Photo: Courtesy of AkayCentric
Press Play: AkayCentric Delivers A Tender, Stripped-Down Performance Of "Body And Soul"
AkayCentric revisits "Body and Soul," off his 2019 'Ignition' album, in an intimate, romantic performance that spotlights his soaring vocals.
AkayCentric offers a declaration of all-encompassing, eternal love in "Body and Soul," an immersive track off his 2019 album, Ignition. "Let me be the one for you/ And you'll be the one for me/ And I promise I'm gonna give my all," the Lagos, Nigeria native sings in the chorus.
On the studio version of "Body and Soul," a smooth backing track and an atmospheric blend of backing vocals propel the song forward. But in this stripped-down performance, the Afropop star trades those bells and whistles for a simple, acoustic guitar line and a plaintive, pure vocal delivery.
In this episode of Press Play, AkayCentric gives fans a front-row seat to his intimate living room performance, which puts his honeyed vocals on full display. Trembling vibrato and R&B vocal runs add to the emotional impact of the melody, with a gentle acoustic guitar line and backing vocals providing subtle texture to this performance of "Body and Soul."
AkayCentric is closing out 2022 with an acoustic set in Oakland, Calif., where he'll open for R&B star Tone Stith on Dec. 4. When he announced the show on social media, AkayCentric promised, "Trust me, I sound better LIVE." Judging by this performance, he's not wrong.
Press play on the video above to watch AkayCentric's intimate performance of "Body and Soul," and keep checking back to GRAMMY.com for more episodes of Press Play.
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Photo: Courtesy of Peter One
Press Play: Peter One Delivers A Serene Performance Of His Love Ballad "Sweet Rainbow"
After more than 20 years out of the spotlight, Ivory Coast native Peter One returns to music with new album 'Come Back to Me,' and an intimate performance of the B-side, "Sweet Rainbow."
Ivory Coast-born musician Peter One had a prolific career in music during the late '90s, but after political unrest uprooted his plans, he turned to nursing to support his family. Last month, he triumphantly returned after two decades with his major label debut, Come Back to Me.
Amongst One's newest folk offering lives "Sweet Rainbow," an honest love ballad about a life-changing relationship. "Sweet Rainbow, I love you/ Wonderful baby, I love you so much," he sings in the track's opening line.
In this episode of Press Play, One performs "Sweet Rainbow" live, accompanied by a pianist and guitarists. Emphasizing the intimate nature of the song, he sings the B-side at night from a secluded forest.
"In this song, the girlfriend is like a rainbow because her background is of many different cultures. For one reason or another, we broke up, and I'm just telling her to come back and forget about the past for anything that happened. I'll forgive her," the singer revealed in a press statement.
On May 6, One began the tour for the new album in Nashville, Tennessee, and will appear at the Newport Folk, Pilgrimage, and Rebels & Renegades festivals later this year.
Watch the video above to see Peter One's tranquil performance of "Sweet Rainbow," and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Press Play.
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Photo: Courtesy of Henry Lau
Press Play: Henry Lau Shows Off His Musical Prowess With A Dynamic Performance Of "MOONLIGHT"
Genre-bending singer Henry Lau uses a loop station to perform his single "MOONLIGHT," incorporating the violin, cello and both electric and acoustic guitar.
With his single "MOONLIGHT," Henry Lau refuses to be burdened by his past relationships. Now, he's turning a new leaf, dancing carefree under the night sky, regardless of the negative emotions he might feel.
"I'm waking up in a daze, get it out of my face/ The sun is shining on every move that I make," the singer reveals in the second verse. "So, let's get to forgetting everything that went wrong/ Everybody here, we been crying too long/ We can dance about it to our favorite song."
In this episode of Press Play, Lau performs "MOONLIGHT" from a mansion rooftop during sunset. He constructs the entire song using a loop station, playing a violin, cello and electric and acoustic guitars — one of his signature performance techniques that prompted his nickname, "one-man band."
Lau released "MOONLIGHT" in January — marking his first single in two years — via Monster Entertainment, the label he founded alongside his brother Clinton. He released another single, "Real Love Still Exists," two months later; the track features Malaysian R&B singer Yuna.
Watch the video above to watch Henry Lau's impressive loop station performance of "MOONLIGHT," and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Press Play.
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Photo: Courtesy of thuy
Press Play: Thuy Offers A Stripped-Down Performance Of Her Shimmering Single "Girls Like Me Don't Cry"
Vietnamese singer/songwriter thuy turns her vulnerable single "girls like me don't cry" into a slow, piano-based track, bringing out the song's raw emotion.
With "girls like me don't cry," Vietnamese singer/songwriter thuy searches for a personal sanctuary. Broken and battered from heartbreak, she's taught herself to hide from her true feelings.
"Tell me that you keep me safe and/ Never let this fade away/ Girls like me don't cry/ Girls like me pretend that we don't cry," thuy sings in the song's chorus. By the end of the track, she realizes that the stoic life isn't how she wants to live, revealing, "All I want to do is hide/ Gotta let it go/ Don't wanna keep this all inside."
In this episode of Press Play, thuy delivers a monochromatic performance of "girls like me don't cry." Compared to the track's original arrangement, thuy offers a slow, stripped-down performance, creating a more emotional sonic experience as a piano accompanies her.
"girls like me don't cry" is the lead single from thuy's latest project of the same name. The emerging R&B songstress is currently supporting Ella Mai on The Heart on My Sleeve Tour, and she will embark on a headlining tour through Europe in October.
Click on the video above to watch thuy's performance of "girls like me don't cry," and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Press Play.
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Photo: Courtesy of XTIE
Press Play: XTIE Reclaims The Power In Her Relationship With Eczema During This Performance Of "Skin"
On her single "Skin," Hong Kong native XTIE refuses to let her eczema hold her back any longer — and this powerful live rendition is a testament to that.
Growing up with severe eczema, Hong Kong native XTIE has struggled with body image issues her entire life. But on her single "Skin," she's ready to embrace what she once believed were flaws.
"I just want to heal on my own/ To take care of my skin," she declares in the chorus, later revealing, "Fighting all of my insecurities/ Stop judging by looking at my skin/ I just want to lift up my chin/ Telling me there's a world to win."
In this episode of Press Play, XTIE delivers a live performance of "Skin," constructing the song with a MIDI controller and keyboard. She wears a vest that exposes her neck and arms, emphasizing her growing comfort in her body.
Chatting with EnVi Media, the singer/songwriter called "Skin" the "most important song" in her catalog. Before her debut, she considered staying behind the scenes as a producer due to her eczema battle.
"I felt like no one wanted to hear me sing," she explained. "When people consume music, they also consume your singing and your appearance."
Click on the video to see XTIE promote body positivity with her performance of "Skin," and be sure to check back to GRAMMY.com every week for more new episodes of Press Play.
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