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It Goes To 11: AGNEZ MO Shares The Golden Piece Of Equipment That Perfects Every Performance
Agnez Mo

Photo: AM Photography Team/Adam Yoshihara

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It Goes To 11: AGNEZ MO Shares The Golden Piece Of Equipment That Perfects Every Performance

Indonesian singer AGNEZ MO prefers to showcase her powerhouse vocals only with the best mic in the biz — the same brand that's used by the likes of Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake.

GRAMMYs/Aug 21, 2023 - 06:34 pm

When many artists are asked about their favorite piece of equipment, they often think of an instrument. But Indonesian singer AGNEZ MO swiftly thinks of her superpower — her voice — which is why her Sennheiser microphone is her favorite item in her collection.

"I had to compile this folder of all the names I wanted to work with... Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake," MO explains in the latest episode of It Goes to 11. "I study them and literally write down the equipment they use on stage. Justin and Beyoncé use Sennheiser 5200."

One of her favorite parts about her mic is that she customized it to the color of her choice, white. But beyond aesthetics, MO enjoys the mic because of its sound quality.

"It has that warm tone to it. My tone of voice is mid to high frequency, and this definitely warms it up," she says. It also gives the perfect level of reverb, so "whenever I hear myself, it imitates me talking to the audience," she adds.

Through it all, MO simply likes her microphone because it can take ages to find the perfect fit. "It's like finding a boyfriend," MO laughs. "Honestly, this is like my soulmate ... This might not be the right one for you, but it's the right one for me. So, I'm going to hold onto it."

Press play on the video above to learn more about how AGNEZ MO gets the perfect quality voice on stage with her top-of-the-line tech, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of It Goes to 11.

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It Goes To 11: DPR IAN Unveils The Drumsticks That Inspired His Musical Dreams
DPR IAN

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It Goes To 11: DPR IAN Unveils The Drumsticks That Inspired His Musical Dreams

Korean artist DPR IAN shares the story behind his Ahead 5A Drumsticks, the nostalgic piece of gear he discovered while watching Joey Jordison's Slipknot performance videos as a teenager.

GRAMMYs/Feb 21, 2024 - 06:01 pm

Korean artist DPR IAN might have abandoned his drumming days, but that doesn't change the fact that it planted the roots for his artistry — which is why he still names his Ahead 5A drumsticks his favorite piece of musical gear.

"I remember my friend showing me a video on YouTube by SlipknotJoey Jordison," the singer/songwriter, whose birth name is Christian Yu, recounts in the latest episode of It Goes to 11. "That was the first time I got absolutely shook."

Because of his hours of watching the band's videos, he could quickly recognize the tools they used on stage in any instrument shop. After convincing his mom to buy the same drumsticks as Jordison's, Yu drummed everywhere, including his car dashboard, which still has dents today.

Eventually, it was time to perform on the drums live. Having never been in front of an audience, the nerves were so high that he remembers he "blacked out" on stage as soon as the song started playing. "It was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life because I froze."

However, DPR IAN says it taught him a valuable lesson: not to become a drummer. But it also showed him that one negative experience shouldn't ruin his entire perspective on music.

"The greatest success is actually from a failure," he declares. "You have to learn how to be bad [at] things."

Press play on the video above to learn more about DPR IAN's history with the drums, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of It Goes to 11.

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It Goes To 11: B.I Shares The Sweet Story Behind His Fan-Gifted Microphone
B.I

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It Goes To 11: B.I Shares The Sweet Story Behind His Fan-Gifted Microphone

Korean rapper B.I shows off his favorite instrument, a Shure J5E microphone — not because it's blinged-out, but because it's a symbol of his fans' love.

GRAMMYs/Feb 14, 2024 - 07:38 pm

Most musicians' favorite instruments are ones they seek out — the ones they've dreamed about since childhood, or ones passed down from a family member. But Korean rapper B.I cherishes his most beloved item because it was a token of appreciation from his loyal supporters.

"It was my 24th or 25th birthday," he recalls in the latest episode of It Goes to 11. "At the time, my fans were showing me their love because they wanted me to continue making music, and they gave me this microphone as a birthday present."

Thankfully, the fans made sure to invest in high-quality tech that B.I could enjoy for years to come. It's a Shure J5E, blinged out in cubic crystals.

"Now, it's lost a few crystals since I've used it a lot. It's so shiny and glittery. It catches my eye and my heart," B.I explains. "Since I know it's a good microphone, I like it even more. It's like my fans are saying, 'I want the best things for my singer.'"

When he doesn't perform with the microphone, B.I confesses he feels "insecure." But he's on top of the world when he does use it because of its clear sound, and he can never get enough of the lights shimmering on the crystals: "It makes it stand out more, or it gives off a nice effect."

Press play on the video above to learn the full story of how B.I acquired his treasured Shure J5E microphone, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of It Goes to 11.

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It Goes To 11: Meet León Leiden's Prized Violin That He's Had Since His 14th Birthday
León Leiden

Photo: Martha Alvarez Bernal

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It Goes To 11: Meet León Leiden's Prized Violin That He's Had Since His 14th Birthday

Mexican musician León Leiden shares the "emotional" story behind his favorite instrument, a 19th century violin, which has become his most reliable safe space.

GRAMMYs/Jan 17, 2024 - 06:05 pm

Every violinist knows the instrument only gets better with age. So, it's safe to say genre-bending Mexican musician León Leiden — who grew up in a family of classical musicians —  understands the opulence behind his 19th-century violin.

"I don't think a violin can sound like this one out of the factory," Leiden explains in the latest episode of It Goes to 11. "Wood is a material that requires time to become more flexible. It requires changes in temperature, humidity, and air density to become more versatile. The more time passes by, it'll have a warmer tone."

The violin is even more important to Leiden because his parents, who are professors at a public university in Mexico, had to save their money for it. It's become a symbol of not only their love but also their support for his music career.

"It was very expensive for us, and we didn't know if we would be able to get the violin," he says. "When my birthday came, they were like, 'We did it!' It was very emotional."

Today, the violin has become his solace. "Instead of being a place of risk, it's a place of safety and comfort."

Press play on the video above to learn more about his relationship with his violin, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of It Goes to 11.

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It Goes To 11: Black Pumas' Eric Burton Shows Off The Synthesizer That Reminds Him Of His Childhood
Eric Burton

Photo: Jody Domingue

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It Goes To 11: Black Pumas' Eric Burton Shows Off The Synthesizer That Reminds Him Of His Childhood

Among his extensive instrument collection, Black Pumas singer Eric Burton favors his Roland JU-06A because of its vintage sound and "that sheen that I love."

GRAMMYs/Jan 10, 2024 - 05:11 pm

Psychedelic soul duo Black Pumas have consistently channeled the sounds of the '70s and '80s. So, it makes perfect sense that the group's co-founder, Eric Burton, favors an instrument that can authentically replicate a classic tone: a Roland JU-06A synthesizer.

"I first acquired the Boutique JU-06A in Berlin, Germany, while we were on tour," Burton recounts in the newest episode of It Goes to 11. "Right before soundcheck, I went shopping with our keyboardist, looking for equipment that I could take on the bus and have on the move for inspiration."

And he does, indeed, take it everywhere. It accompanies him to lunch, dinner and even more soundchecks.

"I like how vintage it sounded. I love how toyish it felt. It reminds me of my childhood, almost like a Polaroid picture. It has that sheen I love," Burton says.

Most days, he utilizes the Roland JU-06A to simulate the feeling of other players: "There's a button you can push to hold whatever chord you're playing in place so that once you push it down, it'll go on forever."

You can witness the magic of Burton's synthesizer in person throughout the first half of the year, as the Black Pumas will kick off their 2024 tour on Jan. 18. The trek is in support of their sophomore album, Chronicles of a Diamond, which includes their latest GRAMMY-nominated track, "More Than A Love Song," up for Best Rock Performance at the 2024 GRAMMYs.

Press play on the video above to learn more about the features of Eric Burton's beloved Roland JU-06A synthesizer, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of It Goes to 11.

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