meta-scriptGRAMMY Museum Honors Ray Charles' Legacy With A Soulful Ceremony On Recently Renamed Terrace | GRAMMY.com
GRAMMY Museum Honors Ray Charles' Legacy With A Soulful Ceremony On Recently Renamed Terrace
Jimmy Jam speaks during The Ray Charles Terrace ribbon cutting at GRAMMY Museum L.A. Live

Photo: Timothy Norris/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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GRAMMY Museum Honors Ray Charles' Legacy With A Soulful Ceremony On Recently Renamed Terrace

The GRAMMY Museum inaugurated Ray Charles Terrace during 2024 GRAMMY Week, honoring the performer's legacy with sets by Aloe Blacc and Jac Ross.

GRAMMYs/Jan 30, 2024 - 10:46 pm

The GRAMMY Museum kicked off 2024 GRAMMY Week with a feelgood ribbon-cutting celebration at its newly renamed Ray Charles Terrace on Jan. 29.  

The uncharacteristically temperate evening added to the welcoming vibe of the gathering, which was further enhanced by on-point selections from GRAMMY winner DJ Khalil. Attendees were all smiles, reconnecting with each other in this congenial setting, generating a positive party tone for the slew of events GRAMMY Week brings.

Former Recording Academy Chairman Jimmy Jam proved to be a gracious and natural host. In his signature shades and slick suit, the multiple GRAMMY-winning producer  brought attention to the Ray Charles Foundation’s and the GRAMMY Museum Foundation’s joint focus on empowering young people through education. A generous  $2 million donation from the Ray Charles Foundation will further enable the Museum's educational focus. 

GRAMMY Museum’s President and CEO Michael Sticka took to the podium and quantified Jam’s introduction with some solid statistics. These included 500,000 students served over the course of the museum’s 15 years and $500,000 donated to school music programs in the last 11 years. 

"We’re committed to ensuring that every student who walks through our doors, or participates in one of our nationwide programs has an opportunity to discover music, and perhaps a career in music, in a new way," Sticka said. 

The Ray Charles Foundation President Valerie Ervin — arriving fresh from a proclamation from the City of Los Angeles for the foundation — added, "It’s our great honor to invest in a shared vision of fostering the next generation of musical talent."

GRAMMY Museum Inaugurates Ray Charles Terrace ribbon cutting

(L-R) Rita George, John Burk, Yakub Hazzard, Clarence Daniels, Wes Coleman, Michael Sticka, Valerie Erviin, Jimmy Jam, Tammy Hurt, Harvey Mason Jr, and Tim Bucher ┃Timothy Norris/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

 "A museum is a 'look and don’t touch' type of thing. That isn’t what this place is," Jam told GRAMMY.com. "I remember the day we did the ribbon cutting on the actual museum, I was chairman of the Recording Academy at that time. The first thing we did was let 300 kids in. The docents who talked to the kids were Jermaine Dupri and Ludacris

"To me, it’s really about the other 364 days of the year besides the one day of the show. That’s what this museum is all about," Jimmy Jam continued. 

Up-and-coming Darkchild artist Jac Ross performed Charles’ "You Don’t Know Me." A gifted vocalist with innate stage presence, he prefaced the song — and instantly won over the crowd by asking, "Please give me another round of applause to make me feel good." Ross’ heart wrenching rendition ended with a well-deserved standing ovation and hoots and hollers from the crowd. 

"It’s more of [Charles’] country side," Ross told GRAMMY.com of his song choice. "I wanted to show and display that because I’m a country and soul artist and it’s a perfect leeway to that side of Ray Charles." 

GRAMMY nominee Aloe Blacc described Ross as "a generational voice," then put a distinctly sassy and languorous spin on Charles’ hit, "Georgia." He had the crowd accompanying him with claps and snaps during "I Got a Woman." 

Speaking of Charles’ influence on him, Blacc told GRAMMY.com, "As a businessman, I loved how Ray Charles worked. When I talked to Quincy Jones, he said he and Ray Charles only had a handshake. They never wrote a contract. That, to me, is inspiring about how to do business with your friends and make art and navigate such a difficult industry. As a songwriter, energy and melody, that’s what Ray Charles gave to me."

GRAMMY Museum Announces 2024 GRAMMY Week Programming Schedule

Listen: Miley Cyrus & Pharrell Reunite For New Song "Doctor (Work It Out)"
Miley Cyrus performs at the 2024 GRAMMYs.

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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Listen: Miley Cyrus & Pharrell Reunite For New Song "Doctor (Work It Out)"

Ten years after their first funky single, Miley Cyrus and Pharrell Williams strike again with "Doctor (Work It Out)," which arrived on March 1. Hear the new track and watch the spirited music video here.

GRAMMYs/Mar 1, 2024 - 04:31 pm

On the heels of her first GRAMMY wins, Miley Cyrus is feeling good — and she's ready to be your cure.

The pop superstar unveiled her new single, a lustful, funky dance track titled "Doctor (Work It Out)," on March 1. The track is her latest collaboration with Pharrell, and their first in 10 years.

Over a pulsating bass guitar-driven beat, Cyrus opens with the punchy chorus (“I could be your doctor/ And I could be your nurse/ I think I see the problem/ It's only gon' get worse/ A midnight medication/ Just show me where it hurts," she sings) before erupting into a dance break as she declares, "Let me work it out… Imma work it out…”

So far, 2024 is feelin' fine for Cyrus. At the 2024 GRAMMYs, her 2023 smash, "Flowers," took home two awards, for Best Pop Solo Performance and Record Of The Year. Following her first win, she delivered a knockout performance featuring the unforgettable ad lib, "I started to cry and then I remembered I… just won my first GRAMMY!" 

Less than a month later, "Doctor (Work It Out)" serves as another groovy celebration of Cyrus' achievements in life and music so far.

The song's music video is reminiscent of her 2024 GRAMMYs performance, too. Not only is she wearing a similar shimmery fringe dress, but the entire video is a jubilant, blissful solo dance party.

Though Cyrus first teased "Doctor (Work It Out)" just a few days before the song's arrival, Pharrell first gave a sneak peek in January, at his American Western themed Fall/Winter 2024 Louis Vuitton Men's fashion show in Paris. It was Pharrell's third collection for the luxury house, and the bouncy single served as a fitting soundtrack. 

The song marks Cyrus' first release in 2024, and her first collab with Pharrell since 2014's "Come Get It Bae" from his album G I R L'; Pharrell also co-wrote and produced four tracks on the deluxe version of Cyrus' 2013 album, Bangerz.

Watch the "Doctor (Work It Out)" video above, and stay tuned to GRAMMY.com for more Miley Cyrus news.

Miley Cyrus' Big GRAMMYs Night: Why Her Two Wins Were Monumental

11 Women Pushing Amapiano To Global Heights: Uncle Waffles, Nkosazana Daughter, & More
(Clockwise) Khanyisa, Boohle, Kamo Mphela, Uncle Waffles, DBN GOGO, Pabi Cooper

Photos: Fundokwakhe Majozi, Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images via Getty Images; Courtesy of the artist; Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for UnitedMasters; Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images via Getty Images; Leon Bennett/WireImage

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11 Women Pushing Amapiano To Global Heights: Uncle Waffles, Nkosazana Daughter, & More

While Tyla may have brought amapiano to 2024 GRAMMYs stage, a vast network of women are responsible for bringing the South African sound to the world. Get to know 11 of the artists at the forefront of amapiano music.

GRAMMYs/Mar 1, 2024 - 04:15 pm

After South African singer Tyla won the inaugural golden gramophone for Best African Music Performance at the 2024 GRAMMYs award show, many likely wondered why her international breakout single "Water" garnered such global appeal. 

Beyond the R&B sensibilities that made its sound approachable to Western audiences, what really drew crowds to "Water" was the vitality of South African dance and elements of amapiano — a subgenre of house and a child of kwaito, South Africa’s post-Apartheid freedom sound. Punctuated by amapiano’s log drums and insistent shakers, brought to life through the frantic backside movements of bacardi  and Tyla’s aquatic theater, "Water" used genre fusion to carry South African sound across global airwaves.

What’s more, Tyla is part of a vast network of women propelling amapiano to the world. Zimbabwean singer Sha Sha’s breakout in 2019 created a monumental shift in a genre that was largely the terrain of boys and men, and since then the amapiano scene has seen many other women follow in her wake. The likes of Mawhoo, Ami Faku, Bontle Smith, and Nobantu Vilakazi consistently emphasize the genre's soulful heart through dreamlike vocal work, grounding the very hits that have made amapiano the widespread phenomenon that it is today.

Everything from the skillful improvisations of dancing schoolgirls, to lively performances from women DJs and vocalists has allowed amapiano’s essence to be communicated clearly to the world. A vast web of women are pushing the genre both within and beyond South African borders; read on for a list of 11 influential women who are key in elevating amapiano to global heights.

DBN Gogo 

It’s not that controversial: everybody loves Gogo. Born in the city from which she derived her name, Durban, DBN Gogo has steadily become one of amapiano’s most sought-after acts. From her 2021 smash hit "Khuza Gogo" featuring amapiano stars such as the late Mpura, to later hits like "Possible," "Bambelela," and "Bells," Gogo has made a name for herself as a highly-dependable hitmaker and an equally compelling performer. It was her, of course, who created the viral dakiwe dance challenge, inspiring countless dance variations and solidifying her position as amapiano’s queen of cool.

Even while she has offered the genre mass mainstream appeal, DBN Gogo's personal projects reveal her lasting dedication to preserving amapiano’s authenticity. Her 2022 debut album, What’s Real, is a warm, rich body of work, while her newest EP Click Bait is a genre-diverse wonder that transcends the boundaries of ‘piano itself. 

Since her breakout years ago, she has not even remotely backed down, taking over multiple AfroNation stages yearly, performing at Coachella in 2022, and featuring twice on the GRAMMY-nominated Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack. Dropping the Shakes & Les-assisted "Funk 55" in 2023, a track that is still dominating South African nightlife as we speak, Gogo is on an unending mission to take the world by storm.

Nkosazana Daughter

With a spiritual sound and an angelic voice to match, it’s safe to say that Nkosazana Daughter is amapiano’s sweetheart. Breaking out via an Instagram Live with DJ Maphorisa and Mpura during lockdown, the 23-year-old has proved that her ethereal vocals can impart a distinct sense of purity to any song she features on. 

She has since voiced dreamy hit singles like "Dali Nguwe" and "Sofa Silahlane" with frequent collaborator Master KG, and worked with continental artists including Tanzania’s Harmonize and Nigerian Afropop stars Mr. Eazi, Omah Lay, and Young Jonn. Last year, she asserted herself in a big way, releasing her debut album Uthingo Le Nkosazana

"Uthingo," meaning "rainbow" in Zulu, communicated to the world the vast color and love she had to bring to the scene. Nkosazana Daughter called amapiano’s greats to her world, working with the likes of Kabza de Small, Maphorisa, and Sir Trill throughout the project as well as Master KG on the lead single, "Amaphutha." She has already started the year with a bang via her successful hit "Keneilwe," proving her determination to come into 2024 with an unrelenting force.

TXC

Tarynn Reid and Clair Hefke are the dj duo that have proved the importance of intentional performance while pushing ‘piano. The pair are known for mixing amapiano party hits while clad in matching sets; Clair often holds down the fort while Tarynn drives crowds wild with impassioned dance moves. 

The duo has become a symbol of amapiano’s global appeal, ruling the Piano People stage at AfroNation in Miami, closing Boiler Room’s Soulection stage in London, and taking on Qatar’s 2022 Fifa World Cup stage alongside acts like Lil Baby. What’s more, they have consistently shown dedication to growth, expanding their title from DJ duo to production duo, including producing their debut EP.

That release, 2022's A Fierce Piano is a rich collection of tracks featuring assists from some of the genre's smoothest vocalists: Daliwonga and Murumba Pitch. Following up with "Vuka Mawulele" and their latest single "Turn Off the Lights," TXC have shown that their future as creatives in amapiano is limitless. 

Babalwa M

While the amapiano scene is fraught with disagreements surrounding origins, dates, and pioneers, all unanimously agree that Babalwa M is the queen of private school amapiano. Known for its deeply jazzy, soulful approach to amapiano, "private school" is a distinct subgenre that Babalwa’s vocals have refined throughout the years alongside its king, producer Kelvin Momo.

Listening to the transcendental vocals laced through tracks like "Aluta Continua" from her debut album of the same name, it should come as no surprise that Soweto’s own Babalwa M found her voice through the church choir.

Babalwa M's most infamous contributions to the private school archive come in the form of collaborations with the aforementioned Momo. Her near-spiritual vocals on tracks like "Feza," "Sukakude" and, most recently, "Amalobolo" from his newest project, have made even the most surface level consumers invested in the beauty of private school. Coming off of the heels of her most recent track "Maye Maye," Babalwa M is determined to continue sharing the sublimity of private school with the world. 

Uncle Waffles

Nobody quite epitomizes amapiano’s globalization in the way that Uncle Waffles does. 

It all boils down to one fateful day: a DJ booked for a 2021 club night in Soweto was unable to make their set, so Uncle Waffles was called in. She played Young Stunna’s "Adiwele," gyrating with incomparable cool as she responded to the crowd’s impassioned cries. A video of her dancing at this set went viral, generating a dance challenge that can still be seen at club nights today and converting her into an overnight sensation. Suddenly, Swaziland’s own Uncle Waffles was juggling bookings from all over the world. 

Since then, the cosmos has become the limit  — she has shut down Coachella, sold out US and UK headlines shows, and received cosigns from Drake, Kelly Rowland, and Ciara. Waffles' hit single "Tanzania" was even featured in an amapiano-influenced set during multiple stops of Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour. What’s more, she has proved that her talents transcend the stage with three projects in her catalog: Red Dragon, and 2023’s Asylum and Solace. 

With global hit singles "Yahyuppiyah" and "Peacock Revisit" from 2023, and her constant re-definition as a style icon, dancer, and creative director, Uncle Waffles continues to show the world that she cannot be confined to any one creative medium.

Chley

Slick-tongued Chley is widely understood as a secret weapon for any producer looking to cook up an amapiano anthem. Taking on music as recently as 2021, she’d already collaborated with prominent amapiano producers Mellow & Sleazy, Konke, and Musa Keys a year into her music career - voicing hits like "Kancane" and "M’nike." Chley was catapulted to a new level of fame once featured on Uncle Waffles’ "Yahyuppiyah," offering a rapid-fire verse that netizens all over the world fought hard to replicate.

Since then, she has featured on bangers such as "Vuma" with Felo Le Tee and Mellow & Sleazy, "Shu!" with Tanzania’s Diamond Platnumz, Gogo’s "Funk 55," and Ggoldie’s "Asambe." With a discography bound to make even the most conservative of listeners get up and dance, Chley is certainly one to watch in the midst of amapiano’s ever-evolving scene.

Kamo Mphela

Kamo Mphela burst onto the scene after one too many videos of her dancing went viral — an expected outcome for a girl who consistently danced and MCed at block parties on the streets of Joburg. Her rise to fame fatefully coincided with amapiano’s nationwide popularization, allowing the multi-talented dancer to latch on to the township sound and never let it go. 

She soon jumped on tracks like "Sandton" alongside Kabza and Maphorisa in 2019 and "Amanikiniki" with Major League DJz in 2021, then released her own tracks "Percy Tau" and "Nkulunkulu" on her debut EP the same year. She’s since released smash hits, featured on the Wakanda Forever soundtrack, and offered a thrilling performance ahead of Davido at London’s O2 arena.

Throughout her career, Kamo Mphela has redefined the role of the dancer in amapiano’s landscape, not confining herself to the sidelines but instead positioning dance as a central component of any amapiano performance worth its salt. This radical ethic has allowed her to become widely regarded as one of amapino’s most notable performers, and she consistently ensures that her music embodies this weighty title. Her 2023 singles "HANNAH MONTANA" and "Dalie" came with expert dances — the latter with a viral dance challenge that has kept the song at a steady position on South African charts. 

Boohle

Hailing from the Vosloorus township of Johannesburg, Buhle Manyathi is all about soul. Kicking off her career as part of a gospel troupe in 2016, she later transitioned to Afro house and amapiano, releasing a multi-genre debut album, Izibongo, in 2020 and EP Sfikile in 2021. It was only a matter of time before she became the vocalist behind some of ‘piano’s biggest hits, voicing "Mama" with Josiah de Disciple (and its gorgeous Afro house remix from De Capo), "Siyathandana" alongside rapper Cassper Nyovest, and the glorious "Ngixolele," produced by Busta 929. 

Several top charting positions and awards later, she came out with arguably her most global single, "Hamba Wena" alongside Deep London. Igniting a global dance challenge created by South African steppers Hope Ramafalo and Hlongi Mash, "Hamba Wena" captivated the globe  and reasserted Boohle’s seemingly endless ability to produce ‘piano anthems.

Lady Du

Music was always in the cards for Lady Du, but it was amapiano in particular that changed the scope of her career. Reared in a family of influential DJs and producers, she kicked off her career as a Hip-Hop DJ before pivoting completely into ‘piano. 

Dropping both "Catalia" and "Woza" in 2021 — both with production from ‘piano pioneer Mr JazziQ — Lady Du suddenly had 2 gigantic hits under her belt, the latter becoming one of the biggest songs in the early days of amapiano’s globalization.

She has since offered roaring vocals on Busta and Mpura’s "Umsebenzi Wethu," hard-hitting rap on 9numba and TOSS’ "uMlando," and Mzansi flare on international features such as "I Did It" with Nigeria’s Niniola. 

Lady Du reaffirmed her centrality in the scene in 2023, dropping her debut album Song is Queen and later, the Megadrumz-produced single "Tjina." The percussion-heavy tune quickly turned global club nights upside down, secured high positions on South Africa’s streaming charts, and emphasized Lady Du’s centrality in amapiano’s sprawling ecosystem.

Pabi Cooper

or Pritori princess Pabi Cooper, winning is easy. Hailing from South Africa’s administrative capital Pretoria, Pabi broke out as a 21-year-old with the party-starting "Isphithiphithi," a hit produced by Busta 929 in 2021.

2022's "Banyana Ke Bafana" was a widely popular hit, propelled by irresistible verses from the Pritori trifecta of Pabi, vocalist Ch’cco, and rapper Focalistic. Her debut EP, Cooperville, introduced audiences to a vast world of her making, with soulful numbers like "MAMA," alongside more street-centric jams like "Waga Bietjie" and "Angeke." 

Today, Cooper has solidified herself as a symbol of youth power, mesmerizing South African crowds through her concert series Cooper FC and snagging a BET nomination in 2023 for Best New International Act. She also carries her hometown on her back wherever she goes; last year saw her release "Jukulyn" alongside Pretoria’s Jelly Babie, a track dedicated to a township of the same name and rooted in the city’s bouncy, infectious sound bacardi. 

Khanyisa

Khanyisa may have started off her career as a social media influencer, but she has seamlessly evolved into an amapiano star. Performing covers and skits to the millions of followers she amassed on TikTok, Khanyisa wielded relatability and humor as her social media superpowers. 

It wasn’t until her irresistible breakout "Bheka Mina Ngedwa" with Lady Du and her official debut "Ungangi Bambi" in 2021, both delivered with the same vitality that offered her acclaim online, that Khanyisa formally secured popularity within the amapiano space.

Since, Khanyisa has featured on popular tracks such as "Vuka Mawulele" with TxC and the  danceable "Zula Zula" with Villosoul. In 2023, she proved her role as an undeniable hitmaker, releasing the log drum heavy "SUKA" and "NGIMOJA" with producer of the year Tyler ICU. With her successful pivot to musical fame, it is clear that Khanyisa’s future as a player in amapiano is incredibly bright. 

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15 Must-Hear Albums In March 2024: Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, Shakira & More
(Clockwise) Sheryl Crow, Deryck Whibley, Tierra Whack, Justin Timberlake, Schoolboy Q, Kasey Musgraves, Kim Gordon, Tyla, Beyoncé, Dua Lipa

Photos: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic; RICHARD THIGPEN; Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for WIRED; Owen Schatz; Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images; KELLY CHRISTINE SUTTON; Jason Squires/FilmMagic; JASON ARMOND / LOS ANGELES TIMES VIA GETTY IMAGES; KEVIN MAZUR/GETTY IMAGES FOR THE RECORDING ACADEMY; Araya Doheny/FilmMagic

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15 Must-Hear Albums In March 2024: Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, Shakira & More

From the debuts of Tyla and rapper Tierra Whack, to a new salvo from Kim Gordon, women dominate the list of releases for March. While it may be Women's History Month, there are a few major releases from male artists, including Justin Timberlake.

GRAMMYs/Mar 1, 2024 - 04:02 pm

March is Women’s History Month, and women in music are more powerful than ever. 

The month begins with the comeback of several queens, starting with Kim Gordon’s The Collective and Ariana Grande’s Eternal Sunshine. Later, country darling Kacey Musgraves will unveil Deeper Well, and Shakira will drop the empowering Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran. Long-awaited debuts by GRAMMY-winning singer Tyla and singer/bassist Blu DeTiger will also join the lineup, with their respective Tyla and All I Ever Want Is Everything. Wrapping up March on a high note, Beyoncé will drop her highly-anticipated Act II on the 29th.

Men will release music in March as well: Expect new releases by Justin Timberlake, Bleachers, the last record from pop-punk band Sum 41, and (allegedly) Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign’s Vultures 2.

To make the most of this prolific time, GRAMMY.com compiled all the must-hear albums dropping March 2024.

Schoolboy Q - Blue Lips

Release date: March 1

On Feb. 1, Schoolboy Q’s website was updated with a mysterious countdown and a 37-second video. In it, the rapper finally unveiled the setlist and title of his much-awaited sixth studio album, Blue Lips, as well as its release date — March 1.

Blue Lips is Q’s first full record since 2019’s Crash Talk, although he had been teasing the album since 2020. Hopefully, it was worth the wait: Blue Lips holds 18 tracks and participations by Rico Nasty, Freddie Gibbs, and more. Q has also started a new vlog series on social media called "wHy not?," where he takes the viewers behind the scenes of making the album and previews snippets of the songs.

So far, the rapper shared tracks "Blueslides," "Back n Love" with Devin Malik, "Cooties" and "Love Birds" with Devin Malik and Lance Skiiwalker, as well as lead single "Yeern 101."

Bleachers - Bleachers

Release date: March 8

Fronted by 10-time GRAMMY winner and 2024 Producer Of The Year Jack Antonoff, rock band Bleachers will release its eponymous fourth studio album on March 8.

In a press release, Bleachers is described as Antonoff’s "distinctly New Jersey take on the bizarre sensory contradictions of modern life." The self-titled record will blend sadness and joy into "music for driving on the highway to, for crying to and for dancing to at weddings."

The band shared four singles so far: lead track "Modern Girl," "Alma Mater" featuring Lana del Rey, "Tiny Moves" and "Me Before You." Through serendipitous melodies and soulful writing, Bleachers commit to "exist in crazy times but remember what counts." 

Bleachers will tour the U.K. in March and the U.S. in May and June.

Kim Gordon - The Collective

Release date: March 8

Former Sonic Youth vocalist Kim Gordon will release her sophomore LP, The Collective, on March 8. The album is a follow-up to her 2019 debut No Home Record, and furthers her collaboration with producer Justin Raisen, as well as additional producing from Anthony Paul Lopez.

"On this record, I wanted to express the absolute craziness I feel around me right now," said Gordon in a press statement. "This is a moment when nobody really knows what truth is, when facts don’t necessarily sway people, when everyone has their own side, creating a general sense of paranoia. To soothe, to dream, escape with drugs, TV shows, shopping, the internet, everything is easy, smooth, convenient, branded. It made me want to disrupt, to follow something unknown, maybe even to fail."

Back in January, the singer unveiled the album’s moody first single, "Bye Bye," and a music video starring her daughter, Coco Gordon Moore. The second single, "I’m A Man," came out in February. Gordon will play six concerts in support of The Collective, starting March 21 in Burlington, Vermont.

Ariana Grande - Eternal Sunshine

Release date: March 8

It’s been almost four years since Ariana Grande’s last studio album, 2020’s Positions. The starlet spent the past few years filming Wicked, an adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name, and declared that she wouldn’t be releasing any new records until it was done.

The wait is finally over, as Grande announced her seventh studio album, Eternal Sunshine. The album’s first and only single, "Yes, And?," dropped in January, followed by an Instagram video of the soprano singer explaining the concept of the album to her Republic Records team. 

"It’s kind of a concept album ’cause it’s all different heightened pieces of the same story, of the same experience," she said. "Some of [the songs] are really vulnerable, some of them are like playing the part of what people kind of expect me to be sometimes and having fun with it."

"I think this one may be your favorite," Grande wrote of Eternal Sunshine on her Instagram Story. "It is mine." The 13-song collection will reportedly explore house and R&B, and will have only one feature: Grande’s grandmother, who appears on the last track, "Ordinary Things."

Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign -Vultures 2

Release date: March 8

After a series of delays, Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign’s first collaborative album, Vultures 1, ultimately dropped on Feb. 10, 2024. Set to be the first installment of a trilogy, the album was released independently through West’s YZY label, and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, with all of its 16 tracks also charting on Billboard’s Hot 100.

Billed as ¥$, the duo plans to release Vultures 2 on March 8, and follow up with Vultures 3 on April 5. Although any other info about the upcoming volumes is still unclear, Timbaland recently shared on X (formerly Twitter) that Vultures 2 is "OTW." (Timbaland produced Vultures 1’s "Keys to My Life" and "Fuk Sumn" with Playboi Carti and Travis Scott.)

In the past month, West and $ign held a few listening parties for the album in the U.S. and Europe, but additional schedules are yet to be revealed.

The Jesus and Mary Chain - Glasgow Eyes

Release date: March 8

To celebrate their 40th anniversary, alt-rock band the Jesus and Mary Chain will release their eighth studio album, Glasgow Eyes, on March 8.

As it can be seen on lead single "Jamcod," the Scottish group still runs strong on the distorted synths and electrifying guitars that shaped their sound. "People should expect a Jesus and Mary Chain record, and that’s certainly what Glasgow Eyes is," vocalist Jim Reid said in a statement. "Our creative approach is remarkably the same as it was in 1984, just hit the studio and see what happens. We went in with a bunch of songs and let it take its course. There are no rules, you just do whatever it takes."

Glasgow Eyes also mends a six-year gap since the Jesus and Mary Chain’s latest album, 2017’s Damage and Joy. To further commemorate, the band will also release an autobiography and embark on a European tour throughout March and April.

Justin Timberlake - Everything I Thought It Was

Release date: March 15

Justin Timberlake is back with his first studio album since 2018’s Man of the Woods. The new record, Everything I Thought It Was,  is spearheaded by singles "Selfish" and "Drown."

"I worked for a long time on this album, and I ended up with 100 songs. So, narrowing them down to 18 was a thing," said Timberlake in an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1. "I’m really excited about this album. I think every artist probably says this, but it is my best work." The Memphis singer also shared that there are "incredibly honest" moments in the album, but also "a lot of f—ng fun."

To celebrate his return, Timberlake announced his Forget Tomorrow World Tour. Set to kick off on April 29 in Vancouver, the tour will cross through North America and Europe until its final date on Dec. 16 in Indianapolis.

Kacey Musgraves - Deeper Well

Release date: March 15

Fresh off winning Best Country Duo/Group Performance at the 2024 GRAMMYs for the Zach Bryan duet "I Remember Everything," Kacey Musgraves announced her fifth studio album, Deeper Well..

"My Saturn has returned/ When I turned 27/ Everything started to change," she sings in the contemplative title track, exploring how she changed over the last few years. The single sets the tone for the rest of the record, which was co-produced by longtime collaborators Ian Fitchuk and Daniel Tashian

Featuring 14 tracks, Deeper Well was mostly recorded at the legendary Electric Lady studios in New York City. "I was seeking some different environmental energy, and Electric Lady has the best mojo. Great ghosts," the country star noted in a press release.

On social media, Musgraves wrote: "it’s a collection of songs I hold very dear to my heart. I hope it makes a home in all of your hearts, too." Deeper Well follows 2021’s star-crossed

Tierra Whack - World Wide Whack

Release date: March 15

When rapper Tierra Whack released her first album, 2018’s Whack World, she quickly garnered the admiration of both critics and fans. Comprising 15 one-minute tracks and music videos for each, the release was a refreshing introduction to a groundbreaking artist.

In 2024, the Philadelphia-born star is preparing to release World Wide Whack, labeled her official debut album in a press release. The cover artwork, created by Alex Da Corte, was inspired by theater character Pierrot, fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli and Donna Summer, and represents "the first reveal of the World Wide Whack character, an alter ego both untouchable and vulnerable, superhuman and painfully human, whose surprising story will unfold in images and video over the course of the album’s visual rollout."

The album follows Whack’s 2021 EP trilogy — Rap?, Pop? and R&B? — and is foreshadowed by the poignant "27 Club" and the eccentric "Shower Song."

Tyla - Tyla

Release date: March 22

After a glowing 2023 with viral hit "Water," South African newcomer Tyla started 2024 with a blast. Last month, she became the first person to win a GRAMMY for Best African Music Performance, and the youngest-ever African singer to win a GRAMMY Award at 22 years old.

Next month is poised to be even better: Tyla’s eponymous debut LP drops on March 22, featuring "Water" and other hits like  "Truth or Dare," "Butterflies" and "On and On," as well as a guest appearance by labelmate Travis Scott.

"African music is going global and I’m so blessed to be one of the artists pushing the culture," Tyla shared on Instagram. Her unique blend of amapiano, pop and R&B is making waves around the world, and the star will rightfully celebrate by touring Europe and North America throughout this spring.

Shakira - Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran

Release date: March 22

The title of Shakira’s new album, Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran, is a nod to her 2023 hit "Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53" with Argentine DJ Bizarrap. In the lyrics, she states that "las mujeres ya no lloran, las mujeres facturan" — "women don’t cry anymore, they make money."

The single is a diss to Shakira’s ex-partner, footballer Gerard Piqué, and, like the rest of the record, served as a healing experience after their separation. "Making this body of work has been an alchemical process," the Colombian star said in a statement. "While writing each song I was rebuilding myself. While singing them, my tears transformed into diamonds, and my vulnerability into strength."

Las Mujeres will feature 16 songs, including her Bizarrap collaboration and singles "Te Felicito" with Rauw Alejandro, "Copa Vacía" with Manuel Turizo, "Acróstico," "Monotonía" with Ozuna, "El Jefe" with Mexican band Fuerza Regida, and "TQG" with fellow Colombian Karol G.

Back in 2018, Sheryl Crow said that the LP Threads would be her last — fortunately, she changed her mind. "I said I’d never make another record, though there was no point to it," the singer shared in a statement about her upcoming album, Evolution. "This music comes from my soul. And I hope whoever hears this record can feel that."

According to the same statement, "Evolution is Sheryl Crow at her most authentically human self," and its music and lyrics "came from sitting in the quiet and writing from a deep soul place." 

The entire album was written in a month, starting with the title track, which expresses Crow’s anxieties about artificial intelligence and the future of humans. From then on, Crow and producer Mike Elizondo found bliss. "The songs just kept flowing out of me, four songs turned into nine and it was pretty obvious this was an album," she said.

In addition to the album's title track, Crow also shared singles "Do It Again" and "Alarm Clock."

Sum 41 - Heaven :x: Hell

Release date: March 29

After nearly three decades together, punk-metal mavericks Sum 41 are parting ways. Their final release will be a double album. Heaven :x: Hell, set to drop on March 29.

Heaven is composed of 10 pop-punk tracks reminiscent of the band’s early years, while Hell is 10 tracks of pure heavy metal, reflecting the direction they took more recently. "Once I heard the music, I was confident enough to say, ‘This is the record I’d like to go out on,'" frontman Deryck Whibley said in a statement. "We’ve made a double album of pop punk and metal, and it makes sense. It took a long time for us to pave this lane for ourselves, but we did, and it’s unique to us."

The band shared singles "Landmines," "Rise Up" and "Waiting on a Twist of Fate," and proved that they’re leaving on top of their game. "I love Sum 41, what we’ve achieved, endured, and stuck together through, which is why I want to call it quits," Whibley added. "It’s the right time to walk away from it. I’m putting all of my energy into what’s ahead."

But before embarking on new ventures, Sum 41 will spend the rest of the year touring throughout Asia, North America, and Europe.

Blu DeTiger - All I Ever Want Is Everything

Release date: March 29

At only 26 years old, Blu DeTiger has already toured with Caroline Polachek, played bass for Jack Antonoff’s band Bleachers, collaborated with Fender to launch a new line of bass guitars, and appeared on the 2023 Forbes 30 Under 30’s music list.

Now, she prepares to release her debut studio album, All I Ever Want Is Everything. "This album is about growing and becoming, settling into yourself and learning to love where you’re at through it all. It’s about learning how to be your own best friend," the bassist and singer wrote on Instagram.

"Dangerous Game," the lead single off the album, showcases DeTiger’s effervescent energy and potential for pop stardom. Starting April, she will also headline a U.S. tour across Boston, Washington D.C., New York, Toronto, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Beyoncé - Act II

Release date: March 29

What better event to announce a new album than the most-watched TV program ever? That’s what Beyoncé did during Super Bowl LVIII, on Feb. 11. At the end of a Verizon commercial, the singer declared "Okay, they ready. Drop the new music," while simultaneously releasing Act II’s lead singles, "16 Carriages" and "Texas Hold 'Em," on social media and streaming platforms.

Coming out March 29, Act II is the second part of Beyoncé’s ongoing trilogy, which was written and recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic. The album is preceded by 2022’s acclaimed Act I: Renaissance, but instead of house and disco, the singer will reportedly take a deep dive into country music.

This isn’t Queen Bey’s first foray into the genre — in 2016, she released Lemonade’s "Daddy Lessons," and her 2021 IVY PARK Rodeo collection was inspired by "the overlooked history of the American Black cowboy," as she told Harper’s Bazaar. It was just a question of time for Beyoncé to enter her country era, and it is finally upon us.

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Everything We Know About Twenty One Pilots' New Album 'Clancy'
Twenty One Pilots

Photo: Ashley Osborn

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Everything We Know About Twenty One Pilots' New Album 'Clancy'

Three years in the making, Twenty One Pilots are returning with their seventh album, 'Clancy.' Take a look at all of the details they've revealed so far, including the release date and track list.

GRAMMYs/Feb 29, 2024 - 10:57 pm

In a year that's seeing the return of alt-rock gods Kings of Leon, Vampire Weekend and the Black Keys, Twenty One Pilots are ready to join the party, too.

The GRAMMY-winning rock duo announced on Feb. 29 that their seventh studio album, titled Clancy, will arrive in May via Fueled By Ramen. Along with unveiling the project's cover art and lead single, "Overcompensate," Twenty One Pilots declared in the first teaser that "a new chapter begins" with Clancy which will also bring a close to the ever-evolving narrative they started in 2015 with Blurryface.

Below, get all of the details Twenty One Pilots have revealed about Clancy.

It's Arriving On The 9th Anniversary Of Blurryface

Clancy will be released on May 17, which is a special day in Twenty One Pilots land. On that day in 2015, the duo released their now multi-platinum breakthrough album, Blurryface. (May is also seemingly a favorite month for the pair, as Clancy marks their third May album release; their last LP, Scaled and Icy, arrived on May 21, 2021.)

The First Single Is Here

A few hours after announcing Clancy, Twenty One Pilots unveiled the album's lead single, "Overcompensating." After a nearly two-minute synth intro that builds over a racing beat, the song sees singer Tyler Joseph return to his signature rap-inspired delivery. Its swirling production and echoing vocals feel reminiscent of Trench — but more on that later.

It Has 13 Tracks

Though the duo didn't post the Clancy track list, the song titles can be found on Apple Music. Kicking off with "Overcompensate," the track list is as follows:

1. Overcompensate 
2. Next Semester 
3. Midwest Indigo
4. Routines In The Night
5. Backslide 
6. Vignette
7. The Craving (Jenna's Version)
8. Lavish
9. Navigating 
10. Snap Back 
11. Oldies Station
12. At the Risk Of Feeling Dumb
13. Paladin Strait

It Takes Fans Back To 'Trench'

Despite the fact that TOP's first album teaser noted that "a new chapter begins" with Clancy, the cryptic clip proclaimed, "I am returning to Trench. I am Clancy." As the duo's fans know, Trench is the name of their 2018 LP; the project was the most conceptual and ambitious album to date, which could mean the same for Clancy. (In fact, the bridge of "Overcompensate" even features two references to two Trench tracks; "Welcome back to Trench" mirrors the outro of Trench track "Levitate," followed by lyrics taken from the bridge of "Bandito.")

Perhaps uncoincidentally, the red, yellow and black cover art vaguely calls back to the Trench cover art, which featured a smoky yellow color and a vulture.

It's The Finale To An Album Series

A press release revealed that Clancy "marks the final chapter in an ambitious multi-album narrative" which kicked off with Blurryface in 2015. What that means for the Twenty One Pilots' future is unclear, but neither their posts nor the release noted that it's their final album altogether.

It'll Be Available In Many Formats

For those who still love to buy physical albums, Twenty One Pilots have quite the array of options. Clancy will be available in a variety of physical formats, including two limited-edition deluxe box sets, four vinyl variants with additional retailer exclusives, an exclusive CD and Journal Book, and a Cassette and Photocard Wallet. 

You Can Pre-Order It Now

If any of those pique your interest, you can head to Twenty One Pilots' official store, as everything is already available for pre-order. You can also pre-save/pre-add the album on streaming services to stay up to date as the pair continues to take fans deeper into the world of Clancy.

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UK Drill Is An International Sensation. Will It Be Censored To Death?
Digga D performs at Royal Albert Hall in London

Photo: Joseph Okpako/WireImage/GettyImages

feature

UK Drill Is An International Sensation. Will It Be Censored To Death?

UK drill is on the cusp of international popularity, quickly becoming the dominant form of drill. But with mounting censorship in its home country, what does the future of the genre look like?

GRAMMYs/Feb 29, 2024 - 07:26 pm

Popular British rapper Digga D was just 18 years old when police first attempted to control his creative output. 

A 2018 criminal behavior order controlled where the artist could go and who he could meet, as well as what he could say in his lyrics. It also meant that within 24 hours of releasing a new song, Digga D had to submit the lyrics to the police – if the court found that his lyrics incited violence or mentioned certain areas of London, he could be found in violation of his parole. 

Digga D is one of the most prominent artists in UK drill — a raw, energetic form of drill with dark instrumentals and tresillo hi-hat patterns popularized by young artists like Central Cee, Digga D, and Unknown T. Originating in the early 2010s and popularizing towards the end of the decade, UK drill is a cultural phenomenon and wildly popular among young people throughout the United Kingdom and beyond.

In many ways, the future looks bright — the biggest UK drill artists are on the cusp of becoming not only huge in their own country but bona fide international stars with recognition from London to Lagos, Brixton to Brooklyn. However, UK authorities have been trying to censor drill artists, with restrictions on their abilities to make and perform music, so what’s the real future for the movement?

From underground to the top of the charts: UK drill's eruption in popularity

UK drill has steadily become one of the more popular genres of music among young people in its namesake country. Popularized on social media and YouTube, UK drill is resonant for the ways it discusses issues such as life on the streets to financial struggles. It's also translating to significant ticket sales and charting hits.

Ticketing marketplace viagogo noted a shift in demand for UK drill artists over the past year, telling GRAMMY.com that when tickets for Digga D’s Royal Albert Hall show went on sale  — he became the youngest rapper ever to headline the famous London venue — his page views on the platform spiked five times higher than average. 

Digga D has over 3 million monthly listeners on Spotify, with his most popular track getting over 110 million streams. His contemporary Central Cee, whose music is a mix of UK drill, trap, and more traditional British rap, has over 26 million monthly listeners on the platform; his track with rapper Dave, "Sprinter", became the longest-reigning rap track in UK chart history with ten weeks at No. 1. It’s amassed over half a billion Spotify streams. 

Since 2022, fans from 50 countries have bought tickets to Central Cee’s shows on viagogo, with most of them coming from Canada and the US. Music Week reported that, per the Official Charts Company, he was the biggest breakthrough artist in the UK for 2021.

Cee featured on a remix of Ed Sheeran’s "Bad Habits," which was engineered by Fumez the Engineer and featured Tion Wayne; the song remained at No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart for eight weeks. 

Fumez has had a huge impact on UK drill, and British rap more generally. The audio engineer helped to launch the rap platform Pressplay Media in 2012 at the age of 18, before moving to Link Up TV and then returning to Pressplay when he began his "Plugged In" freestyle series in 2020. 

Just as grime gradually became more mainstream, UK drill is following a similar path. Collaborations between UK drill artists and huge names in UK rap like Stormzy and Dave have increased its popularity and widespread appeal, as do projects worked on together by UK drill artists and American artists. In 2018, Skengdo x AM released "Pitbulls" with Chicago drill icon Chief Keef, for example, while Brooklyn drill pioneer Pop Smoke worked closely with UK producer 808Melo.

AS UK drill spreads across borders, it's criminalized at home

While UK drill has spread around the world, it originated in the multicultural south London district of Brixton, an area of the city with high levels of deprivation. While it’s influenced by the aesthetics of Chicago drill, UK drill has significant stylistic differences.  

Whereas Chicago drill is heavily influenced by trap, UK drill is in some ways an offshoot of road rap, a British equivalent to gangsta rap. Drill artist Loski’s father is a member of road rap group PDC, and big names in road rap like Giggs and Nines have collaborated with drill artists too. 

However, it has influence from British genres like grime and UK garage too — influential grime MC Jammer even said that, without grime, there wouldn’t be any drill, while drill producer Mazza said that drill and grime have a similar energy and raw feel. Drill’s tempo is similar to that of grime, while the use of 808s and fast-tempo snares is ubiquitous in both genres. 

However, it’s not all success and star-studded collaborations. Although the censorship of UK drill music is similar to the ways grime was criminalized and censored in the 2000s. However, it seems policing of UK drill has gone further.

UK drill faces a battle as it’s being censored by the UK authorities. High-profile politicians such as former Home Secretary Amber Rudd and journalists including Ben Ellery have linked drill to criminal behavior. Project Alpha, a London Metropolitan Police taskforce, was developed to gather intelligence from social media to prevent gang-related crime. Their efforts include monitoring music videos released by drill artists.

Hundreds of drill music videos have been taken down from YouTube as a result, including "Next Up" by CGM featuring Digga D. At the time of its removal in 2018, the song had received over 11 million views.

The same year Digga D was placed under a criminal behavior order, Skengdo and AM were subject to a gang injunction by the police, which prevented them from entering certain areas and from performing music that the police said was inciting violence. In 2019, the duo were both given a suspended jail sentence for breaching the injunction, with the court finding evidence that drill music can, and was, encouraging violence. 

And Digga himself was charged with "being concerned in the supply of cannabis" after police raided his London home this February. The raid was said to have taken place in the early hours of the morning, when the rapper was in the middle of an Instagram Live. 

Fumez describes drill as "freedom of speech and creative art." He tells GRAMMY.com "sometimes more gets said than needed, but everyone has their own story and their own background and their own form of expression."

In November 2021, Fumez’s first-ever headline show in London was canceled 20 minutes before doors opened after police imposed a Section 60 order on the area. The order gives police stop and search powers. 

Meanwhile, rap duo Krept & Konan released a short film called Ban Drill in 2019 and began a petition asking the police to stop criminalizing the genre. Diane Abbott, then of the UK Labour Party, invited Skengdo x AM and Krept & Konan to the Houses of Parliament to address lawmakers about censorship that same year. 

"Britain has a history of vilifying its young people all the way back to the teddy boys back in the ‘50s. So when things have been implemented to try and stop grime, for example, or sound system culture and things like that in the ‘70s and ‘80s, people pivot and find a way around it," explains Dr. Monique Charles, a British cultural socialist, theorist and methodologist and assistant professor at Chapman University in California. 

These circumnavigating measures may include releasing a film (like Krept & Konan), or as Skengdo, AM, and Drillminster did in 2019, teaming up to release a video, "The Media." Drillminster even ran to be mayor of London in 2021. At his Royal Albert Hall performance, Digga D referenced his troubles with the law more than once, and was "detained" onstage.

Fighting back might be as simple as continuing to make music, even if it's just freestyling between friends rather than releasing music online.

"People always need an outlet — a place to blow off steam. People want to come together, they want to be in a space, enjoying music at the same time," Charles adds. 

This sort of censorship isn’t unique to the UK, either. In the United States, advocates including the Recording Academy are addressing the issue of artists’ lyrics being used against them. The Restoring Artistic Protection (RAP) Act was first introduced in 2022 and was reintroduced to Congress last April. At present, it has been enacted in two states: California and Louisiana.

Despite efforts to tamp it down, UK drill dominates internationally 

Many UK drill artists are second or third-generation immigrants from Africa, and UK drill beats often have a structure that’s influenced by African music. Unknown T is of Ugandan and Congolese descent, Headie One and LD are of Ghanaian origin, and Tion Wayne’s parents came from Nigeria. 

"One of the unique things about me as an artist is the intersection of my UK upbringing and my Nigerian heritage, and this is prominent throughout my music," says Dr. Adaku Agwunobi, an academic at the University of Oxford who also has a music career under the name Dr Adaku.

Her music spans a number of genres from Afrobeats to highlife to drill — something she thought would be a "seamless way to highlight the essence of my upbringing and heritage."

Perhaps in part because of its varied influences, UK drill is fast becoming one of the most dominant forms of drill internationally. Dr Adaku explains that she sees fusions of drill growing across the world — particularly in Nigeria, with some Nigerian artists starting to become popular in the UK too. She cites Psycho YP and Odumodublvck from Nigeria, as well as Ghana’s Asakaa Boys and FL EX from Egypt. 

In 2017, actor, comedian and rapper Michael Dapaah (a.k.a. Big Shaq) released "Man’s Not Hot" which sampled a drill instrumental used on 67 featuring Giggs' "Let’s Lurk." It soon became a viral success both in the UK and overseas — whereas UK drill before this was largely a success at home, "Man’s Not Hot" took it worldwide. 

Dapaah says he visited and performed in countries that previously had little awareness of UK rap or drill, and "Man’s Not Hot" became their introduction to the UK scene. The track has almost 300 million streams on Spotify; beyond London, the cities listening to the track the most are in Australia or Belgium. 

Dr. Charles says that UK drill is also on the rise in the U.S. — something that Dapaah has definitely been a factor in. A year after the release of "Man’s Not Hot," Dapaah was making YouTube videos with Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, and Malcolm Lee. 

"I've had a couple of students who were asking me if I knew what various slang terms were. There are some pockets in L.A. and on the East Coast with an interest because our diction, the way we phrase things, and the way we ride over the beat are phenomenal to Americans," she says.

Despite challenges, UK drill is growing — and its male dominance is being confronted

Drill is often associated with young men and hyper-masculinity, but female artists such as Shaybo, TeeZandos, Ivorian Doll, and Abigail Asante are also making their mark on the genre. Asante says that she became a musician "by accident" after writing lyrics over an R&B instrumental and creating the track "The Situation" with Ivorian Doll. The track trended on YouTube and Twitter, and kickstarted their careers. 

"The moment you hear drill you automatically affiliate it with gangs, violence, drugs, and weapons," she says. "I wanted to change that, be unique, and have my own spin on that narrative."

The pair became the first UK drill duo to get over three million views and streams — something Asante credits to their audience being 70 percent female. The group also discusses female empowerment and confidence to "challenge a very male-dominated genre and prove that girls are just as talented."

Asante, however, has said that she’s decided to "hang my boots" with drill, moving onto genres like Afroswing and Afrobeats. "I think drill is wearing out and people are getting bored of it – I’m most definitely bored of drill, it’s too repetitive and being known as a ‘drill rapper’ doesn’t allow my versatility as an artist."

That said, she says that drill beats have a "contagious, unique, upbeat sound that automatically gets people dancing," while it’s also a way for people to express themselves and their personal experiences. 

Fumez admits that he doesn’t think about the future of drill too much, or look too far into the future. He suggests that it might get a new name, and points out similarities between drill, garage, and grime, and says that the international appeal of drill — with even huge stars like Drake getting involved —  "brings longevity."

Dr. Charles believes that UK drill will become the dominant form of drill, though with influence from other scenes, and will continue to grow and expand. New generations of listeners will gravitate to UK drill's DIY ethos and put their own tweaks on it.

"I think one of the reasons why it will continue to grow and continue to expand is because the UK’s major cities are diverse places and because of British history, international connections, people migrating, moving around," she says. "Music travels with people, music migrates with people."

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