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Behind The Board: Marcella Araica On The Art Of Engineering

Marcella Araica

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Behind The Board: Marcella Araica On The Art Of Engineering

The Miami-based recording and mixing engineer goes deep on how she got her start, producing her own beats in high school, recording with Missy Elliott and more

GRAMMYs/Apr 5, 2019 - 09:57 pm

Marcella Araica loves what she does. In the latest edition of The Recording Academy's Behind The Board series, the Miami-based engineer speaks animatedly about how she got her start in the recording industry. 

Having produced her own beats in high school and later honing her craft at Full Sail University in Orlando, Araica tells us about her early days engineering behind the board. Turns out the first artist she ever recorded was none other than GRAMMY-winning artist Missy Elliott, though Araica laughs that the session didn't quite go as planned. "I failed miserably," she laughs. "I mean, I was able to capture her, I just wasn't fast enough for her. Yeah, she wasn't having it." 

"The best sessions are always gonna be when things are free-flowing," she continues. "Nothing feels robotic and stagnant. You want to make sure that [the artist] is happy with what's being captured. I think once you gain the trust of the artist in that way, everything starts to be the natural flow of, 'Hey, what do you think?' They start to ask you for your input."

Watch Araica's full interview above. 

Jeff Powell Shares How He Got Behind The Board

10 Must-See Moments From The 2023 GRAMMYs: Beyoncé Makes History, Hip-Hop Receives An Epic Tribute, Bad Bunny Brings The Puerto Rican Heat
Beyoncé accepting her 32nd GRAMMY at the 2023 GRAMMYs.

Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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10 Must-See Moments From The 2023 GRAMMYs: Beyoncé Makes History, Hip-Hop Receives An Epic Tribute, Bad Bunny Brings The Puerto Rican Heat

The 2023 GRAMMYs marked a triumphant — and historic — return to Los Angeles' Crypto.com Arena, where modern superstars and living legends came together for a memorable celebration of music in all its forms.

GRAMMYs/Feb 6, 2023 - 03:20 pm

A wide, uplifting tapestry of sounds was saluted and rewarded during the 2023 GRAMMYs. The telecast's pluralistic approach delivered a view of the present as a time of musical splendor while also celebrating its past — from hip-hop's legacy, to Latin's cultural influence, to pop's boundary-pushing stars.

Between history-making wins from Beyoncé and Kim Petras, a major victory by a young jazz sensation, and celebratory performances honoring greats, there was plenty to be reveled both on and off the GRAMMY stage. Below, take a look at the highlights of another memorable edition of Music's Biggest Night.

Bad Bunny Sticks Close To His Caribbean Roots

After global star Bad Bunny celebrated a year of extraordinary achievements — both artistic and commercial — the Puerto Rican tastemaker used his GRAMMYs performance to celebrate his Caribbean roots.

Benito could have picked an obvious selection, like the crowd-pleasing single "Tití Me Preguntó." Instead, he focused on the soulful roots of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic by performing electrifying renditions of "El Apagón" and "Después de la Playa." 

Bad Bunny has demonstrated time and again a gift for reinventing Latin genres. And yet, "Después de la Playa" kept its insanely syncopated beats and feverish brass section faithful to traditional merengue. The late Dominican icon Johnny Ventura would have been proud.

The Fans Receive A Much-Deserved Spotlight

The awards, record deals and critical raves are indispensable elements of stardom. But in the end, it is the contributions of average fans that sustain a career. With that in mind, the GRAMMYs organized a roundtable with 10 studious fans, each making a case for their favorite performer to win the Album Of The Year award. 

To their delight — and genuine surprise — host Trevor Noah invited them on stage for the coveted award, asking one of the most devoted fans in Harry Styles' pack to announce his win. The two shared a joyous embrace before she handed him his golden gramophone, serving as a touching closing reminder that the fans mean everything.

The Magic Of Motown Becomes Transformational

A brisk tribute to Motown co-founder Berry Gordy and musical genius Smokey Robinson — three songs, augmented by an inspired Stevie Wonder — proved that words will never be enough to capture the label's contribution to pop culture. A factory of beautiful dreams, Motown gave us a string of timeless hits that combine aural poetry with propulsive rhythms, honeyed hooks and virtuoso arrangements. Seeing the 82 year-old Robinson perform the 1967 classic "The Tears of a Clown" was one of the evening's most dazzling moments. (The performance also featured Wonder's rendition of the Temptations' "The Way You Do The Things You Do" and a duet with country singer Chris Stapleton on Wonder's own "Higher Ground.")

Honoring The Past Shows The Future Is Bright

2022 was a year of artistic triumph, but also of tremendous loss. The In Memoriam segment of the telecast was sobering, also honoring performers who are lesser known in the United States but definitely worthy of a mention — such as Brazil's Erasmo Carlos and Argentina's Marciano Cantero

It began with a stately rendition of "Coal Miner's Daughter" by Kacey Musgraves in tribute to country legend Loretta Lynn, then continued with Quavo and Maverick City Music honoring Migos' Takeoff, ending with an homage to Fleetwood Mac's Christine McVie from Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt and Mick Fleetwood. Many artists were lost during the past 12 months, but their music lives on.

A Queen Breaks Records — To A Disco Beat

Beyoncé was allegedly stuck in traffic when she won her third GRAMMY of the evening — Best R&B Song for the joyful single "CUFF IT" — which, as Trevor Noah noted, put her one win away from making GRAMMY history. Luckily, by the time her name was announced for that record-setting feat, she was in attendance — and very much in shock.

Her seventh studio LP, RENAISSANCE, won Best Dance/Electronic Album. The win put her GRAMMY total at 32, marking the most wins of all time. Visibly emotional, Beyoncé first took a deep breath and said "I'm trying to just receive this night"; before heading off stage, she made sure to honor the queer dance pioneers who inspired the album, an exuberant tribute to classic dance format. 

Hip-Hop Shines As A National Treasure

2023 marks the 50th anniversary of hip-hop — so, naturally, the GRAMMYs put together perhaps the most legendary celebration possible. Featuring the Roots, Run-DMC, Queen Latifah, and many, many more, the nearly 15-minute performance highlighted the genre's influence from past to present.

The parade of legends tracing the history of the genre was breathtaking. From Grandmaster Flash ("The Message") and De La Soul ("Buddy") to Missy Elliott ("Lose Control") and Lil Uzi Vert ("Just Wanna Rock"), the extensive medley gave hip-hop its rightful place of honor as the most compelling musical movement of the past 50 years.

The Art Of Songwriting Stands The Test Of Time

One of the show's most endearing images was the utter shock on Bonnie Raitt's face when she was announced as the winner of the Song Of The Year GRAMMY — perhaps because her competition featured the likes of Beyoncé, Adele and Harry Styles. "This is an unreal moment," she said. "The Academy has given me so much support, and appreciates the art of songwriting as much as I do." 

In retrospect, Raitt's win shouldn't surprise anyone who is aware of her superb musicianship — and her 15 GRAMMYs to show for it. A rootsy, vulnerable song, "Just Like That" is the title track of her eighteenth studio album; the song also took home the GRAMMY for Best American Roots Song earlier in the evening.

Lizzo Dedicates Her Grammy Win to Prince (And Beyoncé)

By the time Record Of The Year was announced, the prodigiously gifted Lizzo had already brought the GRAMMY house down with rousing performances of the funky "About Damn Time" and the anthemic "Special." But clearly the best was yet to come, as the former track took home one of the night's biggest honors.

As Lizzo began her speech, she paid homage to Prince, who both served as an idol and a mentor to the star. "When we lost Prince, I decided to dedicate my life to making positive music," she said, going on to explain that while she first felt misunderstood for her relentless positivity, mainstream music has begun to accept it — as evidenced by her win for "About Damn Time." 

Before leaving the stage, she made sure to give one more idol a shout-out: Beyoncé. "You changed my life," Lizzo said, reflecting on seeing the "BREAK MY SOUL" singer when she was in 5th grade. "You sang that gospel medley, and the way you made me feel, I was like, 'I wanna make people feel this way with my music.' So thank you so much."

It only takes one listen to the wondrous voice of young Bronx singer Samara Joy to understand that she follows the same path once walked by Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald. Joy's second album, Linger Awhile, includes atmospheric versions of such classic nuggets as "Misty," "'Round Midnight" and "Someone To Watch Over Me." 

The rising star was already a winner going into the telecast, as Joy took home the golden gramophone for Best Jazz Vocal Album in the Premiere Ceremony. But when she beat out mainstream hitmakers like Latto, Anitta and Måneskin for the coveted Best New Artist GRAMMY, Joy not only set her place in the jazz firmament — it hinted that the genre may be ripe for a revival.

The Pop Concept Album Lives On

It's not only the stunning beauty of its melodies, and the pristine warmth of the production. Harry's House is a special album partly because of its vaguely conceptual sheen — the pervasive feeling that the 13 songs within are interconnected, an intimate journey into the singer's creative soul. 

At the telecast, Styles performed an ethereal reading of his luminous mega-hit "As It Was." His well-deserved win for Album Of The Year confirmed that it's perfectly valid to mix accessible pop with a sophisticated unifying theme — and if you do it really right, you may just win a GRAMMY.

Check out the complete list of winners and nominees at the 2023 GRAMMYs.

Hip-Hop History On Full Display During A Star-Studded Tribute To The 50th Anniversary Of Hip-Hop | 2023 GRAMMYs
Photo of Flavor Flav and Chuck D of Public Enemy performing during the ceremony's hip-hop tribute.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

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Hip-Hop History On Full Display During A Star-Studded Tribute To The 50th Anniversary Of Hip-Hop | 2023 GRAMMYs

The landmark performance honoring the genre’s diverse history featured performances from a long line of hip-hop’s powerful history, from Run-DMC to LL Cool J, Salt-N-Pepa, Missy Elliott to Future.

GRAMMYs/Feb 6, 2023 - 04:14 am

With hip-hop marking half a century of powerful contribution to the music world in 2023, the 65th GRAMMY Awards proved the ideal opportunity to honor the genre’s storied legacy.

At the 2023 GRAMMYs, an unimaginably deep lineup of contributors to that tradition graced the stage, drawn from a wide swath of hip-hop’s history — from progenitors to today’s up-and-coming stars, from the East Coast boom to the swagger of the Dirty South, performing hits and cult classics from throughout the decades. On a constantly shifting stage with a bevy of backup dancers, the Recording Academy's tribute to hip-hop seemly had the entire Crypto.com arena on their feet.

As the performance’s curator Questlove put it on the red carpet, it was a "family reunion." After an introduction from LL COOL J, the Roots set up shop behind the performers, while Black Thought narrated the massive lineup’s spread across three acts.

The performance’s first act comprised legends from hip-hop’s early days, the arena thrilled by the likes of Grandmaster Flash and Run DMC, and absolutely exploding when Chuck D & Flavor Flav hit the stage for "Rebel Without a Pause," the Public Enemy members getting Lizzo and Adele swaying together.

After a quick transition, LL and Black Thought helped the stage transport into the late ‘80s and ‘90s, bringing together the likes of De La Soul, Geto Boys’ Scarface, and Ice-T, with Jay-Z rapping along with Method Man from his table in the audience. But this second section of the performance also included two of the biggest eruptions of the night. The first came in the form when Busta Rhymes recreated his incredibly nimble flow from "Look at Me Now"; the tribute’s second act ended with Missy Elliott, the legend blitzing through snippets and samples of a variety of hits complete with a full dance crew.

The third act then entered the ‘00s with Nelly’s "Hot In Herre", swirling forward into the present from there. Rising star GloRilla thrilled the young crowd with "F.N.F. (Let’s Go)" (nominated this evening for Best Rap Performance), injecting even more adrenaline into the mix. And with LL Cool J surrounded by a blend of artists drawn from across the decades, the entire arena roared in celebration of these incredible 50 years, leaving a certainty that the next 50 will be even stronger.

Check out the complete list of winners and nominees at the 2023 GRAMMYs

Listen: Playlists To Honor Global Impact Award Honorees Dr. Dre, Missy Elliott, Lil Wayne, & Sylvia Rhone
(L to R): Dr. Dre, Missy Elliott, Lil Wayne

Photos: Christopher Polk/Staff / Getty Images; Bennett Raglin / Stringer / Getty Images; Jeff Kravitz / Contributor / Getty Images

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Listen: Playlists To Honor Global Impact Award Honorees Dr. Dre, Missy Elliott, Lil Wayne, & Sylvia Rhone

As these independent legacies are set to receive a Global Impact Award at The Recording Academy Honors Presented By The Black Music Collective Event, rediscover honorees Dr.Dre, Missy Elliott, and Lil Wayne with these playlists.

GRAMMYs/Feb 2, 2023 - 11:00 pm

Ahead of the 2023 GRAMMYs, revered GRAMMY Award-winning artists Dr. Dre, Missy Elliott, and Lil Wayne and music executive Sylvia Rhone will each receive the Recording Academy Global Impact Award for their personal and professional achievements in the music industry at the Recording Academy Honors Presented By The Black Music Collective.

The second annual Black Music Collective event and official GRAMMY Week event takes place Thursday, Feb. 2, at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles and is sponsored by Amazon Music and Google Pixel Phone. It will once again feature first-time GRAMMY nominee Adam Blackstone as the musical director of the evening. Recording Academy Board of Trustees Vice Chair Rico Love will also return to Chair the event.

Dr. Dre is a seven-time GRAMMY Award-winning artist, producer, founder, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics. His career has spanned over three decades starting as a member of the World Class Wreckin’ Cru shortly after, he co-founded the revolutionary group N.W.A.  In 1996, Dre launched Aftermath Entertainment, where over the years, he discovered hip-hop superstars such as 50 Cent, The Game, Kendrick Lamar, Anderson Paak, and Eminem.

Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliott has remained relevant as a true visionary and pioneer for women in hip-hop for over 25 years. The multi-GRAMMY-Award-winning rapper, singer, songwriter, and producer made an immediate impact on the music industry with her critically acclaimed debut album Supa Dupa Fly. Her experimental sound and groundbreaking music videos changed the music landscape and challenged artists not to conform to the norm. Among other awards and accolades, Elliott became the first woman rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The Virginia native has produced for and collaborated with artists such as Aaliyah, Beyoncé, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Ciara, Lil' Kim, J. Cole, Busta Rhymes, Ludacris, Chris Brown, and Lil Wayne.

Lil Wayne has left a lasting impact on the culture as a five-time GRAMMY Award-winning, multiplatinum rap icon, Young Money Entertainment founder and CEO, Young Money APAA Sports founder, acclaimed author, pro skater, and philanthropist. By 2020, he cemented his legacy forever as "one of the best-selling artists of all time." Among many milestones, he emerged as "the first male artist to surpass Elvis Presley with the most entries on the Billboard Hot 100," logging a staggering 183 entries – the third most of all time. Simultaneously, Wayne owns and operates Young Money Entertainment, the company that ignited the careers of Drake, Nicki Minaj, Tyga, and many more.

Sylvia Rhone has set the pace for the music industry as one of the most impactful, influential, and important executives in history. She has devoted her professional life to music, she broke a glass ceiling for the first time, and changed the landscape forever as the “only African American and first woman ever” to be named Chairwoman and CEO of Elektra Entertainment Group in 1994. She made history once more in 2019 when Sony Music Entertainment selected her as Chairwoman and C.E.O of Epic Records, enshrining her as "the first woman CEO of a major record label owned by a Fortune 500 company and the first Black woman to attain such a title." Along the way, Rhone has impressively left an indelible imprint on pop, hip-hop, rock, heavy metal, R&B, soul, and electronic music with an impeccable track record. She has shepherded the success of everyone from Missy Elliott, Anita Baker, the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Jason Mraz, Busta Rhymes, Pantera, and Metallica to Lil Wayne, Kelly Rowland, Akon, Kid Cudi, Nicki Minaj, A Tribe Called Quest, Fabolous, Tamia, and Gerald Levert, just to name a few. Currently, she is at the helm of Epic Records where she has overseen historic releases from Future, Travis Scott, 21 Savage, DJ Khaled, Camila Cabello, and many more. A music industry trailblazer for four decades, Rhone has catalyzed the careers of artists who have changed music and the world at large — and she will continue to do so.

As these independent legacies are set to be honored with a Global Impact Award for their personal and professional achievements in the music industry, rediscover Dr.Dre, Missy Elliott, and Lil Wayne with these playlists curated by Amazon’s music experts.

Dr. Dre, Missy Elliott, Lil Wayne, And Sylvia Rhone To Be Honored At The Recording Academy Honors Presented By The Black Music Collective Event During GRAMMY Week 2023

Graphic: The Recording Academy

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Dr. Dre, Missy Elliott, Lil Wayne, And Sylvia Rhone To Be Honored At The Recording Academy Honors Presented By The Black Music Collective Event During GRAMMY Week 2023

Recording Academy Honors will celebrate honorees during the GRAMMY Week event presented by the Black Music Collective at the Hollywood Palladium on Feb. 2, 2023.

GRAMMYs/Jan 11, 2023 - 02:00 pm

Just days before the 2023 GRAMMYs, revered GRAMMY Award-winning artists Dr. Dre, Missy Elliott, and Lil Wayne and music executive Sylvia Rhone will be honored at the Recording Academy Honors Presented By The Black Music Collective event during GRAMMY Week 2023. All four honorees will receive the Recording Academy Global Impact Award for their personal and professional achievements in the music industry.

The second annual Black Music Collective event and official GRAMMY Week event, which takes place Thursday, Feb. 2, at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles and is sponsored by Amazon Music and Google Pixel Phone, will once again feature first-time GRAMMY nominee Adam Blackstone as the musical director of the evening; Recording Academy Board of Trustees Vice Chair Rico Love will also return to Chair the event.

"I am so thrilled to honor and celebrate these four giants in the music industry," Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. said. "Last year’s inaugural event was such a highlight during GRAMMY Week and now with Dre, Missy, Wayne and Sylvia there to pay tribute to this year, it's definitely going to be another night to remember. I continue to be proud of the work of our Black Music Collective as it's a vital part of what we do here at the Academy."

Read More: "Black Music Saved The World": How The Recording Academy Honors Presented By The Black Music Collective Celebrated Positive Change For The Culture & Community

Dr. Dre is a seven-time GRAMMY Award-winning artist, producer, founder, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics. Dr. Dre began his career as a member of the World Class Wreckin’ Cru. Shortly after, he co-founded the revolutionary group N.W.A. The Compton, California, native embarked on his solo career in 1992 when he released his solo debut album The Chronic, which has been certified triple platinum by the RIAA, reached the top 10 on the Billboard 200 and won a GRAMMY for Best Rap Solo Performance ("Let Me Ride"). Dre launched Aftermath Entertainment in 1996, where over the years, he discovered hip-hop superstars such as 50 Cent, The Game, Kendrick Lamar, Anderson Paak, and Eminem. Jimmy Iovine and Dre established Beats Electronics in 2008 and later launched Beats Music, which were both acquired by Apple in 2014. Among many other accolades, Dre won a GRAMMY and an Emmy for the HBO docuseries The Defiant Ones, and the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show Starring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent took home three Emmys. In 2013, the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation was funded and established. In 2022, they expanded their efforts to the Los Angeles Unified School District by opening the Iovine and Young Center (IYC) Integrated Design, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (IDTE) Magnet, a new high school that will offer students grounding in the same cutting-edge curriculum.

Read More: Dr. Dre's The Chronic: 25 Years Later

Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliott has remained relevant as a true visionary and pioneer for women in hip-hop for over 25 years. Her experimental sound and groundbreaking music videos changed the music landscape and challenged artists not to conform to the norm. The multi-GRAMMY-Award-winning rapper, singer, songwriter, and producer made an immediate impact on the music industry with her critically acclaimed debut album Supa Dupa Fly – produced by her longtime production partner Timbaland – which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and went on to achieve platinum certification by the RIAA. The Virginia native has produced for and collaborated with artists such as Aaliyah, Beyoncé, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Ciara, Lil' Kim, J. Cole, Busta Rhymes, Ludacris, Chris Brown, and Lil Wayne. Among other awards and accolades, Elliott became the first woman rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and has received honorary doctorates from Berklee College of Music and, most recently, Norfolk State University. In 2022, Elliott was honored in her hometown of Portsmouth with her own street name “Missy Elliott Blvd,” furthermore declaring October 17 to be Missy Elliott Day by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Missy is now the latest addition to the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, where her figure is a recreation of her 2019 MTV Video Music Awards appearance. In 2021, Elliott received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Read More: Revisiting Supa Dupa Fly At 25: Missy Elliott Is Still Inspired By Her Debut Record

Lil Wayne has left a lasting impact on the culture as a five-time GRAMMY Award-winning, multiplatinum rap icon, Young Money Entertainment founder and CEO, Young Money APAA Sports founder, acclaimed author, pro skater, and philanthropist. By 2020, he cemented his legacy forever as "one of the best-selling artists of all time," tallying sales in excess of 100 million records worldwide with 25 million albums and 90 million digital tracks sold in the United States alone. In 2022, Wayne earned his first diamond certification from the RIAA with his generational smash hit “Lollipop” featuring Static Major. Among many milestones, he emerged as "the first male artist to surpass Elvis Presley with the most entries on the Billboard Hot 100," logging a staggering 183 entries – the third most of all time. Simultaneously, Wayne owns and operates Young Money Entertainment, the company that ignited the careers of Drake, Nicki Minaj, Tyga, and many more. The committed philanthropist founded the One Family Foundation, with the mission of giving power to the youth by providing them with opportunities to practice their talents and skills and inspiring them to dream beyond their circumstances.

Sylvia Rhone has set the pace for the music industry as one of the most impactful, influential, and important executives in history. She has devoted her professional life to music, she broke a glass ceiling for the first time, and changed the landscape forever as the “only African American and first woman ever” to be named Chairwoman and CEO of Elektra Entertainment Group in 1994. She made history once more in 2019 when Sony Music Entertainment selected her as Chairwoman and C.E.O of Epic Records, enshrining her as "the first woman CEO of a major record label owned by a Fortune 500 company and the first Black woman to attain such a title." Along the way, Rhone has impressively left an indelible imprint on pop, hip-hop, rock, heavy metal, R&B, soul, and electronic music with an impeccable track record. She has shepherded the success of everyone from Missy Elliott, Anita Baker, the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Jason Mraz, Busta Rhymes, Pantera, and Metallica to Lil Wayne, Kelly Rowland, Akon, Kid Cudi, Nicki Minaj, Tribe Called Quest, Fabolous, Tamia, and Gerald Levert, just to name a few. Currently, she is at the helm of Epic Records where she has overseen historic releases from Future, Travis Scott, 21 Savage, DJ Khaled, Camila Cabello, and many more. A music industry trailblazer for four decades, Rhone has catalyzed the careers of artists who have changed music and the world at large — and she will continue to do so.

2023 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Complete Nominees List