Design: F. Inomata
Andrew Bird Turns It Around With His "Olympians" Performance For Press Play
The multi-talented musician/composer shares his "darkest before the dawn" original song on the latest episode of the Recording Academy's original performance series
In the latest episode of Press Play, the incomparable Andrew Bird performs "Olympians" with help from Madison Cunningham. Have a look and listen:
From his new album, My Finest Work Yet, "Olympians" can be taken as a "socio-political allegory," according to Bird. Showing the contrast of despair and hope, the "darkest before the dawn" scenario song expresses how we as people can, "Spiral in our thoughts," said Bird, "get competitive about suffering" and ultimately, "Will ourselves out of these dark places."
Growing up in Chicago with a mother who loved classical music and a father who loved Merle Haggard and Buck Owens, Bird started playing violin at age 4. His influences grew to include jazz, gospel, Lester Young, Staples Singers, and much more. Early in his career, Bird became known as a virtuoso violinist, songwriter, composer, vocalist and whistler, pushing the boundaries of style and technique with each new album since his 1666 debut, Music of Hair.
Enjoy Bird and Cunningham's live rendition of "Olympians," and stay tuned for more exclusive original performances on Press Play.
Photo: Courtesy of Chikoruss
Press Play: Chikoruss Delivers A Suave Performance Of "In 2 Deep"
R&B newcomer Chikoruss strips down his 300 Entertainment debut single, "In 2 Deep," for an intimate acoustic rendition.
On "In 2 Deep," R&B newcomer Chikoruss makes one thing clear: he's blasé about any potential lover's relationship status. If he feels a spark, he'll follow that connection and consider the consequences later.
"I know you got a man, but I don't care," he boldly declares in the first verse. "Honestly, you should really make more time for me/ F— around, find out, you gon' see/ No matter, they say this love the same."
In this episode of Press Play, Chikoruss performs an acoustic rendition of the assertive single.
"In 2 Deep" is the Montreal native's premiere track with 300 Entertainment. As Chikoruss explained in a press release, the song is special to him because he made it during his first trip to LA. "It was the day I dropped my debut single, 'Body Language,'" he recalled. "I was beaming off of the good energy from the release."
Chikoruss' rookie year also saw the singer opening up for Bryson Tiller at the Toronto show of his 2023 tour. As he continues to craft "the Chikoruss sound," his goal is to create more tracks like "In 2 Deep," which channel the 2000s with a feel-good, modern approach.
Watch the video above to hear more about Chikoruss' fearless pursuits in love in this live performance of "In 2 Deep," and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Press Play.
Photo: Courtesy of Tish Melton
Press Play: Watch Tish Melton Preview Debut EP With A Stripped-Down Performance Of "Sober"
Indie pop newcomer — and Brandi Carlile's mentee — Tish Melton premieres "Sober," an emotional track from her upcoming EP, 'When We're Older,' out March 1.
Beneath the empty bottles, Tish Melton wants to know if her love is true; to her, drunken confessions of love mean nothing. It's what happens when the party's over and no one is watching — that's when she sees that person at their most authentic.
"You're standing close/ But you're so far away/ Your eyes are closed/ But you see me anyway," Melton sings on the bridge of her emotional track "Sober." "And I swear you told me you love me on the walk home/ If you meant it, I'll never know/ I think we should stay sober."
In this episode of Press Play, the indie pop newcomer premieres "Sober" with a raw and intimate acoustic performance.
"Sober" is an unreleased track from her upcoming first EP, When We're Older, which arrives on March 1. Melton previously released three singles in 2023, "Damage," "The Chase," and "Michelle."
As she prepares her debut project, Melton already has a major supporter in her corner: nine-time GRAMMY winner Brandi Carlile, who has been a mentor to Melton since recognizing her talent at her debut show at the Troubadour in Los Angeles.
"Tish is so young and so brilliant," Carlile, who produced When We're Older, revealed in a press statement. "Like most lessons in life, I learned this one while I thought I was teaching it. We should guide youth in music, but there is no question that it should lead."
Watch the video above to hear Tish Melton's honest performance of "Sober," and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Press Play.
Photo: Courtesy of Babygirl
Press Play: Babygirl Deliver An Emotional Performance Of Their Honest Single, "Born With A Broken Heart"
With just their voices and a burning electric guitar, Toronto-based duo Babygirl bring out the melancholy of "Born With A Broken Heart," the lead single from their latest EP, "Be Still My Heart."
Tainted by years of endless sadness, Babygirl frontwoman Kiki Frances fears she might be "Born with a Broken Heart." As she declares in the chorus, "It's almost like I'm built to fall apart."
In this episode of Press Play, Babygirl deliver an acoustic performance of their track, with bandmate Cameron Bright supporting Frances's vocals with a melancholy electric guitar.
"Born with a Broken Heart" is the lead single from Babygirl's latest EP, Be Still My Heart, released earlier this year via Sandlot Records.
"This is one of our favorite pieces of music we've ever made together," they revealed to Broadway World. "A lot of our writing is character-driven or based on some fantasy, and those are personal in a more subconscious way, but this one feels very directly personal."
Watch the video above to view Babygirl's tender performance of "Born with a Broken Heart," and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Press Play.
Photo: Courtesy of Marley Bleu
Press Play: Marley Bleu Honors An "Unintentional" Love In This Intimate Performance
R&B newcomer Marley Bleu offers a stripped-down performance of "Unintentional," her debut single with Republic Records.
Sometimes love can catch you off guard — and in Marley Bleu's case, she may have found the perfect partner unintentionally.
"'Cause your love is so intentional/ Wrong time, I think I found the right one," the rising R&B star sings in her latest single, "Unintentional." "You're here, don't know where you came from/ What we got is so unintentional."
In this episode of Press Play, the Los Angeles native sings a stripped-down version of "Unintentional," supported by a keyboardist. The pair perform on her living room sofa, emphasizing the track's intimate nature.
"Unintentional," which originally features Pink Sweat$, is Bleu's major label debut under Republic Records. Her next single, "goodmorning," is slated to arrive later this year.
Bleu found her roots in performing from a musical family. Her great-great uncle is the late Chuck Berry, and her father, Al Berry, played bass guitar for industry titans like Nile Rodgers, Kelly Clarkson and Avril Lavigne.
Watch the video above to hear Marley Bleu's live performance of "Unintentional," and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Press Play.