Photo: Chuchu Ojekwe
Herbal Tea & White Sofas: Ayra Starr’s Most Important Backstage Item Isn’t An Item — It’s A Person
Ayra Starr has some favorite treats and comfort foods on her tour rider, but her most important essential is the family member she brings everywhere she can.
Because her tour schedule often takes her thousands of miles away from her hometown of Lagos, Nigeria, singer-songwriter Ayra Starr tries to bring a piece of home with her wherever she goes.
That piece is her brother, who is a musical person himself.
"My family is definitely part of my tour rider," Starr says with a laugh in the latest episode of Herbal Tea & White Sofas. "My brother is a songwriter — and is my best friend — so he has to be with me."
When it comes to food for her rider, Starr selects quick, savory meals like ramen noodles — and as she explains, that meal has a connection to home for her, too. "Noodles [are] my favorite food in the whole world, and it just comforts me," she explains.
"In Nigeria, we have noodles called indomie. I used to get it since I was a child, when I became a teenager, when I was in school," she recounts. "When I was in uni, I couldn't cook, I would always just make some indomie, and as Nigerians, we know how to make things taste amazing [by adding extra ingredients] in different ways."
Starr has inventive tricks for making her sweet snacks on tour taste extra-delicious, too. The singer says gummy bears are another tour rider staple — and she's got a super-sweet hack for taking the gummies to the next level.
"You can never go wrong with gummy bears. Why? What else are you looking for," she says. "Let me put you guys on something right now that you might have never tried: Vanilla ice cream with gummies. Game changer. It's over."
Press play on the video above to learn more about Starr's favorite tour snacks, and her favorite parts about her show itself, and keep checking GRAMMY.com for more episodes of Herbal Tea & White Sofas.
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Photo: Rob Schanz
Herbal Tea & White Sofas: River Shook Reveal Their Biggest Struggle On Tour
While traveling the world, Sarah Shook & the Disarmers' lead vocalist River Shook is faced with one burning dilemma: finding a high-quality banana.
In the typical fashion of touring rock stars, Sarah Shook & the Disarmers' lead vocalist River Shook prefers an assortment of fruits and vegetables: hummus, baby carrots, baby peppers, and salsa. "It's nice to have some snacks that are a step up from gas station snacks," Shook says in this episode of Herbal Tea & White Sofas.
However, the most difficult healthy food to find is bananas, as Shook reveals: "In my experience, the bananas are half raw, green and half way too ripe. I don't know how gas stations do that because I haven't encountered that anywhere else."
Sarah Shook & the Disarmers aren't just on their best behavior with clean eating habits — they also make sure to treat every green room with the utmost respect.
"We just played someplace with a special note in the tour doc that was like, 'No inappropriate behavior backstage,'" Shook recounts. "And we were like, 'What? What are people doing back here? I don't want to know. I'm good.'"
Through everything, the most important aspect of touring for Shook is being able to show their authentic self. "Even the oldest of the songs that we're still performing are so personal to me because they come from my life experience [...] The closeness of the band shines through our music and through our live performances."
Press play on the video above to hear more about River Shook's touring lifestyle, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Herbal Tea & White Sofas.
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Photo: Jimmy Fontaine
Herbal Tea & White Sofas: How Gnash Promotes Joy & Stays Healthy On Tour
Pop singer/songwriter gnash details the five things he always needs with him on the road — as well as the one thing he wishes he could always have before every show.
When gnash is on tour, it's important for him to have items that will keep him in tip-top shape — and it's not much different than his daily routine on or off the road.
"My current tour rider is what I do on a daily basis here at home," he reveals in this episode of Herbal Tea & White Sofas.
While four of the five items he mentions are food or beverages, gnash has one tour essential that helps him create and capture fond memories: a disposable camera. As he explains, not only are they simple, but they're more efficient — a win-win while traveling the world.
In gnash's eyes, shows are as much about sparking joy as they are about the music. That's why he wishes that he could also consume "a little bottle of pure love" before each show.
"When you're going out on stage — in person, in front of people — that's a really, really raw form of expression and joy," he adds. "There's a big obsession in the music world with things going viral, but music isn't a virus — it's meant to heal."
Press play on the video above to hear more about gnash's passion for music and tour diet, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Herbal Tea & White Sofas.
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Photo: Shervin Lainez
Herbal Tea & White Sofas: Sofi Tukker Reveal How Their Keys To Staying Healthy On Tour
The two members of EDM duo Sofi Tukker strive to stay in shape on tour — it's how they fuel their high-energy performances.
After traveling the world together over the past decade, there's one thing EDM duo Sofi Tukker quickly agrees on: staying healthy is the top priority. That's why their tour rider primarily consists of fruits, vegetables and vegan snacks.
"Our rider is filled with things like kale, avocado and olive," Sophie Hawley-Weld explains in this episode of Herbal Tea & White Sofas. "We both have pretty restrictive diets. We're trying to be as healthy as we possibly can be because we want to give out the best energy every night, and traveling for a living is not easy."
Her bandmate Tucker Halpern emphasizes that they always request a trash bag full of ice — a surprisingly disputed item. "The most controversial thing, especially in Europe, is ice," Halpern says. "People will fight you about it!"
Hawley-Weld often opts for a cryo tank, a sensory deprivation tank filled with salt. "I find that to be one of the most recharging things I can do. I think it's polar opposite to what we do on stage."
The duo is also slated to appear at more than 10 music festivals this summer, including the Governors Ball, Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, Lollapalooza, and Osheaga. Sofi Tukker most recently returned to Coachella, where they live-debuted their latest single "Jacaré," a cheeky Portuguese-language single inspired by Hawley-Weld's longtime appreciation for Brazilian culture.
Press play on the video above to learn how Sofi Tukker stays in shape while on tour, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Herbal Tea & White Sofas.
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Photo: Matt Misisco
Herbal Tea & White Sofas: Jay Pharoah Maintains A Healthy Lifestyle On Tour With These Essential Foods
Comedian, actor and rapper Jay Pharoah shares the proteins, juices and veggies that are always on his tour rider — and as for the rest, he breaks out his signature impression of Barack Obama.
While traveling the world as a comedian, actor, and rapper, Jay Pharoah's top priority is maintaining a healthy lifestyle — mainly with a diet of baked chicken, broccoli, gin, grapefruit juice, and beet juice.
"I'm all about health, man. I was an overweight kid, so I'm pretty much scarred," Pharoah explains in this episode of Herbal Tea & White Sofas.
One thing Pharoah emphasizes will never be a part of his tour rider are anchovies due to his severe allergies. "If I have them, I will puff up like Will Smith in Hitch. Or, I would look like a blowfish… after you aggravate the blowfish," he jokes.
He also enjoys an assortment of wasabi almonds and shelled pistachios. "When you eat spicy things, they really do make your metabolism quicker — along with exercise. Don't think you're just going to sit around and watch 'Euphoria,' and then you'll lose weight!" Pharoah laughs.
Pharoah closes this episode with an impression of former president Barack Obama discussing his hypothetical tour rider, which includes cigarillos, his wife's memoir and his daughters' whereabouts.
Press play on the video above to watch Jay Pharoah's hilarious explanation of his tour rider, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Herbal Tea & White Sofas.
Herbal Tea & White Sofas: Fortune Feimster's Tour Rider Includes This Southern Snack Staple