Photo: Courtesy of George Perris
Press Play At Home: George Perris Celebrates Freedom With A Rooftop Performance Of "Disobey"
Greek-French singer George Perris shouts his message of freedom from the rooftops — literally — with a sunset performance of "Disobey" in this episode of Press Play at Home.
In the empowering track "Disobey," George Perris celebrates his freedom. The song describes a "chain on my mind" that's been there since the singer can remember, but he's making the conscious decision to free himself from societal expectations and live life on his own terms.
In the latest episode of Press Play at Home, Perris shouts — or rather, sings — his freedom from the rooftops. Accompanied by an acoustic guitar and vocal harmony, the singer brings "Disobey" to life atop a building in his native Athens, Greece, against the backdrop of a sunset.
This live version underscores the song's message of freedom: Closeup shots of Perris' face as he's singing suggest a peaceful confidence, and behind him are the wide open spaces of the city skyline.
It's a fitting musical message for a powerful turning point in Perris' life. He wrote the song three years ago in Stockholm, Sweden, with collaborators Mark Caplice and Moh Denebi, at a time when personal freedom was at the forefront of his mind.
Releasing the song in 2021 turned out to be a stepping stone in an even larger move toward living authentically. In March of this year, he revealed to People that he is gay. Though he didn't quite consider it a coming out — he is openly gay in his personal life — it was the first time he'd ever spoken about his sexuality as a public figure.
"It had a cost for me because there was a part of me that wanted to talk about it," Perris reflected. "A lot of people told me, 'You shouldn't come out,' 'You shouldn't talk about that publicly,' 'It'll destroy your career.'"
But on the contrary, sharing that part of himself with his fans became a potent musical inspiration for the singer. A year after he embraced themes of personal freedom with the release of "Disobey," he's continuing to take cues from similar themes of authentic living and sharing himself fully with his listeners.
His most recent collection, No Armor, is a group of cover performances of the songs that have been most influential to him over the years, from artists such as Billie Eilish, Joni Mitchell and ABBA. Perris made his performances uniquely his own, arranging each track with a cast of Mediterranean instruments.
Press Play At Home: Watch Dodie Perform A Morning-After Version Of "Four Tequilas Down"
In the latest episode of Press Play At Home, singer/songwriter dodie conjures a bleary last call in a hushed performance of "Four Tequilas Down"
"Four Tequilas Down" is as much a song as it is a memory—a half-remembered one. "Did you make your eyes blur?/So that in the dark, I'd look like her?" dodie, the song's writer and performer, asks. To almost anyone who's engaged in a buzzed rebound, that detail alone should elicit a wince of recognition.
Such is dodie's beyond-her-years mastery of her craft: Over a simple, spare chord progression, she can use an economy of words to twist the knife. "So just hold me like you mean it," dodie sings at the song's end. "We'll pretend because we need it."
In the latest episode of Press Play At Home, watch dodie stretch her songwriting muscles while conjuring a chemically altered Saturday night—and the Sunday morning full of regrets, too.
Check out dodie's hushed-yet-intense performance of "Four Tequilas Down" above and click here to enjoy more episodes of Press Play At Home.
Press Play At Home: Francisca Valenzuela Performs Her Courageous Feminist Paean "La Fortaleza"
The outspoken Chilean singer/songwriter Francisca Valenzuela sings of womanhood and will to power
For Francisca Valenzuela, feminism isn't a radical notion, but a self-evident truth. The daughter of two renowned Chilean scientists, she's published muscular, experiential poetry (like her 2000 book, Defenseless Waters, which she published in her early teens) and founded Ruidosa, a festival, platform and community that elevates female voices.
In this episode of Press Play At Home, Valenzuela sings "La Fortaleza," which contains her worldview in microcosm. "Everything that has happened has led me to today," she sings in Spanish. "I look ahead to the horizon and I bury the guilt and leave/I pack a suitcase, take a deep breath and don't look back/Setting sun, rising sun will accompany me."
Check out Francisca Valenzuela's riveting performance of "La Fortaleza" above, and watch other episodes of Press Play At Home.
Aaron Lee Tasjan
Press Play At Home: Aaron Lee Tasjan's Playful Performance Of "Computer Of Love"
"Some advanced technology is eating through my brain," Tasjan laments at the start of the lively folk-rock song
In the latest episode of Press Play At Home, Nashville-based singer/songwriter Aaron Lee Tasjan offers a playful yet piercing take on technological dependency in his performance of "Computer of Love."
"Some advanced technology is eating through my brain," Tasjan laments at the start of the lively folk-rock song. Watch his full performance below.
Featured on his forthcoming, genre-bending album, Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan!, out Feb. 5, 2021, the song references the disconnection caused by technology and social media and the emotional barriers they create within and between people.
Chika Drops Stripped-Down Version Of "Balencies" For Press Play
The Alabama rapper gives an intimate performance of her song "Balencies" from her major label debut EP 'Industry Games'
Chika is having a breakout year, no matter how you look at it. Born Jane Chika Oranika in Montgomery, Ala., the first-generation Nigerian-American rapper was named to XXL Magazine's 2020 Freshman Class. And it's easy to see why:
The self-described "professional truth-teller" with "a pen that's tactical," Chika shines in the latest edition of Press Play At Home, delivering an intimate version of "Balencies" from her major label debut EP Industry Games.
"The time that went into 'Industry Games,' was a year of my life, last year specifically," she recently told The Recording Academy. "I think that I fleshed out a lot more about myself with this project. You get more of my thought process, and the way my brain actually works––I get to share how crazy and hectic it gets in my brain sometimes. [Laughs.] You hear me versus my ego on it, and what that sounds like for me to be this soft-spoken person, but having a bigger ego, and having to defend certain words."
"Balencies," produced by Lido, also features production elements chosen by her puppy, Vision, who gets a nice shoutout in one of her verses. Chika's soulful, poetic lyricism shows her poetry slam roots and the influence of her southern upbringing in the church, which had a strong musical influence on her style.
Enjoy Chika's very personal performance of "Balencies" and stay tuned for more outstanding original music from GRAMMY.com's Press Play series.