Photo: Andrew Rose
Herbal Tea & White Sofas: Dermot Kennedy Can't Go On Stage Without This Sentimental Cup
After several years of touring, Irish singer Dermot Kennedy has had so much honey and lemon juice he now has taste aversion — but it instantly tastes better if he drinks out of his trust affirmation mug.
If there's one thing Irish singer Dermot Kennedy will always make sure of on tour, it's that he'll have a selection of "extremely boring" healthy foods on his rider.
"Veggies, green juice, all that stuff," Kennedy says in this episode of Herbal Tea & White Sofas. "For my voice, I've got manuka honey, ginger, and lemon, and that's something I'm drinking all day." In fact, he's had honey and lemon so much that he says has PTSD from the flavors.
Thankfully, he's got one guilty pleasure that gives him a break from his clean eating — Irish whiskey, which he calls "non-negotiable" and "the most exciting thing on his rider."
When Kennedy actually hits the stage, one of the most important items is a mug of affirmations he wrote. "I am the best. This is easy. I sing like a bird. My breath is limitless," the cup reads. "if you're having a difficult show, it's a reassuring thing to see on the side of the mug."
No matter the size or location of the performance, Kennedy sees each one with equal importance. "There could be a 17-year-old version of yourself who's going to be inspired to [make music] themselves ... I like to believe those are the type of people who have been attracted to my music, too, so there's just this very real relationship there," he explains.
Kennedy has been on tour all year in support of his sophomore album, Sonder; in June, he issued an extended 2023 edition that features his latest single, "Don't Forget Me." He’ll perform at a few festivals in Europe to close out the summer before heading to Canada in October, and will wrap his world tour in New Zealand and Australia in November and December.
Press play on the video above to learn more about Dermot Kennedy's relationship with live music, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Herbal Tea & White Sofas.
Photo: Amy Lee
New Music Friday: Listen To New Songs From Andre 3000, Drake, Ozuna & More
From long-awaited debut albums to surprising singles, listen to these six new releases from Nov. 17.
With Thanksgiving around the corner, this New Music Friday offers us a feast of new sounds from some of the music industry’s biggest artists.
Country star Maren Morris teamed up with Teddy Swims for a passionate duet version of his song "Some Things I'll Never Know," while Steve Aoki & ERNEST paired up for an energetic dance/country crossver, "Us," from Aoki’s HiROQUEST 2: Double Helix.
American band Bleachers unleash their wild side with "Alma Matter," from their upcoming self-titled album dropping March 8, 2024. Meanwhile, alternative rock band Bad Suns released their catchy, six-track EP Infinite Joy. Across the pond, long-time British rockers Madness released their 13th album, Theatre Of the Absurd Presents C’Est La Vie.
With sultry sounds from R&B songstress Ari Lennox to mellow, indie rhythms from Dermot Kennedy to upbeat, radiant vibes from the duo Surfaces, this Friday brings a kaleidoscope of sounds from across every genre.
Along with the slew of releases mentioned above, press play on releases from the likes of André 3000, Drake, Ozuna, Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz, Danny Brown, and Bibi and Becky G — and be sure to add some new sounds to your rotation.
André 3000 - New Blue Sun
If you’ve seen Andre 3000’s impromptu flute performances in the past few years, then the GRAMMY winner's new sound won’t come as a shock. On his eight-track debut solo album New Blue Sun, the Outkast member experiments with wind instruments and percussion, creating serene and melodic compositions.
Across eight elaborately titled tracks — "I swear, I Really Wanted To Make A "Rap" Album But This Is Literally The Way The Wind Blew Me This Time" and "That Night In Hawaii When I Turned Into A Panther And Started Making These Low Registered Purring Tones That I Couldn’t Control… Shyt Was Wild," — Andre details his artistic journey and the possibility of returning to rap music. Because, as Andre has told numerous outlets, New Blue Sun is not a rap album.
In the future, fans might see 3000 return to the rap universe but in the meantime, let’s enjoy the ambience of the blue sun.
Drake - For All The Dogs Scary Hours Edition
It’s not Scorpio season without a release from the scorpion king himself, Drake. In the latest installment of his Scary Hours series, Drake brought in a heavy-hitter lineup of producers including Lil Yatchy and Alchemist.
With songs surrounding themes of betrayal and broken trust (an the less-than-subtle chant "F— My Ex" more than 10 times in one song), For All The Dogs Scary Hours Edition shows how deep the Certified Lover Boy is in his feelings.
Drake brings out his Swiftie side in the track, "Red Button," shouting out Taylor Swift with lyrics "Taylor Swift the only n—- that I ever rated/ Only one could make me drop the album just a little later/ Rest of y’all, I treat you like you never made it." Seems that the big-ups and grudges heard on October's For All The Dogs translate to Scary Hours, too.
Ozuna - Cosmo
After receiving a nod for Best Reggaeton Performance and performing with David Guetta at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, Puerto Rican Singer Ozuna dropped his sixth album, Cosmo. Filled with soon-to-be dance floor staples, Cosmo highlights Ozuna's versatility.
Songs like "El Pin" and "La Chulita" are full of infectious dance and Afrobeats influences, yet stay true to his reggaeton roots. The 15-track record also includes collaborations with Jhayco, Chenco Corleone, Anuel and David Guetta.
"When you think of a colorful image, you think of youth. When people listen to this album, I want them to take it seriously," Ozuna said in an interview with the Fader. "People want to hear what’s real, what’s clear-cut, in black and white.”
The goal, he continued, is to allow "people to know who the real Ozuna is."
2 Chainz, Lil Wayne - Welcome 2 Collegrove
Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz have joined forces once again to release their second joint album, Welcome 2 Collegrove. The album’s title is a melding of 2 Chainz's hometown of College Park, Georgia, with Lil Wayne’s Hollygrove, Louisiana.
Welcome 2 Collegrove includes features from a cross-section of hip-hop and R&B greats, including Usher, 21 Savage, Rick Ross, Benny The Butcher and Fabolous. Tracks like "Presha" and "Long Story Short" bring back the duo’s classic rap sound from their 2016 project COLLEGROVE, and show their ability to create hip-hop anthems. The special guest artists add even more depth to their songs.
Danny Brown - Quaranta
After a four year break, Detroit rapper Danny Brown is back with his seventh album, Quaranta. A departure from his earlier, more club-centric music, the 11-track album offers a new perspective in Brown’s life.
Quaranta is a turning point in Brown's musical journey, where he reflects on themes of regret, self-destructive behavior, and growth. While songs like "Ain’t My Concern" and "Celibate" still include his signature flair of fast, high-pitched verses, this album takes on a more mature and introspective route.
Bibi feat. Becky G - "Amigos"
On "Amigos," South Korean singer Bibi teamed up with Latin star Becky G for a multicultural but ever-relatable track that focuses on being hung up on past lovers despite having someone new in their life. "I know we had a good time and that you always want more / But if my boyfriend calls, we’re just friends, nothing more," they sing in Spanish.
"Amigos" is rife with hip-hop influences — a genre Bibi loves.
"Expressing oneself through lyrics is so real and genuine," BIBI told AllKPop. "As I’m someone who wasn’t necessarily gifted with natural musical talent — I didn’t even know the difference between boom bap or trap beats until way later. I think the other factors of music organically followed as I grew as an artist."
Photo: Andrea Asibor
Herbal Tea & White Sofas: That Mexican OT Brings Mexico To Every Live Show With This Beverage
Some might prefer water and tea while on tour, but Texas-based rapper That Mexican OT gets all of his energy from a cold bottle of Mexican coke.
If there is one thing That Mexican OT will do while on tour, it's stay hydrated. But not necessarily with water — he prefers an ice-cold glass of Mexican Coca-Cola.
"This bad mama jama right here is a go-to for sure," he says in the latest episode of Herbal Tea & White Sofas. "A big part of me loving this is the Mexican heritage, but it also goes down perfectly."
Compared to American Coke, he says the Mexican version has a better taste because it uses natural cane sugar and no high fructose corn syrup.
When That Mexican OT wants something healthier, he opts for cranberry juice. "It's good for your kidneys," he shares. "Those antioxidants will keep you clean and running good, baby."
In his dream world, he would love to have a giant water slide in every green room. "I'm talking about a 20 to 40-footer," he quips with a smile. "Something simple. Easy to hit those dips."
You can catch That Mexican OT live on the Lonestar Luchador Tour through the United States, which ends on Oct. 4 in Oakland, California.
Press play on the video above to learn more about That Mexican OT's two favorite drinks to have while on tour, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Herbal Tea & White Sofas.
Photo: Thanisorn Thitikhunrat, @smoothaum
Herbal Tea & White Sofas: DABOYWAY Reveals His Favorite Sweet Treats For Tour
As someone with a major sweet tooth, Thai-American rapper DABOYWAY can't go on tour without a few guilty pleasure items: red wine, Sour Patch Kids, and even a sugary cinnamon-scented candle.
While many artists might ask for healthy foods and tea on their tour rider, Thai-American musician DABOYWAY unapologetically requests three specific confections: red wine, Sour Patch Kids, and a cinnamon-scented candle.
"The red wine has to be from Chile," he says in the latest episode of Herbal Tea & White Sofas. He doesn't care which brand it is, but as long as it's Chilean, he's happy, because it's never done him wrong.
The rapper loves Sour Patch Kids because they remind him of his childhood. "I've eaten so many Sour Patch Kids at one time that the whole side of my mouth hurts from eating all that sourness ... If anyone wants to win my heart, bring me a bag of Sour Patch Kids," he reveals.
DABOYWAY says cinnamon is hard to find in Thailand, but that makes it all the more special when he can get his hands on it. He says it reminds him of home and his favorite time of the year: football season. And he always appreciates that it makes "the room smell nice before I get on stage."
Press play to learn more about DABOYWAY's favorite items to have on tour, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Herbal Tea & White Sofas.
Herbal Tea & White Sofas: Catie Turner Reveals The One Fruit She Must Include On Her Tour Rider
When it comes to tour necessities, indie pop singer Catie Turner doesn't need much other than water and throat coat tea. But the one thing she must have is her favorite fruit — which is also her good luck charm.
When it comes to building her tour rider, indie pop singer Catie Turner says she hasn't mastered the art of asking for "diva things." For now, she keeps it simple with throat coat tea, water, and, most importantly, a lot of blueberries.
"I don't know why," she reveals in this episode of Herbal Tea & White Sofas. "I just love fruit so much. I think I could only eat fruit for the rest of my life and be content."
At first, she requested blueberries out of habit. But after a few shows, she realized, "This is my new favorite berry." Now, she enjoys them so much that she'll accept them in their standard form, and she even considers them to be her good luck charm.
Even when she thinks of "diva things," Turner's mind still goes to fruit; she beams over the idea of an Edible Arrangement in every green room. "Fruit shaped like a flower tastes better! I would love to see that every day. It makes me happy. It's whimsical," she giggles.
Press play on the video above to learn more about Catie Turner's fruit love, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Herbal Tea & White Sofas.