Photo: Erika Goldring/Getty Images
Eme Alfonso performs at the International Jazz Plaza Festival in 2018
GRAMMY.com To Launch New Digital Performance Series "Global Spin" To Celebrate Global Music
Launching Tuesday, Sept. 28, "Global Spin" will celebrate exciting genres like Afrobeats, K-Pop and Latin music and will include exclusive performances from Eme Alfonso, Candy Bleakz, and many others
Last year, the GRAMMY Awards updated the Best World Music Album category to Best Global Music Album to honor artists across the globe. But why stop there?
On Tuesday, Sept. 28, GRAMMY.com will premiere its latest digital series: Global Spin, a performance series spotlighting artists from around the world. Each episode of Global Spin will feature a performance from a notable artist or group and will celebrate both the creators and their home countries.
Airing biweekly on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m ET on the Recording Academy's official YouTube channel, Facebook page, Instagram page, and Twitter profile, Global Spin is the new home for global music on GRAMMY.com, where the celebration of the genre and the international artist community is the focus. With electrifying artists like Cuban singer/songwriter Eme Alfonso and Nigerian rapper Candy Bleakz confirmed for performances, Global Spin will keep fans of the international music community plugged into one of the most exciting lanes in all of music.
"Music is one thing that transcends borders," Alina Vission, a Content Producer at the Recording Academy and the creator and co-producer of Global Spin, tells GRAMMY.com. "We're excited to celebrate the global music community and take our audience on a trip around the world through music."
"I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to help showcase global music and to shine a light on all the talented musicians across the world," Hillary Melin, Senior Editor/Producer at the Recording Academy and one of the co-producers of the series, says of Global Spin.
A platform to support international artists, Global Spin is born out of the exploding global music scene taking the world by storm today. Whether it be Nigeria's dynamic duo of Wizkid and Tems sweeping the world off their feet with their chart-topping track "Essence" or South Korea's BTS serenading their way into the millions of hearts of the BTS ARMY, global music and artists are dominating today's worldwide music industry like never before.
Shawn Thwaites, a Project Manager in the Recording Academy's Awards department and genre manager for Global Music, partly credits the international growth of global music to the new and rising wave of Afrobeats artists. Still, he notes Afrobeats and global music at large are nothing new; pioneers like Fela Kuti and boundary-pushers like Brazil's Djavan laid the foundation for today's scene decades ago. "It's always been here—we're just catching on," Thwaites says of the global music sound.
As Afrobeats and Afropop continue to rise in the global music sphere, Thwaites also points to "the whole continent of Africa" as well as regions like Brazil, Trinidad, Barbados, Latin America, Asia, and beyond as locations with thriving music scenes to watch. "There's so much music all over this world. Global music is truly global," he reflects.
With the ongoing evolution and proliferation of music technology and social media, global music continues to reach new audiences across international borders, while the genre's established artists and rising stars are pushing the sound's boundaries to new heights.
"I would love for global music to find a way to connect more with the fans," Dominican singer/songwriter and producer the Change tells GRAMMY.com via email. "Within the next five to 10 years, I would love to see more activities that help us spend time with our fans, because in the end, we owe them everything that is happening to us."
"The growing interest in global music means a lot more people from different walks of life and different parts of the world will now be able to relate to my genre of music: Afrobeats," Ghanaian Afropop, dancehall and R&B singer/artist MzVee adds. "I believe music is a global language that transcends all boundaries, and I want to reach fans in every corner of the world, despite the differences in language and genres. My dream is to see global music reach every corner of the world, for global music to break all barriers, to see my music being consumed by everybody, [regardless of] the differences in language, culture [and] religion."
"I'm very happy that [audiences] want to explore and open new doors. I believe that when we learn from other cultures, we grow as human beings," Eme Alfonso tells GRAMMY.com by email. "I would like the people to understand that when they are listening to music from other parts of the world, they are feeling the history, the reality, and the conflicts of a country, because artists reflect their life and problems through art."
But perhaps Haitian DJ/producer Michael Brun said it best: "Global music is the future of music," he bluntly told GRAMMY.com in 2020. "As the world continues to become more interconnected, music culture no longer has borders. The fusion of sounds breeds innovation, and global music artists are at the forefront of that movement."
That innovative movement now has a new home on GRAMMY.com with Global Spin.
Tune in to the sounds of the world with Global Spin every other Tuesday starting Sept. 28, at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m ET on the Recording Academy's official YouTube channel, Facebook page, Instagram page, and Twitter profile.
Photo: Psycho Moustache
Global Spin: Manal Premieres "7iya," A Wavy New Single From Her Upcoming Second Album
Moroccan singer/songwriter Manal offers a sultry debut performance of her never-before-heard song, "7iya," from her forthcoming studio album.
Moroccan pop singer Manal never expected to have a full-time career as a performer. She balanced her appearance on the Lebanese reality competition series Star Academy with her business and finance studies before eventually pursuing a Master's degree and a Ph.D.
But after a whirlwind few years of posting covers on YouTube and independently releasing music, Manal signed with Sony Music Middle East and skyrocketed to fame with her major label debut single, "Taj," in 2018. She's since released her first album, 360, in 2021, and was featured in the 2022 FIFA World Cup soundtrack.
In this episode of Global Spin, Manal enters her next chapter with a premiere of her newest release, "7iya." Clad in traditional jewelry, she pays homage to her Moroccan heritage as she simultaneously sings in her native language, Arabic. The simplistic set allows Manal's vocals to take center stage as she dances slowly around an empty white room.
"7iya" is the second single from Manal's upcoming second studio album, following the release of "3ari" in March 2022.
"My second album is even more important to me than my first one," she teased in an interview with L'Officiel Arabia. "You're going to be able to get to know another aspect of my personality in this project."
Press play on the video above to watch Manal's exclusive performance of "7iya," and keep checking back to GRAMMY.com every Tuesday for more new episodes of Global Spin.
Photo: Zhang Yixing Studio
Global Spin Live: LAY Combines East And West With A Magnetic Performance Of "Veil" At The GRAMMY Museum
Chinese rapper LAY combines traditional Chinese instruments with contemporary Western choreography in this live performance of "Veil."
With every release, singer/songwriter LAY has paid homage to his Chinese heritage. His latest EP, West, is no different, as he croons over the sounds of traditional instruments.
Released as a sequel to his 2021 EP, East, West continues LAY's global exploration and comprehension of western culture through the lens of his upbringing in China. "I'm a proud Chinese person first before an artist," LAY detailed in a media conference. "I just want to share the good things about my culture. I hope it inspires others to do the same."
In this episode of Global Spin Live, LAY offers a highly energetic performance of West's lead single, "Veil," at the GRAMMY Museum. He smoothly transitions between English and his native language, Mandarin.
It's a metaphor for LAY's multicultural mindset that's not only manifested in his lyricism, but additionally in the song's choreography and production; he balances contemporary hip-hop moves with the soft tapping of the Chinese erhu.
Though West presents two versions of "Veil" — one in Mandarin and one predominantly in English — LAY performs the latter on the GRAMMY Museum stage. "'Veil' is [asking listeners to] be more real. Take off your mask and show me the real you," he shares, further emphasizing the message of "Veil" that encourages listeners to share our most authentic selves.
Global Spin Live is held in conjunction with GRAMMY Museum and GRAMMY.com as a live event extension of the popular online series, Global Spin, showcasing Global Music artists. Press play on the video above to watch LAY's suave performance of "Veil," and check back to GRAMMY.com for more episodes of Global Spin.
Photo: RYO MASACHIKA
Global Spin: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Bounces Her Way Through A Colorful Performance Of "Candy Racer"
Japanese star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu transports fans into a bright, glittery fantasy world in this Vocaloid-inspired performance of "Candy Racer."
Known for her eccentric, brightly colored outfits and electric synthpop melodies, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu has long reigned as the queen of Harajuku kawaii culture.
"I don't really have that much of a negative [perception] of being viewed as a kawaii culture icon," she told NYLON magazine in 2021. "That shows what Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is for a lot of people: it's this character that lives in the virtual world." And, with her fifth studio album, Candy Racer, the Kyary Pamyu Pamyu character lives on.
In this episode of Global Spin, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu delivers a vibrant performance of the album's title track. As she sings under colorful flashing lights and images of soundwaves, the kawaii persona shines through with playful vocals and signature Japanese decora fashion.
With Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's autotuned vocals and 8-bit sound effects, she immerses herself into the cartoon universe of "Candy Racer." "Come on now, glittering Tokyo, hurry life/ Painting the future, Candy Racer," she cheerfully chants.
Candy Racer arrived in 2021, which marked 10 years since Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's debut. Like the colorful performance, the album takes inspiration from iconic anime Vocaloid voicebanks like Hatsune Miku. Candy Racer is her first release under Nippon Columbia's KRK Lab, a record label created and owned by the star herself.
Press play on the video above to watch Kyary Pamyu Pamyu cruise through the Japan neon in this hypnotizing performance of "Candy Racer," and keep checking back to GRAMMY.com every Tuesday for more episodes of Global Spin.
Press Play On GRAMMY U Mixtape: New Year, It’s Poppin'! Monthly Member Playlist
The GRAMMY U Mixtape is a monthly, genre-spanning playlist to quench your thirst for new tunes, all from student members. GRAMMY U celebrates new beginnings with fresh pop tunes that will kickstart 2023.
Did you know that among all of the students in GRAMMY U, songwriting and performance is one of the most sought after fields of study? We want to create a space to hear what these students are creating today!
The GRAMMY U Mixtape, now available for your listening pleasure, highlights the creations and fresh ideas that students are bringing to this industry directly on the Recording Academy's Spotify and Apple Music pages. Our goal is to celebrate GRAMMY U members, as well as the time and effort they put into making original music — from the songwriting process to the final production of the track.
Each month, we accept submissions and feature 20 to 25 songs that match that month’s theme. This month we're ringing in 2023 with our New Year, It's Poppin'! playlist, which features fresh pop songs that bring new year, new you vibes. Showcasing talented members from our various chapters, we felt these songs represented the positivity and hopefulness that GRAMMY U members embody as they tackle this upcoming year of exciting possibilities.
So, what’s stopping you? Press play on GRAMMY U’s Mixtape and listen now on Spotify below and Apple Music.
Want to be featured on the next playlist? Submit your songs today! We are currently accepting submissions for songs of all genres for consideration for our February playlist. Whether you write pop, rock, hip hop, jazz, or classical, we want to hear from you. Music must be written and/or produced by the student member (an original song) and you must be able to submit a Spotify and/or Apple Music link to the song. Students must be a GRAMMY U member to submit.
About GRAMMY U:
GRAMMY U is a program that connects college students with the industry's brightest and most talented minds and provides those aspiring professionals with the tools and opportunities necessary to start a career in music.
Throughout each semester, events and special programs touch on all facets of the industry, including the business, technology, and the creative process.
As part of the Recording Academy's mission to ensure the recorded arts remain a thriving part of our shared cultural heritage, GRAMMY U establishes the necessary foundation for music’s next generation to flourish.
Not a member, but want to submit to our playlist? Apply for GRAMMY U Membership here.