Echosmith Look Back On GRAMMY Camp 2021 Appearance, Show 2022's Student Participants What They're In For
For reasons one can probably ascertain, people didn't physically get together for GRAMMY Camp this year. While the rapport between artists and students remained, the physical experience had momentarily evaporated—no meet-and-greets, no rubbing shoulders, no traded songwriting tips on the USC campus.
Understandably, Noah, Sydney and Graham Sierota didn't quite know what to expect in 2021. But the siblings behind the indie-pop band Echosmith were pleasantly surprised, both at the quantity and quality of the mass Zoom hang-out on July 20.
"Having to do it all on Zoom didn't sound ideal at first because we prefer face-to-face interactions," Sydney admits to GRAMMY.com. Still, "We got to connect in such a special way. There were so many more students than I expected and so many great questions!"
Noah concurs, noting questions about the intersection of creativity, identity and commerce. "We even talked about 'networking' and stressed the importance of just focusing on getting to know people in a genuine way and not just seeing people as an opportunity to help yourself," he says. "Authenticity came up a lot and I love that that's important to these students."
Such is the power of GRAMMY Camp, which is usually a five-day nonresidential summer music industry program for high school students interested in having a career in music. (Other guests included All Time Low and The War and Treaty.) Even with everybody separated by computer screens, it was a forum for frank, candid discussions that generally don't happen in Reddit AMAs or backstage meet-and-greets.
"I feel that leaves the door open for conversations that normally wouldn't happen, or wouldn't be brought up," Sydney says of the GRAMMY Camp format. "Honestly, these students had even better questions than most journalists out there."
During the hour—which, in her words, "flew by"—Noah and Sydney learned just how crucial their music was to these students at a pivotal age. "I love getting to be a part of their growing up and the important milestones," she says. "It's pretty amazing to think that songs that we may have even written when we were their age have been significant to them as they experience such a unique time in life."
It's easy for Echosmith to put themselves in these students' shoes: Not so long ago, they were fresh-faced kids facing down the opportunity of a lifetime.
"In high school, that's when we got signed," Sydney recalls. "We got pulled out of geometry class and thought we were in trouble. We got called to the office and were like, 'Oh my gosh!' I forget who was on the phone, but Rob Cavallo asked if the kids could be pulled out of school so that we could get signed. Obviously, our answer was yes."
Is there another Echosmith within the crowd of Zoom windows that assembled to hear from the band? With so much sheer musical potential out there, the future of music looks to be in good hands—and GRAMMY Camp is the environment to foster such possibilities.
Click here to apply for GRAMMY Camp 2022 while applications are still open!