Guaynaa's Tips For Collaboration & Managing Your Image: 5 Takeaways From His 2023 GRAMMY U Conference Keynote
Guaynaa speaks onstage at the GRAMMY U Conference at Hilton Miami Downtown on April 22

Photo: John Parra/Getty Images for The Recording Academy


Guaynaa's Tips For Collaboration & Managing Your Image: 5 Takeaways From His 2023 GRAMMY U Conference Keynote

Latin GRAMMY-nominated artist Guaynaa was the keynote speaker for this year’s 2023 GRAMMY U Conference. He taught students the best ways they can make their mark on the industry. Here are the top five lessons from Guaynaa’s keynote.

GRAMMYs/Apr 27, 2023 - 06:01 pm

GRAMMY U Rep Emma Hampton contributed to this story.

Student members and local influencers swarmed the Hilton Hotel in downtown Miami on April 22 to attend the annual National GRAMMY U Conference presented by Nike. The highly anticipated event is designed for aspiring music professionals and, in its sixth year, the GU Conference was the biggest yet.  

Attendees were given an immersive experience from the moment they walked through the doors, with tables stacked full of limited edition GRAMMY U merch, Nike swag bags, and themed snacks. Guests also stopped by GRAMMY U’s signature purple carpet and step-and-repeat, while Nike’s infinity room photo booth with wall-to-wall mirrors and notable shoe collections suspended in the air left every guest speechless.

GRAMMY U members also had access to a professional headshot studio — a handy tool for marketing yourself, according to the Building Your Personal Brand panel, which featured executives from Spotify, TikTok, Beats Communications and the Recording Academy. 

Yet the GRAMMY U Conference is more than just Instagrammable moments and swag. Attendees could attend a number of panels, including a songwriting discussion with GRAMMY/Latin GRAMMY-nominated artist Elena Rose and Latin GRAMMY-nominated artist GALE. The event's keynote session featured Latin GRAMMY-nominated artist Guaynaa, moderated by Emily Estefan. 

Guaynaa offered tips and tricks for making your mark on the music industry, detailing his personal background, and the meaning behind the name "Guaynaa." At the end of his keynote, the superstar even made time for every student in the audience who had questions for him and made an effort to give them each a moment of his undivided attention.

Read on for five main takeaways from Guaynaa’s keynote. 

Understand Your Platform And Your Audience

Guaynaa mentioned multiple times throughout his panel that it is incredibly important to "understand the work and behavior of each and every social media platform as a marketing strategy." 

Social media has become a vital tool for musicians, and not every marketing strategy is right for every platform available to you. Facebook may be where you post your more sentimental side with the older generation, whereas TikTok is geared towards your younger audience and fun, casual content. 

Know how each platform works and how each audience responds, then cater your marketing plans to accommodate the social climate of these platforms, Guaynaa suggested. 

It’s Not Always About You

When it comes to collaborating with other people in the industry — be it other artists or your own marketing team — you must be able to do what’s best for the music, even when it may go against your own opinions. 

Guaynaa referenced Capitulaciones, the album he recently released with his wife, Lele Pons, in which they both had different ideas on what tracks would make the best single. Guaynaa’s least favorite song was Pons’ pick, and the marketing team believed it to be the best representation of them as a duo. Guaynaa set aside his opinion and went with it. 

"Music is so wonderful because the songs you have the least faith in could be your biggest hits," he told conference attendees. "You have to release every song with faith in it and put energy into it like it’ll be your biggest hit. Every song you leave in the world is going to be your legacy."

At the end of the day, you have to have faith in your music and understand that you don’t always know what’s best.

Know Your Industry Well

Guaynaa advises artists to know the industry, front to back. Every part of the industry plays a critical role in bringing art to life — whether it be the producer, mastering engineer or label — and it’s important to know how to identify who is the best fit for your vision. One resource isn’t better than another, it all depends on context. 

"If you’re signed to Sony and I’m signed to Warner, it doesn’t mean it’ll be better for one of us then the other. It’s just about finding the best fit for your type of project," he said. "If you’re an indie band, you want an indie label to support you. If you want to make reggaeton music you need a reggaeton producer."

As an artist, it’s important to be intentional about who you bring onto a project in order to build a team that speaks to you and can work together to create the cohesive brand you want to put out.

Music Is A Vehicle That Must Be Maintained, So Get Your Hands Dirty 

The way Guaynaa sees it, music is a vehicle that requires three main parts needed in order to make music work: lyrics, composition and visuals. It’s important to maintain all aspects of the vehicle. 

Guaynaa emphasized visuals as key to an artist's success. If you only focus on the music and neglect the visuals, for example, you will not travel as far. If you leave the visuals completely up to a third party, you likely will end up with something that isn’t unique and uphold your artistic voice. 

The musician encouraged artists to get their hands dirty and make sure all the parts are working together in harmony to create your artistic vision. "This is why a lot of people look the same on social media. Most of us leave that aspect up to someone else," Guaynaa said. "It’s very important to make sure you present your visuals the way you want them to be, because that’s going to have a huge impact on where you are going to go and how people perceive you."

It’s A Privilege To Make Your Mark

Contrary to what many may think, your goal should not be to go viral on TikTok. While having your songs be on everyone’s "for you page," certainly doesn’t hinder the success of your music, it can’t be the driving force behind your writing. 

Guaynaa encouraged attendees to "do what’s in your heart or else you’ll ruin the concept." Your music is a reflection of you and what you believe in, and if you are too focused on being the next viral sensation, your music will fall short of that. 

After all, Guaynaa wholeheartedly believes that "it is a privilege to make your mark, even if it’s one person." Therefore, regardless of who hears it or how many views or streams it gets, only put your authentic self into your music. That is guaranteed to help you leave behind a valuable legacy and make your mark on both the industry and the world. 

Watch the 2023 GRAMMY U Conference on YouTube (and Twitch) to learn more from Guaynaa and to watch the other panels that brought the 2023 GRAMMY U Conference to life. 

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Poll: Which 2020 Latin GRAMMYs Performance Are You Most Excited For?
A 2019 Latin GRAMMY winner holds his three awards

Photo: Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for LARAS


Poll: Which 2020 Latin GRAMMYs Performance Are You Most Excited For?

Which 21st Latin GRAMMY Awards performer are you most excited to see rock the stage on Nov. 19?

GRAMMYs/Oct 30, 2020 - 12:00 am

In just three weeks, on Nov. 19, the 21st Latin GRAMMY Awards will bring the best in Latin music to viewers around the globe for an evening filled with shimmering performances and speeches from the evening's winners. As the anticipation for the big night grows, we want to know: Which performer you are most excited to see? Please vote in our poll below to let us know.

Related: More Performers Announced For 2020 Latin GRAMMYs: Anuel AA, Calibre 50, Julio Reyes Copello, Alex Cuba & More

The performers announced so far by the Latin Recording Academy are current Latin GRAMMY nominees Anuel AA, Karol G, Bad Bunny,  Calibre 50Julio Reyes CopelloAlex CubaGuaynaaVíctor ManuelleRicardo MontanerDebi NovaRaquel SofíaSebastián Yatra, Christian NodalPedro Capó, Alejandro FernándezKany GarcíaLos Tigres del Norte, Fito Páez and Nathy Peluso. Latin GRAMMY- and GRAMMY-winning salsa king Marc Anthony will also perform.

Don't forget to tune in to all the excitement on Univision on Thurs., Nov. 19 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT (7:00 p.m. CT). The broadcast will also air on TNT (cable) at 7:00 p.m. (MEX) / 8:00 p.m. (COL) / 10:00 p.m. (ARG/CHI) and on Televisa on Channel 5.

Learn more about the 2020 Latin GRAMMY Awards via the Latin Recording Academy's official website.

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Everything We Know About The 'Barbie' Soundtrack: New Dua Lipa Song, Release Date, Artist Lineup, All The 'Barbie' Songs & More
(L-R) Ryan Gosling, Margot Robbie from the 2023 film 'Barbie'

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images


Everything We Know About The 'Barbie' Soundtrack: New Dua Lipa Song, Release Date, Artist Lineup, All The 'Barbie' Songs & More

Nicki Minaj, Charli XCX, Gayle, Haim, and — surprisingly — Ryan Gosling also feature on the soundtrack to 'Barbie' — the buzzy, plasticine summer flick.

GRAMMYs/May 26, 2023 - 06:07 pm

When the second Barbie teaser landed like a hydrogen bomb made of memes, the world got the first inkling this would be a very musical movie.

That was by way of the Beach Boys' "Fun, Fun, Fun," rendered chopped and screwed and vaguely menacing. ("Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun!" the heavily altered Boys intone, over and over and over.) Now, it's clear that the sunny '60s hit was just, ahem, the tip of the iceberg.

As Rolling Stone reports, the Barbie soundtrack — known as Barbie The Album — will be a veritable toybox of the biggest pop stars today. Those are: Ava Max, Charli XCX, Dominic Fike, Dua Lipa, FIFTY FIFTY, GAYLE, HAIM, Ice Spice, Kali, Karol G, Khalid, Lizzo, Nicki Minaj, PinkPantheress, Ryan Gosling (!), Tame Impala, and the Kid Laroi.

That's not even all of them — more artists will be announced closer to Barbie The Album's release date, on July 21. (That's also the day the film drops.) Until then, read on for everything we could find about the Barbie soundtrack… so far.

Mark Ronson Is The Executive Music Producer

The seven-time GRAMMY-winning record producer and songwriter, who's worked with everyone from Lady Gaga to Paul McCartney to Adele, is at the helm. "This Ken helped make a whole soundtrack," Ronson tweeted, acknowledging his involvement.

The Soundtrack Contains 17 Songs

That's as per Apple Music, which details the lion's share of the tracklist. (Tracks six and 11 are TBD). Check it out for very Barbie song titles like Lizzo's "Pink," Ryan Gosling's "I'm Just Ken" and Dominic Fike's "Hey Blondie." And…

Barbie Girls, In A Barbie World

…yes, you read that right: Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice will team up with Aqua to perform "Barbie World" — a new version of the classic "Barbie Girl" song, which appears in the official trailer.

Dua Lipa's "Dance The Night" Is A Contender For The Centerpiece

On May 25, Dua Lipa dropped the official music video for "Dance the Night." (The three-time GRAMMY winner also plays Mermaid Barbie in the film.) 

Aside from her 2022 collaborative track with Megan Thee Stallion, "Sweetest Pie," Lipa's been quiet since the Future Nostalgia era; "Dance the Night" captures the magic of hits like "Levitating" and cements her as the post-pandemic disco queen.

Something Is Happening With Lady Gaga

The official Barbie Twitter account seemingly confirmed rumors of Lady Gaga's involvement when they tweeted eye emojis at Gaga's promise of "something exciting." Wait and see, we suppose.

No Beach Boys Tunes Are Known To Be On The Soundtrack — Yet

It remains to be seen whether "Fun, Fun, Fun" will simply be a trailer song or play some key part in the film proper. With a catalog literally filled to the brim with beach-getaway bangers, they could play a key role in Barbie's musical world. Again: wait and see.

Nicki Minaj Is Here For A Very Good Reason

As Rolling Stone points out: what is Nicki Minaj's most famous persona? You guessed it. Expect the Harajuku Barbie to loom large on the soundtrack — and perhaps, at least spiritually, in the film.

Keep checking back as more details about the Barbie soundtrack come to light!

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GRAMMY Rewind: Faith Hill Graciously Thanks Her Supporters After 'Breathe' Wins Best Country Album In 2001
Faith Hill at the 2001 GRAMMYs.

Photo: HECTOR MATA/AFP via Getty Images


GRAMMY Rewind: Faith Hill Graciously Thanks Her Supporters After 'Breathe' Wins Best Country Album In 2001

After winning Best Country Album for 'Breathe' — one of her three wins at the 2001 GRAMMYs — Faith Hill delivered a heartfelt speech thanking her family for helping her achieve her dreams, and her team for making that dream a reality.

GRAMMYs/May 26, 2023 - 05:02 pm

When Dolly Parton, flanked by Brad Paisley, handed Faith Hill her GRAMMY for Best Country Album in 2001 — for her classic 1999 album Breathe — it felt like a passing of the torch.*

The first words out of an awestruck Hill's mouth, to Parton: "Wow! And coming from you, thank you so much. I just admire you so much."

Hill went on to deliver a heartfelt speech, in which she thanked her parents for helping facilitate her music dreams and expressed how long and hard her journey to the GRAMMYs stage was.

Breathe helped Hill take home three GRAMMYs that night — the others being Best Female Country Vocal Performance ("Breathe") and Best Country Collaboration With Vocals ("Let's Make Love," with three-time GRAMMY-winning husband Tim McGraw.)

Check out the throwback to Y2K-era country music history above, and keep checking back to for more episodes of GRAMMY Rewind.

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Arlo Parks On How Patience, Film & Falling In Love Molded 'My Soft Machine'
Arlo Parks

Photo: Alexandra Waespi


Arlo Parks On How Patience, Film & Falling In Love Molded 'My Soft Machine'

Arlo Parks has never shied away from vulnerability. Upon the release of her new album 'My Soft Machine,' the GRAMMY-nominated artist shared what’s fueled her creativity since her 2021 critically acclaimed debut.

GRAMMYs/May 26, 2023 - 04:04 pm

A line from Joanna Hogg’s 2019 drama The Souvenir has threaded itself through Arlo Parks’ consciousness: "We don't want to just see life played out as is. We want to see life as it is experienced, within this soft machine."

The phrase was so resonant that it inspired the title of Parks' second studio album: My Soft Machine. "That’s exactly what this record is to me — the world through my eyes, through the prism of my brain, how what I feel passes through my skin and body," she told

Though she’s intent on practicing patience, the British alternative artist has never been one to fall into passivity. A poet at heart, Parks beads delicate details like strings of jewels — first on her pair of promising 2019 EPs, and then with her acclaimed debut, 2021's Collapsed in Sunbeams. The lustrous album shone like treasure, earning GRAMMY nominations for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Album in 2022.

Praised for its candor and discussions of mental health, Collapsed in Sunbeams proved that Parks knows how to put memories to music in a way that catches the light. My Soft Machine continues this reflective pattern: it’s a kaleidoscope into Parks’ soul, laced with serendipity, solace, and color. The album title evokes an unusual polarity of both gentleness and automation, yet the record is anything but mechanical. Out May 26, My Soft Machine tingles with earnesty and warmth to the point of ache, bearing its honesty like a handwritten letter to a loved one.

Considering the album’s often weighty subject matter, it might come as a surprise that Parks describes its loose creative process as filled with more "silliness" than ever before. But the easy-fitting, experimental side of the record mirrors Parks’ approach to life and music: she has a gift for finding optimism in darkness.

Parks got introspective, sharing with how travel and self-care positively manifest in her life — and how My Soft Machine filled her with a sense of purpose.

What headspace were you in when you were working on My Soft Machine? How did your approach compare with making Collapsed in Sunbeams?

I was in an emotionally heightened headspace. I had a lot I needed to put down, untangle and understand about myself. I needed to really examine what I was carrying with me through the world.

The approach was a lot more collaborative and loose than Collapsed in Sunbeams. There was a lot of jamming, of bringing in singular players like David Longstreth, of changing my mind and sculpting songs over months. There was a lot more silliness and an experimental quality to the whole My Soft Machine making process.

What did you learn about yourself while working on My Soft Machine?

I learnt that writing and music are truly at the core of who I am — when I have a day off I’m driving and listening to NTS (Radio) or I’m sitting down and brainstorming a script or a novel — what I do is truly who I am. I think I also learnt that I’m quite an intuitive, impatient creator. It really served me to have patience and wait for the songs to reveal themselves.

You use mentions of color so beautifully and precisely throughout your music. What colors or aesthetics do you associate with My Soft Machine versus Collapsed in Sunbeams? If you had to make a moodboard for My Soft Machine, what would it look like?

It would have a lot of moody purples, inky night sky blues, the green of ferns, the fuchsia of bougainvillea in spring in Silverlake. There would be the dancing scene from "Happy Together" by Wong Kar Wai, the image "Broadway (Joy)" from 2001 by Justine Kurland, the skate bowl in Paranoid Park, my lover’s eyes in dusk light, the smell of trodden down roses, and the sting of road rash when you fall off a bike as a kid.

I was struck by My Soft Machine’s experimental, outgoing production, especially in "Devotion." What inspired this album’s sounds? What sort of textures do you look for in tracks?

The palette was quite simply "songs and sounds that I’ve always loved" — everything from "Last Splash" by the Breeders to the Dijon record to "Come On You Slags" by Aphex Twin to BLACK METAL by Dean Blunt to "I Bet on Losing Dogs" by Mitski. I think I’m drawn to crunchy textures, textures that make me shiver or put my hand over my heart because I’m reeling, textures that serve the story.

Performance artist Marina Abramović said great art is disturbing, and in a past interview, you equated this disturbance with change. How has working on My Soft Machine helped you view your life or the world in a different way?

I think it filled me with a sense of purpose; I felt so driven and rooted and settled in my own identity. It made me believe in serendipity, in the fact that imagination really is magic and that the ability to put difficult, nebulous words into something concrete is the biggest blessing I will ever receive.

What was it like working with Phoebe Bridgers for "Pegasus"? What do you look for in collaborators?

Phoebe is such a generous soul. She creates for the love of it, she’s so intelligent and funny and kind. I think I just look for kind people who understand me and why I do what I do.

What’s your ideal environment for creative work? How does travel impact your creativity, and what places are your favorite to revisit?

I love to work in a home — dogs running around, tape machines and obscure percussion instruments, tea, and someone’s sweater left on the couch. It has to feel lived in and warm.

Travel definitely opens me up; returning to somewhere like Tokyo or New York or New Zealand just makes me excited about the world and creative possibility. I just love to talk to people and understand their rituals and their musical subcultures. Traveling makes me more empathetic.

How do you feel you’ve changed since releasing Collapsed in Sunbeams? What have you learned that you wish your younger self had known?

I’ve become more assertive and more trusting in the ebb and flow of my ability to make cool things. I’ve learnt to really treasure time spent in water, with friends, having little dinner parties and watching silly shows. I wish my younger self would have known that dreams do come true but that to whom much is given, much will be expected.

You’ve been very open about how touring has impacted your mental health. How have you learned to prioritize self care? After your Instagram announcement, what was it like seeing other musicians reach out and share words of support?

I’ve learned to prioritize self care by really listening to myself, understanding where I feel most calm and carving out more time to do it. Setting aside time to camp or to go to the Korean Spa or brush burs out of my dogs fur or hang out with my girlfriend.

I felt so held when other people reached out saying "hey I feel the same" — I didn’t know what to expect and I got nothing but kindness.

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