Coronavirus
Violinist Genghis Díaz keeps himself employed. Violinist Genghis Díaz keeps himself employed.

Unemployed violinist finds work offering virtual serenades

Customers can order a personalized musical message for friends or loved ones

A professional violinist out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic is offering virtual serenades to keep himself employed.

Genghis Díaz, a talented musician who has represented Mexico around the world, is offering his services via social media for anyone who wishes to send a friend or loved one a personalized musical message.  

“At first I survived with the savings I had and later I offered the serenades online through Facebook among friends and acquaintances,” Díaz told the newspaper Milenio of his struggle to provide for himself, his cat Katniss and his English shepherd Rex during the pandemic.

Booking a serenade is a simple process. Customers reach out to Díaz via Facebook or Twitter to request a song. He films himself playing it and offering a personalized message for the recipient and sends it to customers the day before the special occasion. 

Social media savvy, Díaz has produced a promotional video of himself performing a version of pop star Ed Sheeran’s song Perfect, and has also sought retweets from several established influencers, including Mexico’s Interior Minister Olga Sánchez Cordero and journalist Jorge Ramos.

Reviews of his virtual serenades have all been positive, he says, no small feat on social media where commenters can be hypercritical.

“For mommy’s birthday, I asked @GenghisDiaz to record a custom serenade for her, and she loved it! She was crying with happiness. Thank you very much Genghis for helping me make her day special now that we are all so far away physically,” wrote one satisfied customer.

Before confinement, Díaz played at social events such as weddings and quinceañeras (15th birthday parties) and gave violin lessons. Students were not interested in taking online violin classes, he says, and dropped out during confinement, but Díaz is hopeful that as coronavirus restrictions continue to be lifted they will return, as will other opportunities from the contacts he has made in recent months on Facebook and Twitter.

“I knew how to adapt and I knew how to find a key to doing things and it can be said that I am the pioneer in that because I understand the network perfectly. I knew how to exploit it and get the shares, the retweets, the likes, and all of that,” he said.

“What we have always done, and we will have to do is adapt to the times.” 

Source: Milenio (sp)

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