searchsearch
Women In The Mix 2021 Recap: How Female Powerhouses Convened To Close The Wage Gap And Amplify Women's Voices Across The Music Industry

Haim attend Women In The Mix during GRAMMY Week 2021

Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

news

Women In The Mix 2021 Recap: How Female Powerhouses Convened To Close The Wage Gap And Amplify Women's Voices Across The Music Industry

Predicated on a platform of supporting and encouraging women in the music industry, the inaugural Women In The Mix event featured moderated panels, performances, high-profile guests and interviews by female leaders in multiple industries

GRAMMYs/Mar 10, 2021 - 08:12 am

What better way to kick off GRAMMY Week 2021 and International Women's Day than yesterday's inaugural Women In The Mix virtual celebration? The two-hour event, hosted by Rocsi Diaz, celebrated women's contributions to the music industry, seeking to amplify their voices. With moderated panels, performances, high-profile guests and interviews, Women In The Mix was informative and celebratory and exemplified the importance of women working with and supporting each other in the music industry.

Harvey Mason jr., Chair & Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy, and Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer of the Recording Academy, introduced the program. Mason jr., who ran for his position "on a platform of change and understanding," said closing the gender gap in the music industry is a top priority for the Recording Academy. Butterfield Jones then announced the Recording Academy's $25,000 donation to charities and organizations that support women’s growth in production and engineering.

Pumping up the festivities, classical pianist Chloe Flower, who blew everyone away in 2019 when she accompanied Cardi B at her GRAMMY performance that year, gave a stellar delivery of her song "No Limit." Seated at her mirrored piano adorned with vases of colorful flowers, Flower also appeared later in the program, with an exquisite performance of "Flower Through Concrete."

Chloe Flower performs at Women In The Mix during GRAMMY Week 2021 | Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Political activist and author Dr. Angela Davis introduced current GRAMMY-nominated jazz drummer Terry Lyne Carrington, founder of The Berklee Institute for Jazz and Gender Justice, whose motto is "Jazz Without Patriarchy." Carrington expressed gratitude to the Recording Academy for its donation and said she grew up with the desire to be a driving force behind the scenes to help young women reach their musical goals. With racial and gender justice comprising her initiative's guiding principles, Carrington said, "A cultural transformation is needed for the music itself to reach its potential."

Multi-GRAMMY nominated artist and percussionist Sheila E. had a lively chat with GRAMMY-nominated rapper MC Lyte. Referencing the gender gap in music, Sheila E. said, "I think it's getting better, but I think it should be way better than it is now."

Current three-time GRAMMY-nominated singer-songwriter Ingrid Andress answered a series of questions about her career, revealing that her Best New Artist nomination is "pretty mindblowing to me because I definitely just started, and some of the people in that category are people I listen to all the time."

Current GRAMMY-nominated Emily Lazar (mastering engineer and founder of The Lodge) was introduced by current multiple GRAMMY-nominated rock trio HAIM, with whom she's worked on three albums. Lazar discussed "We Are Moving The Needle," the non-profit organization she recently launched to elevate the number of female audio engineers and producers in the music industry. Lazar thanked the Recording Academy for its donation and said, "I'm excited to go beyond just talking about this gender disparity and actually effectuating some real measurable change."

Related: Listen: GRAMMY.com's Women's History Month Playlist Featuring The Nominees From The 2021 GRAMMY Awards Show

Maureen Droney (Senior Managing Director, Recording Academy Producers and Engineers wing) led an informative panel comprised of Ebonie Smith (producer, engineer, singer-songwriter and founder of Gender Amplified), Piper Payne (mastering engineer) and EveAnna Manley (President of Manley Laboratories), each of whom passionately discussed their careers.

Elaine Welteroth and Saweetie attend Women In The Mix during GRAMMY Week 2021 | Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

New York Times best-selling author and journalist Elaine Welteroth interviewed rapper and songwriter Saweetie, who said her wishlist for 2021 consists of her desire to collaborate with both Missy Elliott and Rihanna.

Tina Tchen (Time's Up CEO and President) and former Chair of the Recording Academy's Task Force of Diversity and Inclusion expressed gratitude for the Recording Academy's donation to Time's Up, emphasizing the necessity of female engineers and producers in the studio. "It makes a difference who's in the booth, who's in charge of the atmosphere in the studio who will say no when there's unacceptable behavior that's exclusionary or bullying or belittling that happens," she said.

Lanre Gaba (Atlantic Records General Manager/SVP A&R) moderated a fascinating conversation with current three-time GRAMMY-nominated record producer and songwriting duo Nova Wav (Brittany "Chi" Coney and Denisia "Blue June" Andrews) and R&B singer/songwriter IV Jay.

Cyndi Lauper attends Women In The Mix during GRAMMY Week 2021 | Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

The queen of girls who want to have fun, two-time GRAMMY-winner Cyndi Lauper talked about what it meant to win her Best New Artist GRAMMY in 1985. "Usually what they used to say that is if you won the best new artist, 'Oh my god, the second album was going to be a problem,' Looking back now, I think it was a blessing because my career spans forty years."

Read More: Cyndi Lauper Is Still The Feminist Pop Star We Need

Current GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter Joanie Leeds closed out "Women in the Mix" performing a stunning acoustic rendition of her appropriately titled song "All The Ladies."

Here are five things we learned about making it in the music business as a woman.

Don't Be Discouraged By Rejection

Sheila E.: "You're going to get a lot of nos, but no doesn't mean you can't do it or you're not able. Maybe this opportunity wasn't for you. However, it opens the door for something else that you probably didn't even imagine you were going to go that way… Don't be discouraged when a door shuts because sometimes that door may be shut as protection. Maybe you're not ready or prepared yet."

MC Lyte: "I'm a firm believer in [the idea that] if a door shuts or doesn't remain open it's just not for you. All it means is go back to home base and practice, rehearse, create, do all of the things you need to do to better your craft, and this way when that next door opens, you're ready… don't get discouraged."

Believe In And Stay True To Yourself

Ingrid Andress: "You need to be your biggest cheerleader. At the end of the day, if you don't believe in what you're doing, nobody else will… We, as women, are programmed to think we have to compare ourselves to one another. Don't do that. Just believe in what you do separate from what everybody else is doing. You have to be the one to show people that what you have to say matters...Keep after it and stay true to yourself."

Saweetie: "You shouldn't try to be like me. You should try to be like you. Hopefully, I can inspire you to be the best version of you because I know what it feels like to be a little girl wanting to be something else. It takes away the focus from the true prize which is yourself, so earn your strengths, perfect your weaknesses and be you because that's the only person you can be."

Self-Care Is Essential

Saweetie: "I really encourage the go-getters who want to be in music to really take care of their body and their health because if your body isn't working, your music's not working. I'm grateful to have time to recharge, breathe, and get my body right."

MC Lyte: "It's resting, it's water, it's working out, it's getting in touch with nature and taking walks for no good reason at all except I want my feet to hit the pavement, or walking in nature to be in the grass… It's understanding that there's more to life than just entertainment or more to life than just what it is that I do."

Sheila E.: "I'm so much older, so what I have to do for self-care is constant just to even maintain what I want to do. Right now, it is just drinking water, nature, taking the time to rest, really eating the right foods, and taking care of myself, so I can do what I love to do."

Read: Designing Women In The Mix: How Music Inspired The Artwork Behind The Debut GRAMMY Week 2021 Event

Don't Let Fear Stop You

Brittany "Chi" Coney: "When I used to be personally fearful, there's something I used to do. I used to go into the bathroom, and you hold up your hands and hold your head up high for two minutes and it raises testosterone levels by twenty percent."

IV Jay: "I started meditating and I did therapy and there's nothing wrong with that. I feel like a lot of women feel ashamed of getting help but I just think it's worth it. If you need it, you need it so I personally feel like that helped me grow. I feel a lot better now."

Lanre Gaba: "I always dealt with it by being as prepared as possible so there's not even a moment of 'I don't belong here' because I've done the work, I've put in the time, I've done my research."

It's A Blessing To Have Female Mentors and Inspiration

Ingrid Andress: "I am fortunate because I met Kara DioGuardi, an iconic songwriter when I was in college… Kara was the first woman I met who really encouraged me to get better at songwriting.  She was a huge inspiration. As a young songwriter, having women like that to look after each other is important because I don't think I would have had the courage or enthusiasm to try and get better at what I did if she hadn't been so encouraging to me."

The Recording Academy Partners With Berklee College Of Music And Arizona State University To Conduct Study On Women's Representation Across The Music Industry

Rotimi On Performing At ESSENCE Fest, Growing Up African-American & More

Rotimi

news

Rotimi On Performing At ESSENCE Fest, Growing Up African-American & More

The Nigerian-American singer and actor sat down with the Recording Academy to talk about what inspired his latest album, 'Walk With Me'

GRAMMYs/Jul 8, 2019 - 10:04 pm

In 2015, Rotimi stepped into the New Orleans Superdome for the first time to experience the magic of ESSENCE Fest. Four years later, in 2019, the "Love Riddim" singer returned to the celebration as a performer, something he said was spoken into existence.

"Last year me and my manager had a conversation and I said, 'Listen, I'm going to be on the [ESSENCE] mainstage this year. 365 days later, we did it," Rotimi told the Recording Academy at the 25th annual ESSENCE Fest.

Rotimi, also an actor on Starz' "Power," has evolved since his last album, 2017's Jeep Music, Vol.1. The singer said he really hit home with its follow-up, the recently released Walk With Me, a project he worked hard for, putting in hours in the studio after filming on set.

"Walk With Me is the first time I actually felt like I was giving myself as an artist, and personally I feel like with everything else I have going on I wanted to show people that this is really what I do," he said. "I wanted people to understand who Rotimi is, who Rotimi was before, who I want to be and just understand my growth and the journey and my passion for what I do."

Part of why the album felt like such a representation of him is because it embodies beats of his African roots, something he said was very present growing up Nigerian-American. 

"I grew up with a lot of Fela Kuti and I grew up with Bob Marley," he said of his musical roots. "But I also grew up with Carl Thomas and Genuine and Usher, so there was a genuine mixture of who I am and what I've grown up to listen to. The actual Walk With Me project was a mixture of influences of Akon and Craig David."

Mumu Fresh On What She Learned From Working With The Roots, Rhyming & More

ReImagined At Home: Watch Ant Clemons Croon The Cosmic Blues In Performance Of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine"

Ant Clemons

news

ReImagined At Home: Watch Ant Clemons Croon The Cosmic Blues In Performance Of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine"

Singer/songwriter Ant Clemons puts his own spin on Bill Withers' immortal "Ain't No Sunshine" in an exclusive performance for ReImagined At Home

GRAMMYs/Jun 15, 2021 - 08:13 pm

Why has Bill Withers' immortal hit, "Ain't No Sunshine," endured for decades? And, furthermore, why does it seem set to reverberate throughout the ages?

Could it be because it's blues-based? Because it's relatable to anyone with a pulse? Because virtually anyone with an ounce of zeal can believably yowl the song at karaoke?

Maybe it's for all of those reasons and one more: "Ain't No Sunshine" is flexible

In the latest episode of ReImagined At Home, check out how singer/songwriter Ant Clemons pulls at the song's edges like taffy. With a dose of vocoder and slapback, Clemons recasts the lonesome-lover blues as the lament of a shipwrecked android.

Giving this oft-covered soul classic a whirl, Clemons reminds music lovers exactly why Withers' signature song has staying power far beyond his passing in 2020. It will probably be a standard in 4040, too.

Check out Ant Clemons' cosmic, soulful performance of "Ain't No Sunshine" above and click here to enjoy more episodes of ReImagined At Home.

ReImagined At Home: Keedron Bryant Powerfully Interprets John Legend's Love Song "Ordinary People"

 

news

Ladies Antebellum And Gaga, Jeff Beck, David Frost, John Legend Win Three GRAMMYs Each

Arcade Fire wins Album Of The Year; Esperanza Spalding wins Best New Artist

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

(To view a list of 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards winners, click here.)

The evening began with a tribute to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, but by the time the last of the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards was handed out on Feb. 13, several other singers and bands looked something like royalty. Foremost among them was Lady Antebellum, who walked away with three trophies while the group members earned two more each for songwriting categories.

Lady Antebellum at the GRAMMYs

 

During a show memorable for its range of fully fueled performances, the country superstars sang a pitch-perfect medley of tunes that ended with a quiet rendition of the song that launched them, "Need You Now," and shortly afterward collected the Song Of The Year GRAMMY for it (along with co-writer Josh Kear, with whom they also took Best Country Song). But there was plenty more to come for the trio. They also took home the GRAMMY for Best Country Album for Need You Now. Accepting that award, lead singer Charles Kelley said, "This song has completely flipped our world upside down." By the time Lady Antebellum stood up to collect a trophy for Record Of The Year for "Need You Now," they were in disbelief, and possibly discombobulated: "Oh my gosh, we're so stunned we started walking the wrong direction," said singer Hillary Scott breathlessly.

Also racking up awards was Lady Gaga, who claimed three: Best Pop Vocal Album for The Fame Monster, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Short Form Music Video for "Bad Romance." Never one to miss the chance to make an entrance, she hatched herself onstage from a giant opaque egg. That was a riff on her new single, "Born This Way," and perhaps her bared shoulders, which sprouted a pair of pointy elbows, were too. Her dancers and outfit gave off a Cleopatra vibe, but Gaga can't be stopped from seeming ultra-modern, and her performance of "Born This Way" reflected that; it was a warp-speed whirlwind.

Lady Gaga at the GRAMMYs



 

In keeping with that same modernist — or maybe futurist — spirit, she accepted her award for Best Pop Vocal Album in black body armor. But Gaga also proved she can be an old-fashioned girl with a soft side. In an emotional acceptance speech for that award, she surprised the audience by thanking Whitney Houston: "I imagined she was singing…because I wasn't secure enough in myself to imagine I was a superstar. Whitney, I imagined you."

Leading the nominees with 10 nods revolving around Recovery, an album that detailed his struggles with addiction but also reestablished him as a rap force to be reckoned with, Eminem took home trophies for Best Rap Album — a triumph over rivals including Jay-Z, Drake and B.o.B — and Best Rap Solo Performance for "Not Afraid." Onstage, his swagger proved undiminished.

A flame-haired Rihanna opened Eminem's performance with a searching rendition of their duet "Love The Way You Lie," but it was Slim Shady who came out blazing, spitting the lyrics to that song before raging into "I Need A Doctor" with Dr. Dre and singer Skylar Grey; Adam Levine from Maroon 5 handled piano duty.

Closing the show and likely lifting the Sunday-night spirits of indie kids everywhere was the Canadian collective Arcade Fire, who won the Album Of The Year GRAMMY for The Suburbs and, before the night's final performance, turned in a frothy and fierce rendition of the rocking "Month Of May."

Arcade Fire at the GRAMMYs

 

Other multiple winners for the evening included classical music producer David Frost, legendary rock guitarist Jeff Beck and R&B artist John Legend, who each earned three awards. Among those who won two each were alternative rock band the Black Keys, jazz giant Herbie Hancock, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, urban/alternative group the Roots, Keith Urban, and gospel singer BeBe Winans.

And in a bit of surprise, jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding won Best New Artist over teen phenom Justin Bieber, as well Canadian rapper Drake, and adventurist rock outfits Florence & The Machine and Mumford & Sons.

Esperanza Spalding at the GRAMMYs

 

The show also featured a few firsts, including a first-time ever GRAMMY performance by Rolling Stone frontman Mick Jagger, who helped pay tribute to fallen R&B singer Solomon Burke.

But if there was also a constant, it was the annual, high-profile celebration of music that the GRAMMYs represent, and the 53rd GRAMMYs fit the bill once again, with performances, pairings and awards presentations that were full of pleasant musical surprises.
 

Click below for more GRAMMY content:

GRAMMY  liveblog
GRAMMY quotebook
GRAMMY Week photos
GRAMMY Week videos

 

GRAMMY Rewind: Watch Will Smith Dedicate His 1999 Best Rap Solo Performance GRAMMY To His Son

Will Smith at the 1999 GRAMMYs

news

GRAMMY Rewind: Watch Will Smith Dedicate His 1999 Best Rap Solo Performance GRAMMY To His Son

In his acceptance speech, he offers thanks to his family and "the jiggiest wife in the world, Jada Pinkett Smith"

GRAMMYs/Sep 25, 2020 - 11:17 pm

Today, Sept. 25, we celebrate the birthday of the coolest dad—who else? Will Smith! For the latest episode of GRAMMY Rewind, we revisit the Fresh Prince's 1999 GRAMMY win for Best Rap Solo Performance for "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It."

In the below video, watch rappers Missy Elliott—donning white leather—and Foxy Brown present the GRAMMY to a stoked Smith, who also opted for an all-leather look. In his acceptance speech, he offers thanks to his family and "the jiggiest wife in the world, Jada Pinkett Smith." He dedicates the award to his eldest son, Trey Smith, joking that Trey's teacher said he (then just six years old) could improve his rhyming skills.

Watch Another GRAMMY Rewind: Ludacris Dedicates Best Rap Album Win To His Dad At The 2007 GRAMMYs

The classic '90s track is from his 1997 debut studio album, Big Willie Style, which also features "Miami" and 1998 GRAMMY winner "Men In Black," from the film of the same name. The "Está Rico" rapper has won four GRAMMYs to date, earning his first back in 1989 GRAMMYs for "Parents Just Don't Understand," when he was 20 years old.

GRAMMY Rewind: Watch Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, J. Lo & Jada Pinkett Smith Open The 2019 GRAMMYs