ARLEE — A lot of people have found it hard to stay productive during the pandemic -- and especially during the stay-at-home order -- but for one family in Arlee, all of the downtime has led to some pretty amazing outcomes.
Those outcomes are now helping the family heal.
"My dad passed away on February 20th," said Sally Cordier. "I was given grievance pay for a month, and I was supposed to go back to work on the 16th of March, but that's when we were put in lockdown."
Following the passing of her father, Cordier’s mother came to live with her family. This transitional phase, on top of the pandemic and stay-at-home order made for a challenging year for the Cordiers.
But amid the grieving and the uncertainty, Sally’s sons -- twins Dustin and Devin -- were discovering new talents and using them to bring a little light to a dark time.
"One day I was outside, I'm looking at Christmas lights and going through a shed, and Dustin came up and he said 'mom, listen to this,' and so I did and I said, 'oh that's really cool, who is that?' He told me it was him, but I didn't believe him."
In an effort to fight pandemic boredom, 18-year-old Dustin began creating music with a computer and a rock band mic. Meanwhile, his brother Devin, made the cover art -- and they were good!
The hidden talents caught Cordier and her husband off guard. "Both my parents cried when they heard my first song," said Dustin.
Dustin had always wanted to give music a try, but the timing was never quite right. But with a pandemic lockdown, he finally had the chance.
"I thought, I'm just gonna go make a song, so I made a song called "Let Me Know," showed all my friends and they're like ‘Justin, this is actually pretty good'," Dustin said.
That’s where Devin came in.
"I've always loved art and doing sketches," said Devin. "When I was a kid, I didn't do my homework, and as a reward for when I did do my homework, my teachers would let me sketch in an art book in my classes. So, once Dustin did the song, I was like ‘every song needs a cover’."
The duo began creating rap music with digital cover art.
Their parents were just proud to see their sons making the most out of the pandemic.
Not only did the twins help their family through a trying time, but their art will also now be included in a campaign for COVID awareness through the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.
"For wearing masks, social distancing, all that stuff that keeps us safe, because, you know, our elders are running out of people who speak the language, and if we all do that, we can protect them," said Dustin.
Devin told MTN News he plans on going to college to study digital design, and Dustin is hoping to make it big with his music.
You can find the songs that have been released so far on nearly every online platform under "dust2dust."
Additional stories on the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes campaign to create COVID-19 awareness: