Photo Courtesy of Artist
Press Play At Home: Watch Aoife O'Donovan's Smoldering Performance Of "Phoenix"
Irish-American singer/songwriter Aoife O'Donovan delivers a moving rendition of "Phoenix," the lead single from the GRAMMY winner’s latest album, 'Age of Apathy'
Sometimes all that's needed to stir up emotions are a guitar and a voice. GRAMMY winner Aoife O'Donovan is excellent proof of this with her acoustic performance of "Phoenix" for her episode of Press Play At Home.
The Irish-American folk singer/songwriter made "Phoenix" the lead single from her latest album, Age of Apathy, which was released earlier this year. As O'Donovan explained upon the song’s release last year, she wrote the moving track after stumbling upon the opening line ("Time's not the villain coming up behind you is a marigold sun") in an old note on her computer. "'Phoenix' is truly an ode to my own muse," she said.
O’Donovan has been releasing music since 2004, beginning as the frontwoman of bluegrass group Crooked Still and simultaneously performing in the contemporary/neo-traditional folk trio Sometymes Why. Forming another folk trio, I’m With Her, with Sara Watkins and Sarah Jarosz in 2015, O'Donovan won a GRAMMY for Best American Roots Song in 2020 for the group’s hit "Call My Name."
Age of Apathy marks O'Donovan’s third solo LP. Along with her bands, the Boston-born singer has been releasing her own music since 2010’s Blue Light EP.
Watch her heartfelt performance of "Phoenix" above, and make sure to visit GRAMMY.com every Thursday for new episodes of Press Play At Home.
Photo courtesy of the Recording Academy
Press Play: Watch Ibrahim Maalouf Spotlight His Improvisatory Powers In Energetic Performance of "Right Time"
Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf showcases his improvisation skills in this instrumental performance of "Right Time," a hip-hop track from his latest album, 'Capacity To Love.'
Since the initiation of his solo career, Lebanese instrumentalist Ibrahim Maalouf has strived to diversify music with his trumpeting.
The musician found his start performing at international jazz and classical competitions. After quickly becoming one of the most decorated trumpeters, Maalouf began his career as a soloist, where he could transcend the bounds of traditional genres. His skillful, unique improvisation caught the attention of artists globally, including Afrobeats singer Angélique Kidjo.
Together, they released Queen of Sheba, which snagged Maalouf his very first GRAMMY nomination in the Best Global Music Album category at the 2023 GRAMMYs and made him the first Lebanese instrumentalist to be nominated in GRAMMY history.
In this episode of Press Play, Maalouf performs an instrumental version of "Right Time," an upbeat hip-hop track on his latest album, Capacity to Love. Accompanied by an electric guitar and saxophone, Maalouf plays the track's melody, originally sung by Erick the Architect from the Flatbush Zombies.
Maalouf then trades off with the saxophonist, as the two musicians deliver an impressive, improvised solo.
Capacity to Love is Maalouf's fifteenth studio album and first self-produced project. The genre-bending release features collaborations with pop singer J.P. Cooper, rapper D Smoke, New Orleans funk band Tank & the Bangas, and more.
Press play on the video above to watch Ibrahim Maalouf's performance of "Right Time," and keep checking back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Press Play.
Photo: Courtesy of Ranky Tanky
Press Play: Ranky Tanky Offer A Powerful Performance Of "Stand By Me" Using Traditional Gullah Techniques
South Carolina-based musical ensemble Ranky Tanky provide a glimpse into Gullah musical culture with this live performance of "Stand By Me," which features a call-and-response singing style and body percussion.
As members of the tight-knit Gullah community, jazz-influenced gospel group Ranky Tanky constantly aim to keep the culture alive. Together, five members of Ranky Tanky — Quiana Parler, Quentin E. Baxter, Kevin Hamilton, Clay Ross, and Charlton Single — have made strides in educating people on Gullah, serving as the ethnocultural group's global music ambassador and leading initiatives to teach students about Gullah's history.
The lifelong friends turned bandmates released their sophomore album, Good Time, in 2019, which helped Ranky Tanky snag their very first GRAMMY Award for Best Regional Roots Music Album, marking the first Gullah music recognition in GRAMMY history.
In this episode of Press Play, Ranky Tanky presents "Stand By Me," the opening track from the award-winning album. The musical ensemble utilizes traditional Gullah performance techniques, emphasizing body percussion and call-and-response singing. Vocalist Quiana Parler stands centered at the microphone as a dancer performs a contemporary routine.
Ranky Tanky ended 2022 with their second GRAMMY Award nomination in the Best Regional Roots Music Album category for their live album recorded at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The 13-song LP includes another live rendition of "Stand By Me."
Later this year, Ranky Tanky is expected to release their third studio album and is currently slated to perform a string of shows throughout the United States.
Press play on the video above to watch Ranky Tanky's performance of "Stand By Me," and keep checking back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Press Play.
Photo: Courtesy of Tank and The Bangas
Press Play: Tank And The Bangas Deliver A Vulnerable, Sultry Performance Of "Heavy"
Tank and The Bangas highlight the importance of communication and trust with this intimate performance of "Heavy."
For Tank and The Bangas frontwoman Tarriona "Tank" Ball, honest communication is king. But even if that isn't always easy to practice in her personal life, it always comes through in her group's music — and that's exactly the case with "Heavy."
"Heavy on your love/ Heavy on your trust in me/ Heavy on communication/ Honesty," Tank sings on the track, a B-side from their latest album, Red Balloon. It's an understated, yet powerful statement that characterizes the foundation of any healthy relationship.
In this episode of Press Play, the group shares the importance of an open dialogue with a sultry performance of "Heavy." As Tank stands front and center at the microphone, The Bangas — Joshua Johnson, Norman Spence II, and Albert Allenback — evoke a casual, intimate atmosphere to help put the song's vulnerable message at the forefront.
Red Balloon is Tank and The Bangas' third studio album and serves as a successor to their 2019 release, Green Balloon. The project earned the group their second GRAMMY nomination, as it's up for Best Progressive R&B Album at the 2023 GRAMMYs.
Press play on the video above to watch Tank and The Bangas' performance of "Heavy," and keep checking back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Press Play.
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.