Reggie Watts
Photo by Rob Von Swank

Staying Not Exactly Sane with Reggie Watts

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The multi-hyphenate Angeleno is sheltering at home, which for him means tooling around with his newly launched app, playing video games and getting loads of fresh air.

Quarantine Coping is our series about how local creatives are filling their time — and shelves — in the wake of COVID-19 isolation.

It’s not difficult to believe that Reggie Watts is some kind of hybrid human-A.I. creature that hails from the future. The Silver Lake denizen is a multilingual musician, comedian, performance artist and, probably, a secret spy too. Born in Germany and raised in Montana, the entertainer is well-known for his improvised genre-bending performances featuring his expansive vocal range, a loop pedal and a keyboard.

His talents have spawned a Netflix special, Comedy Central cameos and collaborations with the likes of Jon Brion, Regina Spektor, Conan O’Brien and most likely an obscure government operation or two. He currently leads the house band for “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” which, like all of us, is in semi-hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lately, Watts has been sheltering at home and dripping his creative juices all over musical livestreams on Instagram and on his recently launched app, WattsApp. “It’s kind of like my own channel,” Watts says.

The app features original videos, livestreams and soon-to-be-released songs that can be unlocked by specific geolocations. Plus, there’s an absurdist online shop where people can make purchases from his collection of old technology along with a few other top-secret surprises (which may or may not include tools for espionage).

We recently caught up with Watts to ask him how’s he handling our new abnormal.

What are you stocking up on?

I’m not really stocking up on anything at all. It’s really not necessary … I don’t really need toilet paper because I have a bidet, and I get my food delivered from a nutritionist so she keeps bringing over meals.

What does your day-to-day look like under quarantine?

I’ve been trying to set some kind of schedule for myself, I suppose, but a lot of it is just trying to create structure, organize things and make sure I get out and have some fresh air and move around. I try to eat pretty good and I play video games.

What video games are you playing?

Right now, I’m playing The Division 2 and Borderlands 3 … and then this other Swedish video game that takes place in a small Swedish town — a fjord — where you are solving a mystery, and it’s pretty cool.

What have you been listening to and do you have any recommendations?

I have been listening — I mean, listenin’ — to this band Crumb and this new artist named Hatchie. She’s Australian, and her music is this perfect split between The Sundays and The Cranberries but it’s newer. It’s really good vibes. I’m also into this album, “Katputt” by Destroyer.

Any other ways that you’re staying sane?

Mmm, let me think. Edibles. I really like these products by Next Level. They have this super precise molecular extract or extracted formulations and, yeah, they’re really great.

What did a typical day look like for you before the shutdown?

A typical day, weekday, I would have gotten up and gone and worked out at the gym and then come back for a little bit and then go to work around 4:00, 4:15, something like that. And then, get done with work around 6:30 and then drive back home and then either go on a date or turn into a 60-foot robot.

Are you still robotic post ‘rona?

Well, no, not in that form as much — I’m just using regular power now.

Los Angeleno