meta-scriptThe Genius Of Dan Nigro: The Producer Of The Year Nominee On Olivia Rodrigo's 'GUTS' & Why His Success "Doesn't Feel Real" | GRAMMY.com
Dan Nigro press photo 2024
Dan Nigro

Photo: Shervin Lainez

interview

The Genius Of Dan Nigro: The Producer Of The Year Nominee On Olivia Rodrigo's 'GUTS' & Why His Success "Doesn't Feel Real"

Celebrating his first Producer Of The Year nod at the 2024 GRAMMYs, Dan Nigro details how he's become the creative whisperer for pop's most vulnerable stars, from Olivia Rodrigo to Chappell Roan.

GRAMMYs/Jan 23, 2024 - 06:38 pm

Few artist-producer collaborations in contemporary pop music have been as successful as Olivia Rodrigo and Dan Nigro. Since the singer burst onto the scene with her record-breaking debut single, "drivers license" in 2021, she's been an unstoppable force, with three No. 1s, a streak of Top 10 singles, and three GRAMMYs — and Nigro has been integral in that success.

The Long Island, New York native has solely produced or co-produced every song Rodrigo has released to date, as well as co-writing the majority alongside the superstar. Following the blockbuster success of Rodrigo's debut album, 2021's SOUR, the two struck again with the equally industry-shaking follow-up, 2023's GUTS

Like its predecessor, GUTS scored Rodrigo and Nigro multiple GRAMMY nominations, including Album Of The Year and both Song and Record Of The Year for the scathing lead single, "vampire." But for Nigro, the 2024 GRAMMY nominations are even more special: his work earned a nod for Producer Of The Year (Non-Classical).

And while he may be Rodrigo's right-hand man, it's far from his only acclaimed collaboration. Nigro's production and songwriting on Irish singer/songwriter Dermot Kennedy's 2022 album, Sonder, and rising pop star Chappell Roan's debut LP, The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess, also helped him land the honor. 

In fact, Nigro's path to his Producer Of The Year nomination is more than a decade in the making — embodying as many surprise twists and turns as the music he's now known for. 

After his initial taste of industry success in the midst of the early-00s pop-punk scene as a member of the band As Tall as Lions, Nigro landed his first big break as a behind-the-scenes impresario with a McDonald's jingle. A string of high-profile collaborations materialized in the next few years, with the likes of Sky Ferreira, Kylie Minogue and Carly Rae Jepsen

Through that evolution, Nigro gained a reputation as a whisperer for tender singer/songwriters known for their candid lyrics. And along with Rodrigo, he's lately become a go-to producer/co-wrote for Conan Gray, Caroline Polachek and the aforementioned Roan.

Ahead of the 2024 GRAMMYS, Nigro detailed his unique path and creative process to GRAMMY.com, also offering an inside look inside making one of the biggest albums of 2023.

2024 GRAMMYs: Explore More & Meet The Nominees

The path of your career in music has been unique. Was this end result always a goal?

It definitely wasn't. It's interesting because I did an interview with [the podcast] And The Writer is… a couple years ago, and it was cool to have so many people reach out to me after that, and relating to it, and feeling like they were on the same journey. But where I ended up is not where I thought. 

When I moved out to L.A., honestly my goal was to just be able to make a life making music and be happy. The thought of being nominated for GRAMMYs or having No. 1 songs wasn't the goal. My only thought was, If I can make music for commercials, I'll be able to pay my rent doing that. That was the dream, just to make enough money to sustain myself as a musician. 

Along with developing a universe of artists around you, along the way you also developed your own sound. Was that something you consciously nurtured, or did it naturally evolve?

It definitely evolved over time. It's learning new things every day and making music with new people and finding new ways to be inspired by other people and other music. Like anything, you take the best of what you learn and put it in your arsenal — like how a person might mic an acoustic guitar a certain way, or how another person focuses on lyrics more so than melody. 

Everybody has their different ways of making music and what's important to them. So you take what makes sense and resonates with you. But hopefully, it's an ever-evolving sound. 

Read More: Here Are The Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical GRAMMY Nominees At The 2024 GRAMMYs

When it comes to the GRAMMY nominations for GUTS, which one is most meaningful to you? Producer Of The Year?

Probably. To be honest, I was so shocked when I heard [we were nominated]. I'm nervous and an anxious person already, so I just didn't watch when they announced them. I was like, I don't want to know what's happening. Somebody will call me.

I went out for a walk with my wife, Emily, and my baby, Saoirse, and when we went out the front door, a FaceTime came through from Olivia. She was like, "Congratulations!" I was like, "Cool. For what?!" 

She was so pumped and crying. I really didn't think it was going to happen, because you're getting nominated by a group of peers. It's so subjective and you have no clue what's going to happen. 

I think what's forgotten is that when you started working with Olivia on her breakout song, "driver's license," and debut album, SOUR, is that you as a team weren't chasing any trends; you created what you both thought these songs should sound like. Now we have so many artists chasing that very sound you helped popularize, from diary-like lyrics to utilizing actual instruments, the latter of which you and her brought back to the charts. Can you describe how you built on that for GUTS?

That's the greatest thing about Olivia, I have to give her that credit. I say this to everyone I work with, and maybe it's cliché, but you're really only as good as the artist that you're working with. But I remember at times in the beginning thinking to myself, "Wow, we are literally using all live instruments." 

For GUTS, we did a couple of those songs live, which came from Olivia telling me what she wanted the songs to sound like and feel like. I remember having to take a step back and be like, "Wow, we have one of the biggest artists in the world and she wants it to be recorded live." 

She [wanted] the authenticity and the push and pull of the music. I just thought, "We're going to need to do this live." That's fun to do, but I had never done it with her or a big pop artist before. 

I remember we went in to record "all american b—" and "ballad of a homeschooled girl." We went into the studio, had the musicians there, and I had it all mapped out in a Pro-Tools sketch, like a really bad demo. But we didn't know if we'd actually achieve it or come back two days later and say, "Wow, that was a waste of money and time." 

What was so exciting for me was when GUTS took shape, because that session was so successful. Me and my engineer Dave [Schiffman] looked at each other afterwards like, "Wow, after only three days we got a lot." I was shocked it all really worked out. 

When I was back in my home studio and listened to it with fresh ears a week later, I was like, "This feels good!" The songs that were the missing links to the record were there. 

I sent Olivia "ballad of a homeschooled girl" and she was like, "It's incredible, I love it!" So we were good — she loves it, and I love it.

How did you record Olivia's vocals? It seems to me like her voice has a sort-of lo-fi filter. Maybe a cheaper microphone, for lack of a better descriptor. 

For a couple of the songs, I put an effect on her to make it sound like that, but we actually recorded it on a very fancy mic. But it's a plug-in in Pro-Tools, I think it's called Vintage Vinyl from a company that made it sound like it was recorded in the 60s or something. I wish I could say we used an old vintage mic on that, but we didn't.

**Whether SOUR or GUTS, you recorded the majority of the album in your home studio. Are you careful to not mix it up so much by going to a fancier place with a whole set-up, entourage, etc?** 

It was intentional. We enjoyed making SOUR, and it felt like a special moment for both of us in our lives, and it was all done in the home studio. So we decided very early on, Why would we want to change that up just because we're more successful now? 

Olivia said, "I want to make it in your garage again, I like writing songs in there." But when we worked on SOUR, I lived here while we were making it, but I don't anymore. It's the same place, but now the entire house is the studio. The only thing that's changed is that one of the bedrooms that was my bedroom is the live room with a drum set, organ and piano. The garage itself is only 180 sq feet.

How does the energy of a song reveal itself? Listening to your productions, some of them are subtle and others explode with energy. Meanwhile, you're also known to vacillate with a single song going from demure to a wild burst in seconds. 

Everyone has different interpretations about what makes a great song, and one of the first bands I got obsessed with listening to the production of a song was Queen. I loved how they took you on this journey. 

I always feel weird when music is singular. I know some people produce songs that are one thing the whole way through, and we obviously make songs like that as well, but I think it's important on a lot of records to have a few songs where you go on a journey. If you listen to the first half of a song you couldn't tell what the last half would sound like. 

People talk all the time about "passive listening music," and I don't like making that. I want to make music for people to listen to with intent, and you go on that journey. I hope we make more songs that do that because those are always my favorite. 

Read More: 2024 GRAMMYs Performers: Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, And Olivia Rodrigo Announced

SOUR could have been a once-in-a-career moment for everybody involved. And people always say having a breakout like that is easier than making a huge success again because it so rarely happens. How did you grapple with expectations when it came to working on the follow-up?

It was really hard for both Olivia and I. We're really good at balancing each other out — when one person was feeling down and negative, the other tries to get them out of a hole and vice versa. It's hard to not let the voices get in your head with expectations or what you think people would think and really make what you just want to make. 

It actually took us a long time to get to the point where we both felt comfortable that we made the music we just wanted to make, and get enough confidence. In the beginning of making the record, you feel imposter syndrome: Will I ever do that again? What even is that to be done again?  

But we came back to the simple fact that we made songs we like to make and we'll do that again — and to find solace in the fact that if it's not as big as SOUR, it doesn't really matter, because we're making music we like. And you hope people follow you on your journey along the way.

From Olivia to Conan Gray and Chappell Roan, all of the artists you work with are known for the raw, unfiltered honesty in their lyrics. How did you become a creative whisperer for this specific style?

I don't know what makes them want to work with me half the time. I'm so slow and more indecisive than the artist can be. 

I approach it with a band mentality. We're in it together. And maybe that's my strength or my weakness, but I want to be involved. I want to know why an artist likes a song or doesn't; I see the kind of gray areas. 

To me, there's so much nuance in between what makes a song good — like if it's one little part that makes it special and nurturing that to make it bigger. I think that's what I bring to the table; helping these artists see their vision and seeing if we as a group find something special in a song. 

For example, I might try five different types of production on it. It's about that feeling when you know there's something there, but it's about getting it onto the tape to make it feel special sometimes. It's a journey, but I think a lot of people don't like to do it like that, for some reason. They record something quickly and decide then and there, "That's it" and it's very black and white. 

"vampire" is nominated for Song Of The Year and Record Of The Year. What can you tell me about the evolution of that track?

It was one of the hardest songs on the album to make. Olivia brought in the original idea for it, which was basically a verse and a chorus in January 2023, after she wrote it [that] last December.  

She was nervous to play them for me. I remember listening to it by myself and when the tag came in at the time, which was different. The original line was "Bloodsucker, famef—er, love me like a vampire." When I heard the "famef—er" I was like, "Oh! That was cool." From there, we workshopped it. 

I loved the idea, but I thought there were some things that could be improved upon. So we spent that whole day just trying out all these little intricacies, changing lyrics here and there. It was a slow evolution. 

At the time, Olivia had been off the internet, but she wound up posting a little teaser clip. We actually worked on it on the anniversary [of when] "driver's license" came out. But we both liked it a lot and were excited. 

My initial thought was that it was a ballad, so later on the initial demo I recorded some drums and a guitar and it was a full ballad. When I played it for Olivia two days later, she was like, "No. I don't like it." So then I switched it to double-time and put a kick in and made it more intense, which she loved, which began a whole other process of trying to figure out how to arc the song, because it builds and builds and builds. Then we had to figure out how to arc the vocal performance, then we made the bridge weeks later and every time we worked out we got more and more close. 

I remember we had a meeting where we played it for her management. It wasn't done and the transitions weren't fully realized yet, but I remember that we were [still] excited about it. They were just like, "Yeah… sounds like three songs in one? Interesting." 

We were so disappointed at the meeting… We thought this was good! So we worked on it more and the next time we played it for people that's when everybody got excited about it. There are so many versions of the song, I can't even count them. But maybe one day we'll put together a folder of all of them.

Read More: 5 Lessons Olivia Rodrigo Learned On 'GUTS'

"ballad of a homeschooled girl" is also nominated for Best Rock Song. Was that always designed as a high-energy rock song?

For the genesis of the song, the verse and the chorus, we wrote it the very first day we got to Electric Lady Studios in New York City. We were hanging out in the lounge and talking about what we wanted to do when we were there with a whole week booked out. 

I had an acoustic guitar in my hand. She said, "I want to write a song that feels like this" and I picked up a guitar, played some chords and she just started singing. Within 10 minutes, we wrote it and had a Voice Note of it and forgot about it. 

It wasn't until months later when we were writing and writing without doing any production, it got to the point where we decided we should put together some real demos for people. I put together a demo of it and she was shocked and loved it, and it spiraled from there.

Take me through the evolution of another favorite from the album, "Get Him Back!"

We also wrote that one at Electric Lady on an acoustic guitar. The bridge was originally the verse. "I wanna key his car…"  "That was our original verse. But we wrote it, wrote the chorus, had the song and I recorded a scratch demo. Olivia didn't like it and said, "I don't know if that's the right verse." 

It wasn't until weeks later when I said, "What if we made the old verse the bridge?" And we were like, "Wow, that actually works way better than the original!" But it took us a long time to realize that was the path of the song. 

How does it feel going from making commercial jingles to having such a monumental impact on American popular music, not to mention these GRAMMY nominations?

It feels pretty good. I will admit that. It doesn't feel real sometimes, but it's pretty awesome. 

Olivia is a real special person, and I feel very fortunate that I get to make music with her. We're really just trying to have fun making music. 

Loving Olivia Rodrigo's "Vampire"? Check Out 15 Songs By Alanis Morissette, Miley Cyrus & More That Reclaim The Breakup Narrative

Photo of Noah Kahan (L) and Olivia Rodrigo (R) perform during the GUTS World Tour in New York City
Noah Kahan (L) and Olivia Rodrigo (R) perform during the GUTS World Tour in New York City

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation

list

10 Record Store Day 2024 Releases We're Excited About: The Beatles, Notorious B.I.G. & More

In honor of Record Store Day 2024, which falls on April 20, learn about 10 limited, exclusive drops to watch out for when browsing your local participating record store.

GRAMMYs/Apr 18, 2024 - 02:20 pm

From vinyl records by the 1975 and U2, to album reissues and previously unreleased music, record stores around the world are stocking limited and exclusive releases for Record Store Day 2024

The first Record Store Day kicked off in 2008 and every year since, the event supporting independently owned record stores has grown exponentially. On Record Store Day 2024, which falls on April 20, there will be more than 300 special releases available from artists as diverse as  the Beatles and Buena Vista Social Club. 

In honor of Record Store Day 2024 on April 20, here are 10 limited and exclusive drops to watch out for when browsing your local participating record store. 

David Bowie — Waiting in the Sky (Before The Starman Came To Earth

British glam rocker David Bowie was a starman and an icon. Throughout his career, he won five GRAMMY Awards and was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. 

On RSD 2024, Bowie's estate is dialing it back to his Ziggy Stardust days to make Waiting in the Sky (Before The Starman Came To Earth) available for the first time. The record features recordings of Bowie's sessions at Trident Studios in 1971, and many songs from those sessions would be polished for his 1972 album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

The tracklisting for Waiting in the Sky differs from Ziggy Stardust and features four songs that didn’t make the final album.

Talking Heads — Live at WCOZ 77

New York City-based outfit Talking Heads defined the sound of new wave in the late '70s and into the next decade. For their massive influence, the group received two GRAMMY nominations and was later honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021.

While promoting their debut album Talking Heads: 77, the quartet recorded a live performance for the New Albany, Pennsylvania radio station WCOZ in 1977. The Live at WCOZ 77 LP will include 14 songs from that performance at Northern Studios, including seven that will be released for the first time. Among the previously unheard cuts are "Love Goes To A Building On Fire" and "Uh-Oh, Love Comes To Town." During that session, Talking Heads also performed songs like "Psycho Killer" and "Pulled Up."

The Doors — Live at Konserthuset, Stockholm, September 20, 1968

The Doors were at the forefront of the psychedelic rock movement of the 1960s and early '70s. One of Jim Morrison's most epic performances with the band will be available on vinyl for the first time. 

Live at Konserthuset, Stockholm, September 20, 1968 includes recordings from a radio broadcast that was never commercially released. The 3-LP release includes performances of songs from the Doors’ first three albums, including 1967’s self-titled and Strange Days. In addition to performing their classics like "Light My Fire" and "You're Lost Little Girl," the Doors and Morrison also covered "Mack the Knife" and Barret Strong's "Money (That's What I Want)" live during this session. 

Dwight Yoakam — The Beginning And Then Some: The Albums of the '80s

Over the course of his 40-year career, country music icon Dwight Yoakam has received 18 GRAMMY nominations and won two golden gramophones for Best Male Country Vocal Performance in 1994 and Best Country Collaboration with Vocals in 2000.

On Record Store Day 2024, Yoakam will celebrate the first chapter of his legacy with a new box set: The Beginning And Then Some: The Albums of the '80s. His debut album Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. and 1987’s Hillbilly Deluxe will be included in the collection alongside exclusive disc full of rarities and demos. The 4-LP set includes his classics like "Honky Tonk Man," "Little Ways," and "Streets of Bakersfield." The box set will also be available to purchase on CD.  

The Beatles — The Beatles Limited Edition RSD3 Turntable

Beatlemania swept across the U.S. following the Beatles’ first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in February 1964, setting the stage for the British Invasion. With The Beatles Limited Edition RSD3 Turntable, the band will celebrate their iconic run of appearances on Sullivan’s TV program throughout that year.

The box set will include a Beatles-styled turntable and four 3-inch records. Among those records are the hits "I Want To Hold Your Hand," "Till There Was You," "She Loves You," and "I Saw Her Standing There," which the Beatles performed on Sullivan's TV across several appearances. 

Among 23 GRAMMY nominations, the Beatles won seven golden gramophones. In 2014, the Recording Academy honored them with the Lifetime Achievement Award.   

Olivia Rodrigo and Noah Kahan — From The BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge LP

Olivia Rodrigo and Noah Kahan are two of the biggest pop stars in the world right now — Rodrigo hitting the stage with No Doubt at Coachella and near the end of her global GUTS Tour; Kahan fresh off a Best New Artist nomination at the 2024 GRAMMYs. Now, they're teaming up for the split single From The BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge LP, a release culled from each artist's "BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge" sessions. 

The special vinyl release will include Rodrigo's live cover of Kahan's breakout hit "Stick Season." The single also includes Kahan’s cover of Rodrigo’s song "Lacy" from her second album, GUTS. This month, they performed the song live together on Rodrigo’s Guts World Tour stop in Madison Square Garden.  

Buena Vista Social Club — Buena Vista Social Club

Influential Cuban group Buena Vista Social Club popularized genres and sounds from their country, including son cubano, bolero, guajira, and danzón. Buena Vista Social Club's landmark self-titled LP won the GRAMMY for Best Tropical Latin Album in 1998.

The following year, a documentary was released that captured two of the band's live performances in New York City and Amsterdam. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the documentary, the Buena Vista Social Club album will be released on a limited edition gold vinyl with remastered audio and bonus tracks.

Buena Vista Social Club is one of the 10 recordings to be newly inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame as part of the 2024 inductee class.

Danny Ocean — 54+1

Venezuelan reggaeton star Danny Ocean broke through on a global level in 2016 with his self-produced debut single "Me Rehúso," a heartbreaking track inspired by Ocean fleeing Venezuela due to the country's economic instability and the lover he had left behind. 

With "Me Rehúso," Ocean became the first solo Latin artist to surpass one billion streams on Spotify, on the platform with a single song. "Me Rehúso" was included on his 2019 debut album 54+1, which will be released on vinyl for the first time for Record Store Day.

Lee "Scratch" Perry & The Upsetters — Skanking With The Upsetter

Jamaican producer Lee "Scratch" Perry pioneered dub music in the 1960s and '70s. Perry received five GRAMMY nominations in his lifetime, including winning Best Reggae Album in 2003 for Jamaican E.T.

To celebrate the legacy of Perry's earliest dub recordings, a limited edition run of his 2004 album Skanking With The Upsetter will be released on Record Store Day. His joint LP with his house band the Upsetters will be pressed on transparent yellow vinyl. Among the rare dub tracks on the album are "Bucky Skank," "Seven & Three Quarters (Skank)," and "IPA Skank." 

Read more: Lee "Scratch" Perry Documentary Director Sets The Record Straight On The Reggae Icon's Legacy — Including A Big Misconception About Bob Marley

Notorious B.I.G. — Ready To Die: The Instrumentals

The Notorious B.I.G. helped define the sound of East Coast rap in the '90s. Though he was tragically murdered in 1997, his legacy continues to live on through his two albums. 

During his lifetime, the Notorious B.I.G. dropped his 1994 debut album Ready to Die, which is widely considered to be one of the greatest hip-hop releases of all-time. In honor of the 30th anniversary of the album (originally released in September '94), his estate will release Ready To Die: The Instrumentals. The limited edition vinyl will include select cuts from the LP like his hits "Big Poppa," "One More Chance/Stay With Me," and "Juicy." The album helped him garner his first GRAMMY nomination in 1996 for Best Rap Solo Performance. The Notorious B.I.G. received an additional three nominations after his death in 1998. 

10 Smaller Music Festivals Happening In 2024: La Onda, Pitchfork Music Fest, Cruel World & More

Shakira
Colombian singer Shakira performs with Argentine record producer and songwriter Bizarrap on the Sahara Stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California, on April 12, 2024

Photo: VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

list

Coachella 2024 Weekend 1 Recap: 20 Surprises And Special Moments, From Billie Eilish & Lana Del Rey To Olivia Rodrigo With No Doubt

Weekend 1 of Coachella 2024 is a wrap, and the internet can’t stop talking about it. Here are 20 surprises and special moments from Coachella so far, including inspired team-ups, wackadoo moments in the clutch, and much more.

GRAMMYs/Apr 15, 2024 - 09:11 pm

It may be hard to believe, but Weekend 1 of Coachella 2024 is already over. Clearly, time flies when you’re having fun — particularly when beholding the world’s leading artists, convened in the Indio desert in California.

If you weren’t there, the festival was filmed, of course. You can enjoy Coachella from the comfort of your own home, sans-sunburn, undrenched with champagne.

As you survey Coachella’s sold-out first weekend, read on for 20 performances, debuts and moments that surprised and touched us from Coachella Weekend 1.

Lana Del Rey's Headlining Set Brought Out GRAMMY Winners Billie Eilish, Jon Batiste & Jack Antonoff

After rolling deep up to her desert set on a fleet of motorcycles for her Friday performance, Lana Del Rey infused her iconic sad-girl pop persona into every facet of her Gatsby-esque performance. 
Her headlining set also included some special GRAMMY-winning guests: Jon Batiste and 2024 Producer Of The YearJack Antonoff both accompanied on piano, while Billie Eilish joined her idol on stage for duet performances of "Ocean Eyes" and "Video Games." Sharing a moment with her hero on stage at the end of the set, Eilish declared, "This is the reason for half you bitches’ existence, including mine.”

Tyler, The Creator Brings Out Childish Gambino, A$AP Rocky, Kali Uchis and Charlie Wilson

Saturday's main stage event kicked off with a ruckus 80-minute set by creative magnet Tyler, The Creator, who transformed the stage into an ever-changing desert scene to host fellow performers.

First up, Childish Gambino hit the stage to perform a duet of "Running Out of Time," before A$AP Rocky joined for a performance of two tracks, "Potato Salad" and "Who Dat Boy."

Tyler admitted he once saw both as rivals, but now considers them friends. Kali Uchis also returned to the desert stage with Tyler for a quick appearance as well as legendary singer/songwriter Charlie Wilson, who made an unexpected appearance to accompany Tyler on a laid-back version of "EARFQUAKE." 

No Doubt Made Their Grand Re-Entrance (With Olivia Rodrigo!)

No Doubt electrified Coachella with their first performance in nine years, featuring all original members and a blend of eclectic hits that defined their career. Their memorable reunion set highlighted their timeless appeal and was punctuated by a surprise appearance from pop sensation Olivia Rodrigo for a duet performance of No Doubt classic, "Bathwater."

Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce Show Up To Support Ice Spice And Jack Antonoff's Bleachers

The Queen of Pop, Taylor Swift herself, showed up on Sunday with her boyfriend Travis Kelce among the crowds to support her friends: producer and Bleachers band member Jack Antonoff and Eras tourmate Ice Spice

Will Smith Joined J Balvin For The “Men In Black” Theme

What slap? Last year, Will Smith appeared at “A GRAMMY Salute To 50 Years Of Hip Hop” as one half of DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. And at Coachella 2024, the world was treated to another throwback, as he and four-time GRAMMY nominee J Balvin performed the immortal theme to Men in Black.

Doja Cat Brought Out A$AP Rocky, 21 Savage and Teezo Touchdown

GRAMMY winner and 19-time nominee Doja Cat turned in a performance heavy on rap — and also puppet dinosaurs. As per the former, A$AP Rocky, 21 Savage and Teezo Touchdown touched down, collaborating with Doja on “Urrrge,” “N.H.I.E.,” and “Masc,” respectively.

Ice Spice Previewed A New Song Onstage

Something’s stirring in Ice Spiceworld. At Coachella, she wowed with her live debut of a new song that sampled Sean Paul’s 2005 track “Gimme the Light.” (She closed out with “Think U the Shit (Fart).”)

As reported earlier in April, Ice Spice is going to make her acting debut in Spike Lee’s new movie High and Low, starring Denzel Washington

Peso Pluma Made His Coachella Debut

¡Corridos tumbados de por vida! In the wake of his big win at the 2024 GRAMMYs — Best Música Mexicana Album (Including Tejano), for GÉNESIS Peso Pluma lit up Coachella 2024 with that signature fusion of folky guitar ballads and modern hip-hop, with special guests including Becky G and Arcángel.

Lil Uzi Vert Previewed A New Song Onstage

Ice Spice wasn’t the only act to preview new material at Coachella 2024. Enter four-time GRAMMY nominee Lil Uzi Vert, who performed a hypnotic and — again — unnamed track, one that seemed to be tailor-made for Coachella.

A Mini-Fugees Reunion Went Down (Thanks To YG Marley)

Lauryn Hill and Wyclef Jean are no strangers to reigniting the Fugees spirit onstage — they did so at Essence Fest 2022, while GRAMMY.com was reporting on site. This time, they kept it in the family; during Hill’s son YG Marley’s set, both Fugees came out, playing classics like “Killing Me Softly.” (The embattled Pras wasn’t present.)

Blur Announced This Was Their Last Performance Together

Social media is currently abuzz at the allegedly unresponsive audience for Blur — but what’s a viral, out-of-context clip supposed to prove, anyway? Whatever the case may be, after their rollicking set, Damon Albarn and company declared that the Britpop icons were entering another hiatus.

Bizarrap Brought Out Shakira

Mega-watt Argentine producer Bizarrap brought his BZRP Music Sessions to the Coachella stage and included a surprise appearance from superstar Shakira.

Shakira and Bizarrap won the Latin GRAMMY for Song Of The Year at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs for "Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53," a featured track on her fresh-out-the-trap album, Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran

Billie Eilish Threw A Special “Billie & Friends” Party & Hyped Up The Crowd With The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside”

After surprising fans during Lana Del Rey's Friday set, Billie Eilish treated fans and special guests to a preview of her new album, Hit Me Hard and Soft at the Do LaB Stage on Saturday night.

The previewed songs were well-received by an enthusiastic set of attendees who were introduced to yet-to-debut tracks "“Lunch,” "L’Amour De Ma Vie," and "Chihiro." 

"Yo Gabba Gabba!" Showed Up To The Aquabats’ Pool Party

Christian Jacobs, lead singer of the Aquabats, co-created the "Yo Gabba Gabba!" TV show — and the colorful cast of costumed characters showed up to their pool party! This marks yet another example of ska picking up at Coachella — see the transcendent No Doubt and Sublime performances.

Sublime Made Their Coachella Debut With Jakob Nowell

As you may have read, Sublime are back, against the odds — not with Rome, but with Jakob Nowell, original Sublime frontman Bradley’s son. (It must be said: Bradley died at 28, ending the band’s original run; as he takes the guitar and mic, Jakob himself is 28.)

Speaking of the guitar — he wielded his old man’s, in an emotional and electrifying set that proved these songs’ durability and beyond.

Vampire Weekend Brought Paris Hilton Onstage To Play Cornhole

Life imitates Mad Libs! The beloved indie rockers are out promoting their new album, 2024’s Only God Was Above Us — and who better to cheerlead than the one and only Paris Hilton, to play the classic bean bag game with the crew?

Dom Dolla Brought Out Nelly Furtado

Dance/electronic sensation Dom Dolla returned to Coachella for a charged set featuring festival first-timer Nelly Furtado who joined to perform their GRAMMY-nominated track, "Eat Your Man."

Furtado gave her all during the rousing performance, a testament to the duo's synergy after Dom Dolla brought the singer out of a six year hiatus to work together on the song.

Sky Ferreira Made A Surprise Appearance With Kevin Abstract

If Sky Ferreira seems like an unlikely candidate to belt out a Lady A hit, think again. The singer/songwriter brought newfound heft to the five-time GRAMMY winners’ classic hit, “Need You Now,” with Kevin Abstract.

Does this foreshadow a reappraisal of the country mainstays’ catalog? Once the dust settles re: the ska revival, we’ll have that conversation.

Kesha Showed Up To Rock With Reneé Rapp (And Diss A Certain Disgraced Rapper)

“Wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy,” Kesha once rapped, in her inescapable 2009 hit “Tik Tok.” Well, that didn’t age well, and Kesha knew that. So she changed “P. Diddy” to “me” — and if that’s just going to be the official lyric now, that’s fine by the music industry. Reneé Rapp, of Mean Girls fame, bolstered her.

Mac DeMarco Joined Forces With Lil Yachty

Mac DeMarco’s been a savvy chameleon at this stage in his career, prioritizing brainy collaborations over typical album release cycles.

He has two songwriting credits on Yachty’s game changing 2023 album Let’s Start Here, and during Yachty’s performance, he showed up to perform two of his song songs: “On The Level,” from 2017’s This Old Dog, and “Chamber of Reflection,” from his decade-old album Salad Days.

Additional reporting by Nina Frazier.

10 Must-See Artists At Coachella 2024: Skepta, The Last Dinner Party, Mdou Moctar, Cimafunk & More

Gwen Stefani and Olivia Rodrigo perform during No Doubt's set at Coachella.

Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for No Doubt

list

No Doubt’s Coachella Comeback: A Night Of Nostalgia With Olivia Rodrigo As A Special Guest

No Doubt's triumphant return to Coachella, marking their first show in nine years, electrified the desert with a dynamic performance that spanned their eclectic hits and featured a surprise appearance by Olivia Rodrigo.

GRAMMYs/Apr 13, 2024 - 12:35 am

On the first Saturday of Coachella, No Doubt made a striking comeback on the festival's main stage for their first performance together in nine years. 

Originating from Anaheim, California in 1986, the band is celebrated for their eclectic sound that defies easy categorization — from the ska-punk vibrancy of their early days to the polished pop anthems that later defined their career. 

Their big breakthrough album, Tragic Kingdom, was released in 1995 and propelled them to fame with hits like "Don't Speak" and "Just a Girl," which dominated the Billboard charts for 16 weeks. 

Featuring all original members — Gwen Stefani, guitarist Tom Dumont, bassist Tony Kanal, and drummer Adrian Young — No Doubt's Coachella performance was a tribute to their iconic past and a reminder of their beloved eccentricity. 

The standout set was filled with unbeatable stage presence, surprise guests, and showcased the band's timeless appeal nearly four decades into their career. Known for blending introspective brooding with a uniquely sardonic edge, the band has significantly influenced a generation of complex female artistry. Highlights from the performance, including Stefani's magnetic stage presence, heartfelt interactions with fans, and a surprise appearance by Olivia Rodrigo, underscore their palpable appeal and lasting influence on contemporary music. 

Read on to discover five key highlights from their hotly anticipated return at Coachella during their 'Weekend 1' set:

Gen Z And OG Fans United As One

As fans converged on Coachella's main stage for No Doubt's set, the diversity of the audience was immediately apparent. Younger fans, clad in social media-ready outfits inspired by Gwen Stefani’s iconic style (some even recreating her most iconic looks) braved the evening's brisk winds. 

Despite challenges, the alleged bad modern concert etiquette was not apparent, especially after Stefani's call for a return to old-school concert vibes before performing a “Simple Kind of Life.” 

“Let’s do this old school!” Stefani said as she confessed missing the days when fans would belt out all the lyrics at the top of their lungs without much care in the world. It was a sentiment that quickly resonated through the audience and a moment that not only bridged generational divides but also highlighted No Doubt's broad and enduring appeal. 

The Night Was Full Of Nostalgia

Outside of the fact that frontwoman Stefani is allergic to aging, for a group returning after nine years performing together, No Doubt’s stage presence was just as powerful as their past, dynamic performances.  

“There’s no f—king comparison!” Gwen Stefani roared during “Underneath it All,” capturing the intensity of the moment as she dropped to her knees, rhinestones sparkling on her eyebrows and a smile breaking through. 

Read more: GRAMMY Rewind: Watch No Doubt Accept Their GRAMMY Award For “Underneath It All” In 2004

The band's passion burned just as brightly when they were playing local college gigs in Orange County. There was no sign of awkwardness or a single misstep as Stefani showcased the same brilliance of her early days as a burgeoning musician.

She shared the spotlight seamlessly. As Dumont delivered a guitar solo during “Different People,” Stefani playfully skipped and ran across the expansive stage, never missing a note. 

No Doubt has always transcended nostalgia, yet they embraced their history at Coachella. Stefani dressed to the nines in a plaid, avant-garde outfit while background videos played personal and rehearsal footage from the '90s, evoking a simpler time for the group. Stefani appeared barefaced in a plain white tee, bouncing around a beat up truck in a video that explained the band's origins and showed the magnetic charisma that manifested a star turned supernova.

Olivia Rodrigo Made A Surprise Appearance

Right before Stefani took a brief water break, she flashed a mysterious smirk to the crowd. 

As the introspective track “Bathwater” thrummed to life, a brunette donning a glittering “I [love] ND” tank top emerged, her face turned from the audience. The murmurs quickly escalated into screams, particularly from the younger fans, signaling the arrival of pop starlet Olivia Rodrigo. Matching Stefani in energy and presence, Rodrigo proved a formidable presence on stage, trading verses and singing in duet through the chorus, their performance culminating in a sweet embrace. 

No Doubt’s influence on Rodrigo's music is palpable. After all, tracks like Rodrigo’s “Get Him Back!” and No Doubt’s “Bathwater” are cut from the same mascara-stained cloth — each with a poetic, vengeful twist. They were just girls! Living in captivity! The revenge? Being able to put into song the diabolical conditions of womanhood, while allowing themselves to truly feel — whether it be anger, delusion, or plain pettiness. 

The Band Members Have A Bond

No Doubt’s historic return to the stage elevated the entirety of the Coachella-going experience, setting a standard and outshining the majority of the other acts. Throughout their performance, the admiration they had for one another became increasingly evident. 

From Stefani frequently calling out “Tony! Tony!” to (Tony) Kanal during the set’s adlibs to the end of their set when the group remained locked in a hug for several moments, the group was clearly overjoyed to be back together again. Before exiting the stage, Stefani leaped onto the back of Young while she excitedly kicked her feet, as though in protest of having to leave. 

A Coachella backstage supervisor working onsite during their rehearsals candidly confessed that he was taken by the band's natural chemistry. During soundcheck, he stated they were so intrinsically confident and overjoyed about their performance it seemed as though they had never stopped performing with one another. 

They Showed Deep Gratitude For Their Fans

There was nothing but gratitude on display from each and every member during the festival set. After almost every other song Stefani would belt an “I love you!” to the crowd. 

During an experimental instrumental-only tribute to ska-pop, Kanal ran across the stage with a huge smile, at-the-ready to riff back-to-back with members of the group. 

“Indio, put your f—king hands up!” Stefani commanded the crowd as they gleefully complied. Then, as smoke filled the air under the brilliantly shining crescent moon, she celebrated the group coming together for the first time in nine years. 

“Isn’t this so crazy?” Stefani yelped during her performance for “It’s My Life.” “This is our life! Singing I love you!” 

It was an epic return for No Doubt as a band and Stefani as their fierce leader, showing up to Coachella naturally, just a girl. A girl who loves to sing, rile up the audience in a fierce sing-along, and remind everyone that self-acceptance is all their music has ever been about. 

10 Must-See Artists At Coachella 2024: Skepta, The Last Dinner Party, Mdou Moctar, Cimafunk & More

Olivia Rodrigo
Olivia Rodrigo performs onstage for the kick off of GUTS World Tour on Feb. 23, 2024 in Palm Springs, California.

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Acrisure Arena

news

Olivia Rodrigo Releases 'Guts (Spilled)' Deluxe Edition: Listen To New Song "So American" & Watch The "Obsessed" Music Video

In the midst of her headlining arena tour, Olivia Rodrigo delivered an extended version of her second album, 'GUTS.' Hear new song "so american" from 'GUTS (spilled)' below, along with four previously vinyl-only tracks.

GRAMMYs/Mar 22, 2024 - 01:15 pm

Seven months after Olivia Rodrigo unleashed her highly anticipated second studio album, she spilled her GUTS even further on March 22: GUTS (spilled) deluxe edition is here.

Rodrigo diehards may know four of the five deluxe tracks, which were previously only available on vinyl editions of GUTS: "obsessed," "stranger," "scared of my guitar," and "girl i've always been." But the deluxe version doesn't come without an unreleased track — the fifth, "so american," is brand new, and closes out GUTS (spilled).

"Obsessed" even got the video treatment, with the official music video dropping at the same time as the deluxe album. Therein, she’s the black sheep among a litany of pageant queens, representing exes: Rodrigo’s sash reads "Miss Right Now." The chorus — "I’m so obsessed with your ex!" detonates with a full rock band.

Rodrigo will even be able to celebrate the arrival of GUTS (spilled) with fans, too. The GUTS World Tour stops Columbus, Ohio, on March 22 — almost exactly a month after it launched in Thousand Palms, California, on Feb. 23. As of press time, the tour (which marks Rodrigo's first headlining arena trek) will feature 77 shows across North America and Europe; it wraps with four nights at Los Angeles' Kia Forum on Aug. 13, 14, 16, and 17.

Before the tour began, GUTS helped Rodrigo earn six more GRAMMY nominations. In addition to a nod for Album Of The Year, the pop-punk princess received nominations for Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance for "Vampire," Best Rock Song for "Ballad of a Homeschooled Girl," and Best Pop Vocal Album.

Prior to the 2024 GRAMMYs, Rodrigo was already a three-time winner, taking home Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Album (SOUR) and Best Pop Solo Performance ("drivers license") in 2022.

Listen to GUTS (spilled) below, watch the "Obsessed" video above, and keep checking back for news about Olivia Rodrigo!