Photo: Matt Doheny
Positive Vibes Only: Piano Virtuoso BLKBOK Offers A Graceful Performance Of "Michelle's First Day At The White House"
BLKBOK encapsulates the easy grace of Michelle Obama's "When they go low, we go high" message in his elegant, instrumental performance of "Michelle's First Day At the White House."
Classical music is often seen as predominantly historic. But Detroit-based pianist BLKBOK proves that this form of music can still speak to today's cultural climate with his recordings, including his 2021 track "Michelle's First Day At the White House."
As its title hints, the song is the elegant soundtrack BLKBOK envisioned for Michelle Obama's historic moment in 2009, when she became the first Black First Lady in American History. Fittingly, the piece has elements of ceremony and solemn celebration. But that's just the beginning for this reimagining of Obama stepping into her place in American history for the very first time.
In this episode of Positive Vibes Only, BLKBOK brings "Michelle's First Day At the White House" to life with a stunning performance. Sitting at a Yamaha grand piano, the neo-classical pianist passionately performs the song with vigor and grace.
Ultimately, BLKBOK's track calls to mind the elegance and high-minded vision that Obama displayed throughout her eight-year tenure in the White House — perhaps most famously in a phrase she delivered in a speech in 2016, "When they go low, we go high."
"Michelle's First Day at the White House" is part of BLKBOK's 2021 album Black Book. It's one of several socially conscious songs on the project, which also includes modern-day time-keepers such as "November 7th, 2020" and "George Floyd & the Struggle For Equality."
Press play above to watch as BLKBOK braids contemporary narratives with a classically-inspired performance. Check back to GRAMMY.com every Sunday for more installments of Positive Vibes Only.
Photo: Paul Rivera
Positive Vibes Only: Elevation Worship Celebrate God's Unchanging Love With An Epic Performance Of "Same God"
The Christian music collective name-checks a variety of Biblical figures in this performance of "Same God," calling on the boundless love of a God who has been there throughout the ages.
Elevation Worship take a bird's eye view of God's love in "Same God." In each verse, the Christian collective conjures up some of the best-known stories of God's love, before calling on Him to provide that same bastion of love and power today.
In this episode of Positive Vibes Only, the group backs up that lyrical message with an equally powerful performance. The group performs shrouded in dim lighting, their faces projected on a screen that encompasses the performance space.
The chorus repeats the titular line — "You are the same God" — driving home the song's message: God delivers the same love and faithfulness that was established thousands of years ago, with the first covenant He gave to humankind.
"God is perpetually the same. He is unchanged in His wisdom," Barrientes says in a statement about the song on the group's website. "He is unchanged in His power. He is unchanged in His goodness and His generosity toward us. He's not thrown off by my failures and shortcomings."
"Same God" comes off the track list of LION, Elevation Worship's tenth live album. It's the first project that the collective released since their GRAMMY-winning collaborative live album with Maverick City Music, 2021's Old Church Basement, a career-changing project that launched the group into the global sphere and broke streaming records.
With an increasingly wide-ranging sonic landscape, LION is, in many ways, the group's most ambitious work to date. But it still holds many of the same elements that they espoused when Pastor Steven Furtick launched the group as a branch of the Charlotte, North Carolina-based Elevation Church in 2007. Furtick is still at the helm of the collective, and he co-wrote "Same God" with fellow Elevation Worship members Chris Brown, Pat Barrett and Brandon Lake.
Press play on the video above to watch the full performance of "Same God," and check back to GRAMMY.com every Sunday for more episodes of Positive Vibes Only.
Positive Vibes Only: Hillsong Worship Performs A Tender, Reverent Version Of "Hosanna"
Led off by a strengthening talk from TV personality and host Jason Carter, Hillsong Worship leads viewers in praise with a performance of "Hosanna"
Our family, friends, jobs and every other sector of life are bound to let us down now and again. But music may be the only component of our existence that always does us a solid. TV personality and host Jason Carter is keenly aware of this.
"It's a safe space; it's a solace; it's a comfortable blanket that we all need from time to time," Carter says in the latest episode of Positive Vibes Only. "Especially after everything we've been through in the last year, many are finding it hard to adjust to their new normal and what that looks like."
That said, "You can always rely on music to put a smile on your face," Carter says. He then introduces Hillsong Worship, a devout duo who performs its ascendant song, "Hosanna," on voice and piano while shrouded in monochrome.
Check out Hillsong Worship's tender performance above and watch more episodes of Positive Vibes Only.
Photo: Phillip Faraone/FilmMagic via Getty Images
GRAMMY.com's New Positive Vibes Only Digital Series Is Coming To Motivate, Affirm & Uplift
The series will include performances by Christian music artists Hannah Kerr and Wande, Latin GRAMMY-nominated group Miel San Marcos, GRAMMY-nominated singers Jekalyn Carr, Jonathan McReynolds, Kierra Sheard, and more
Motivation, affirmation, and uplifting energy are at the core of GRAMMY.com’s latest digital series Positive Vibes Only. Each installment will feature a performance by an artist or group that records gospel, Christian or inspirational music. As an added bonus, each episode will open with a message of encouragement from a diverse roster of spoken word artists, poets, motivational speakers, social media influencers, and spiritual leaders.
The premiere episode will feature founder of the OnPurpose Movement and creator of the International Day of Purpose Jovian Zayne, and a special performance by GRAMMY-nominated group Elevation Worship.
"With so much going on in the world around us, we can all use a little encouragement," shared GRAMMY.com Editor in Chief Justin Dwayne Joseph. “This series is not about pushing a specific religious belief on anyone, but it is my hope that those in the music community and at large know that all is not lost. We individually and collectively have the power to help turn things around.”
The series will also feature performances by Christian music artists Hannah Kerr and Wande; Latin GRAMMY-nominated group Miel San Marcos; GRAMMY-nominated singers Jekalyn Carr, Jonathan McReynolds, Kierra Sheard, Koryn Hawthorne, Mali Music, and Natalie Grant, as well as GRAMMY-winning singers Kalani Pe’a and Lauren Daigle.
Spoken word artist J. Ivy, poet Sabrina Benaim, host of OWN’s #LoveGoals Spirit, and internet sensation and actress Tabitha Brown are among the speakers who will open each episode.
The series is produced and directed by Alina Vission and executive produced by Justin Dwayne Joseph and Paul Madeira.
Positive Vibes Only: Kierra Sheard And Karen Clark-Sheard Deliver Striking Performance Of "Something Has To Break"
The two-time GRAMMY-nominated gospel singer-songwriter is joined by her mother, four-time GRAMMY-winning gospel icon Karen Clark-Sheard, in a heartwarming performance that speaks to the social justice movements happening across the U.S. today
Whether the last seven days went well or proved challenging, rest assured that you can now end your week on a high note with another blessed episode of Positive Vibes Only, GRAMMY.com's new digital series offering motivation, affirmation and uplifting energy.
This week's episode is a special double dose of love and worship.
Two-time GRAMMY-nominated gospel singer-songwriter Kierra Sheard delivers an emotionally powerful and visually stunning performance of her new single, "Something Has To Break," a standout track off her newly released, chart-topping album, KIERRA. As an added bonus, Sheard's mother—the four-time GRAMMY-winning gospel icon and The Clark Sisters founding member, Karen Clark-Sheard—elevates the heartwarming performance to sky-high levels.
Interwoven with striking images from the current nationwide Black Lives Matter protests, this unique performance captures the fervent energy and emotional spirit of the social justice movements happening across the U.S. today.
Ahead of the performance, Maria Menounos, a beloved media personality, actress and host of the "Better Together With Maria Menounos" series, offers some words of wisdom about the power of knowledge for achieving personal growth.
GRAMMY.com's newly launched Positive Vibes Only series aims to affirm audiences everywhere as the country continues to face the COVID-19 pandemic and racial reckoning. The series will feature upcoming performances by Christian music artists Hannah Kerr and Wande; Latin GRAMMY-nominated group Miel San Marcos; GRAMMY-nominated singers Koryn Hawthorne, Mali Music and Natalie Grant; and GRAMMY-winning singers Kalani Pe'a and Lauren Daigle.
Spoken word artist J. Ivy, poet Sabrina Benaim and internet sensation and actress Tabitha Brown are among the speakers who will open each episode.