Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Pandora
HAIM, Brittany Howard and CHIKA Deliver Dynamic Performances and Tease A Collaboration During Pandora LIVE's Countdown To The GRAMMY Awards
The GRAMMY nominees sang songs off their latest projects, spoke on their processes and bonded over their shared eagerness to get back on stage
Between the nominees and performers for the 63rd GRAMMY Awards, female artists are an undeniable force to be reckoned with this year. Pandora LIVE's Countdown To The GRAMMY Awards on Thursday, March 12, was further proof of the abundant girl power, honoring GRAMMY nominees CHIKA, Brittany Howard and HAIM. Hosted by Chair & Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy Harvey Mason jr., the virtual GRAMMY Week event featured dynamic performances and an insightful interview with all of the above women.
Before the performances began, everyone spoke on the releases that resulted in their GRAMMY nominations. CHIKA remarkably earned her first nod following her debut project with Warner Records, Industry Games (the rapper/singer is nominated for Best New Artist). Perhaps even more notable, the album arrived just as COVID-19 hit last year. "I haven't gotten the normal experience that an artist has once they put out their first project to see the reaction," she said. "So, to get this acknowledgment in such a high regard off of my first year out is incredible to me, but also still something I'm processing."
Howard touched on the doubts that arise when making a new record but ultimately had one way to describe her five nominations: "I'm shooketh." HAIM, who told Howard they can relate to the uncertainty artists often feel, discussed how the process of their album Women In Music Pt. III—up for Album of the Year—aligns with the isolation the world has seen in the pandemic.
"When we wrote this record in particular, we were all collectively in a depressive spiral," Este Haim, the group's bassist, said. "I think we all felt really isolated, so a lot of the subject matter on Women in Music Pt. III is about feeling alone. And then, lo and behold, we put out this record in the middle of a pandemic, where everyone collectively feels some version of loneliness. We're just really happy that it resonated with people during this really insane, crazy time in our lives. We just want to make people not feel so lonely."
The women bonded over several things in their conversation, with the most significant commonality being how much they all miss touring. "That's what we're so excited about," Danielle Haim said. "People are going to want to see live music so bad that I hope we're going to just be playing our asses off." Echoed Este, "It's going to be the Roaring '20s 100 years later."
"Music is such an energy exchange that making it is ... if you're doing it right, you feel exhausted afterward," CHIKA added. "The way that humans typically recharge is being in an electrifying room with people who genuinely support you … But there is no recharge unless you've begun to pivot and adapt to the circumstances that we're all under right now."
It was easy to see that all three artists are itching to get back in front of an audience, as they each gave their performances their all. CHIKA was up first, delivering a captivating medley of her tracks "My Power" and "On My Way." She closed with a sultry song titled "FWB," the lead single from her latest EP, Once Upon a Time, which arrived just hours after the performance.
Another topic everyone agreed upon was their desire not to be defined by one genre. Howard's GRAMMY nods particularly prove that she really is genreless: Her album Jaime spawned nominations in the Rock, Alternative, R&B, and American Roots Music categories.
"I love everything, I like everything," Howard explained of her boundary-pushing sound. "I find life to be really suspenseful. Experiences, emotions, colors—it's just musical to me. All of that belongs in my music. I'm just putting out what I'm experiencing. The fact that I'm nominated across all of these genres makes perfect sense to me. That's how I absorb sounds, whatever it is."
Howard flexed her versatility with her four-song performance, playing Jaime tracks "Stay High," "Baby," "Goat Head," and "13th Century Metal." Her stage setup transported viewers to the venue, as she had a full backing band and a draped curtain backdrop illuminated by blue and pink lighting. The bridge of "13th Century Metal" felt like Howard was leading a congregation as she chanted, "We are all brothers and sisters!" and tromped around the stage with strobe lights flashing around her.
HAIM closed out the show with four effervescent tunes. Although they opted not to play their Best Rock Performance honoree "The Steps," the sisters did stick to tracks from Women In Music Pt. III, including "Summer Girl," "Gasoline" and "I've Been Down." For the final song, HAIM's lead singer Danielle tackled "Man From the Magazine" solo with an acoustic guitar, making for a powerful finish to the female-dominated event.
Before signing off, the women teased that this might not be the last time fans see them all in one place. "I'll produce beats for you, CHIKA," Howard offered, to which Haim's Este yelled, "I'll play bass!" CHIKA excitedly urged, "We need to trade contact info." If the night's performances were any indication, that would be one heck of a collaboration.
Photo: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images
Rosalía Announces First Solo North American Tour
El Mal Querer Tour, named after the Spanish pop star's latest album, will come to Los Angeles on April 17 in between her Coachella performances
Rosalía is set to perform at some of the most popular music festivals around the globe, including Primavera Sound in Spain, Lollapalooza (Argentina and Chile) and Coachella, but the Spanish pop star isn't stopping there when she gets to the States. Now, she has announced her first solo North American Tour with a string of dates that will bring her to select cities in the U.S. and Canada.
El Mal Querer Tour, named after her latest album, will come to Los Angeles on April 17 in between her Coachella performances. Then she'll play San Francisco on April 22, New York on April 30 and close out in Toronto on May 2.
"I’m so happy to announce my first solo North American tour dates," the singer tweeted.
Rosalía won Best Alternative Song and Best Fusion/ Urban Interpretation at the 19th Latin GRAMMY Awards in November and has been praised for bringing flamenco to the limelight with her hip-hop and pop beats. During her acceptance speech she gave a special shout-out to female artists who came before her, including Lauryn Hill and Bjork.
Rosalía has been getting some love herself lately, most notably from Alicia Keys, who gave the Spanish star a shout-out during an acceptance speech, and Madonna, who featured her on her Spotify International Women's Day Playlist.
Tickets for the tour go on sale March 22. For more tour dates, visit Rosalía's website.
Walk, Don't Run: 60 Years Of The Ventures Exhibit Will Showcase The Surf-Rock Icons' Impact On Pop Culture
The exhibit, opening Dec. 7, will feature late band member Mel Taylor's Gretsch snare drum, a 1965 Ventures model Mosrite electric guitar, the original 45 rpm of "Walk Don't Run" and more
Influential instrumental rock band The Ventures are getting their own exhibit at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles that will showcase the band's impact on pop culture since the release of their massive hit "Walk, Don't Run" 60 years ago.
The Rock Hall of Fame inductees and Billboard chart-toppers have become especially iconic in the surf-rock world, known for its reverb-loaded guitar sound, for songs like "Wipeout," "Hawaii Five-O" and "Walk, Don't Run." The Walk, Don't Run: 60 Years Of The Ventures exhibit opening Dec. 7 will feature late band member Mel Taylor's Gretsch snare drum, a 1965 Ventures model Mosrite electric guitar, the original 45 rpm of "Walk Don't Run," a Fender Limited Edition Ventures Signature guitars, rare photos and other items from their career spanning six decades and 250 albums.
“It’s such an honor to have an exhibit dedicated to The Ventures at the GRAMMY Museum and be recognized for our impact on music history,” said Don Wilson, a founding member of the band, in a statement. "I like to think that, because we ‘Venturized’ the music we recorded and played, we made it instantly recognizable as being The Ventures. We continue to do that, even today."
Don Wilson, Gerry McGee, Bob Spalding, and Leon Taylor are current band members. On Jan. 9, Taylor's widow and former Fiona Taylor, Ventures associated musician Jeff "Skunk" Baxter and others will be in conversation with GRAMMY Museum Artistic Director Scott Goldman about the band's journey into becoming the most successful instrumental rock band in history at the Clive Davis Theater.
"The Ventures have inspired generations of musicians during their storied six-decade career, motivating many artists to follow in their footsteps and start their own projects," said Michael Sticka, GRAMMY Museum President. "As a music museum, we aim to shine a light on music education, and we applaud the Ventures for earning their honorary title of 'the band that launched a thousand bands.' Many thanks to the Ventures and their families for letting us feature items from this important era in music history."
The exhibit will run Dec. 7–Aug. 3, 2020 at the GRAMMY Museum.
Photo by Isabel Infantes/PA Images via Getty Images
Alicia Keys Unveils Dates For New Storytelling Series
The artist will take her upcoming 'More Myself: A Journey' biography on a four-city book tour
After performing her powerhouse piano medley at the 62nd Annual GRAMMYs, R&B superstar, GRAMMY-winning artist and former GRAMMY’s host Alicia Keys has revealed that she will set out on a four-stop book tour next month. The storytelling tour will support her forthcoming book More Myself: A Journey, which is slated for a March 31 release via Flatiron Books and is reported to feature stories and music from the book, told and performed by Alicia and her piano, according to a statement.
Part autobiography, part narrative documentary, Keys' title is dubbed in its description as an "intimate, revealing look at one artist’s journey from self-censorship to full expression." You can pre-order the title here.
The book tour will kick off with a March 31 Brooklyn stop at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. From there, Keys will visit Atlanta’s Symphony Hall on April 5 and Chicago’s Thalia Hall with Chicago Ideas the following day, April 6. The short-run will culminate on April 7 in Los Angeles at the Theatre at Ace Hotel.
Pre-sales for the tour are underway and public on-sale will begin on Friday, March 6 at 12 p.m. Eastern Time. Tickets for the intimate dates and full release dates and times are available here.
Keys won her first five career awards at the 44th Annual GRAMMYs in 2002. On the night, she received awards in the Best New Artists, Song of the Year, Best R&B Song, Best R&B Album and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance categories respectively. She has received a total of 29 nominations and 15 GRAMMYs in her career.
This year, Keys will also embark on a world tour in support of Alicia, the artist’s upcoming seventh studio album and the follow up of 2016’s Here, due out March 20 via RCA Records.
Photo: C Brandon/Redferns/Getty Images
Brittany Howard, Brandi Carlile, Leon Bridges, 2 Chainz & More Join Small Business Live Benefit Livestream
Proceeds from the event will be go toward loans to small businesses founded by people of color, with additional support to women-owned and immigrant-owned businesses, via Accion Opportunity Fund
This Saturday, June 20, artists including Brittany Howard, Brandi Carlile, Leon Bridges, 2 Chainz and more will come together for Small Business Live, a livestream fundraiser event for small businesses facing challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Proceeds from the livestream will go to Accion Opportunity Fund to support small businesses founded by people of color, with additional support to women-owned and immigrant-owned businesses.
“Entrepreneurs of color are denied credit more often and charged higher rates for money they borrow to fund their businesses. We need to accelerate support to underserved businesses in order to reach our full potential,” Accion Opportunity Fund CEO Luz Urrutia said. “We have to decide what we want our Main Streets to look like when this is over, and we must act decisively to keep small businesses alive and ready to rebuild. This is a fun way to do something really important. Everyone’s support will make a huge difference to small business owners, their families and employees who have been devastated by this pandemic, the recession, and centuries of racism, xenophobia and oppression.”
Tune in for Small Business Live Saturday, June 20 from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. EDT on smallbiz.live. The site also provides a full schedule of programs and links to watch the livestream on all major digital platforms. To learn more about Accion Opportunity Fund, visit the organization's website.