday and a regular Tiny Shed performer. Continue reading to learn more about Tiny Shed and Tyler’s work!
Can you tell us a little bit about Tiny Shed and its mission?
“Tiny Shed was created about two years ago by seniors who hosted weekly concerts out of the shed. I don’t really know what the original mission was, or if there was one. I think organically the people that gravitate towards Tiny Shed have love for music, video production, sound engineering, live performances, community, and good times.” — Imani
“To document live recording sessions of musicians on campus — similar to NPR’s tiny desk series. We post all of our videos to our youtube channel. Also to provide a space where people can hang out, play music together, and have Covid safe live performances.” — Luisa
When did this tradition start, and how long have you been running it?
“Tiny shed was started by Jordan White, Clare Zad, Lola Sounigo, Ellis Richmond, Sam Dewees, Alice Goldberg, Meg West, and Sebastian Moller in 2018. We have been running Tiny Shed this semester, and we were involved in keeping it going last year.” — Luisa
Had you planned on continuing to host performances during the pandemic?
“I think that prior to the pandemic, if people can remember that far back, I really wanted to work with people to put on more live shows. I had all sorts of idea about concerts and bringing people to campus, but obviously none of that really worked out. When we came back, I knew that I wanted to do something and give people some sort of platform to have their work be seen.” — Imani
What changes in performance structure had to occur to ensure the event was COVID friendly?
“Being Covid safe is the biggest priority for us. All of the shows are held outdoors with limited audiences. We wipe down equipment before and between sets and we try to keep each show as short as possible. It is difficult because there really isn’t a blueprint for how to do something like this in the best way, so none of our tactics are set in stone. Every show this semester has taught us new things about how we can control crowds and keep everyone safe.” -Imani
What do you expect the future of Tiny Shed to look like once you graduate?
I hope that it keeps going. It’s a great little cute community of people who like sharing and creating work. I am hoping there are more shows and more performances that showcase the variety of sounds that come from Wesleyan. — Imani
Can you tell us a little bit about your music and what you do?
“I would say my music comes from a couple of different places. I’m really inspired by jazz, my first instrument was actually jazz drums. I love modern music like R&B, rap, dancehall and pop so I try to align my music with a fusion of all of those. I’m fortunate to have the ability to play piano, bass, guitar, and drums so I use my music knowledge to build, and create sonic connections. I love melodic grooves, anything.” — Tyler
What has your experience with Tiny Shed been like?
“Shoutout Jordan White and Ellis Richmond! They were among people who started tiny shed in 2018. There were a lot of other people that helped and I headlined the first tiny shed concert. Jordan texted me last minute to fill in, and my freshman self was super hyped. I came to their house and performed a couple songs I had on Spotify at the time. I’ve always appreciated the community that formed from tiny shed. It really brought people together. Since the first concert, they expanded outdoors, had better sound and film equipment and drew more people. I have played in about 5 so far.” — Tyler
When was the last time you performed since the rise of Coronavirus?How have your performance experiences changed due to the pandemic?
“I’ve only performed one time since Covid. It’s been kinda rough. This break from performing made me realize how much I really enjoyed displaying my art. I was fortunate enough to be able to hop on to a Tiny Shed concert in the beginning of the semester. There are many parts of a concert that will always be lost due to Covid restrictions. It’s great any chance to make it close but it will never be the same.” — Tyler
As an artist, how has the pandemic altered your relationship with music, if at all?
“Covid and the quarantine has definitely made me more introspective. I think my music will definitely reflect that. I’ve been sitting with music (my own and not) in solitude, so the emotions and vibes I get from the recent experiences have matured my views on songs. My ears have improved as well. Having time to really listen deep to my favorite songs is the best education.” — Tyler
What new skills do you feel you’ve gained as a musician from the challenges presented by the pandemic?
“Because I started as a drummer, I had a very one-dimensional view of music. I never thought of music for it’s healing and emotional qualities as much. And since the quarantine, my relationship with music is similar to that of plants and water. I’ve been able to write more vulnerably and experience music with a more energy specific/emotional lens.” — Tyler
What do you feel is special/unique about Tiny Shed?
“Tiny Shed is one of the best student-run creative collectives ever created because it really provides a community function. The diverse combination of identities, age groups, art mediums will always stand out as some of my favorite Wesleyan memories. It puts people on. Exposes them to creatives and opportunities to create. It’s accessible and even has a humanitarian function. I think Tiny Shed has a strong future.” — Tyler