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Press Play At Home: Watch Jensen McRae Deliver An Alluring Rendition Of "My Ego Dies At The End" From Her Bedroom
Jensen McRae

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Press Play At Home: Watch Jensen McRae Deliver An Alluring Rendition Of "My Ego Dies At The End" From Her Bedroom

In this episode of Press Play At Home, rising Los Angeles folk singer Jensen McRae lets her eloquent voice shine with an acoustic performance of "My Ego Dies At The End." The poignant track is the lead single from her new album, 'Are You Happy Now?'

GRAMMYs/Mar 24, 2022 - 05:02 pm

On the heels of releasing her debut album, Jensen McRae gave "bedroom pop" a whole new meaning.

The Los Angeles-born singer/songwriter — whose LP Are You Happy Now? just arrived on March 22 — performed the album's lead single for her episode of Press Play At Home. Titled "My Ego Dies At The End," the song isn't exactly bedroom pop — but she did sing the thought-provoking track sitting atop her bed.

"I live the dream like I still don't know what it meant/ Who am I? I've lost the thread/ My ego dies at the end," McRae sings in the chorus. Delivering the somber track with just an acoustic guitar, the rising star makes the message of "My Ego Dies At The End" cut like a knife.

"This song is about growing up and losing yourself," McRae explained in a TikTok, in which she performed a clip of the song.

McRae inadvertently jump-started her career in January 2021 thanks to a simple tweet. It was a clever joke about a song she imagined Phoebe Bridgers might write while waiting in line to get vaccinated. After the tweet went viral, McRae decided to bring the song to life as "Immune." The 24-year-old artist followed the buzz with an EP, Who Hurt You?, that June; hardly a year after going viral, she now has a debut album to her name with Are You Happy Now?

Needless to say, after several years of performing at cozy open mics around L.A., studying music at USC, and a childhood in musical theater, Jensen McRae is ready to step into the spotlight with her heartfelt music.

Press play on the video above, close your eyes, and lose yourself in her gorgeous voice and poetic storytelling. Afterwards, make sure to listen to Are You Happy Now?, and return to GRAMMY.com every Thursday for new episodes of Press Play At Home.

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Press Play: Watch Ibrahim Maalouf Spotlight His Improvisatory Powers In Energetic Performance of "Right Time"
Ibrahim Maalouf

Photo courtesy of the Recording Academy

Press Play: Watch Ibrahim Maalouf Spotlight His Improvisatory Powers In Energetic Performance of "Right Time"

Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf showcases his improvisation skills in this instrumental performance of "Right Time," a hip-hop track from his latest album, 'Capacity To Love.'

GRAMMYs/Jan 26, 2023 - 05:35 pm

Since the initiation of his solo career, Lebanese instrumentalist Ibrahim Maalouf has strived to diversify music with his trumpeting.

The musician found his start performing at international jazz and classical competitions. After quickly becoming one of the most decorated trumpeters, Maalouf began his career as a soloist, where he could transcend the bounds of traditional genres. His skillful, unique improvisation caught the attention of artists globally, including Afrobeats singer Angélique Kidjo.

Together, they released Queen of Sheba, which snagged Maalouf his very first GRAMMY nomination in the Best Global Music Album category at the 2023 GRAMMYs and made him the first Lebanese instrumentalist to be nominated in GRAMMY history.

In this episode of Press Play, Maalouf performs an instrumental version of "Right Time," an upbeat hip-hop track on his latest album, Capacity to Love. Accompanied by an electric guitar and saxophone, Maalouf plays the track's melody, originally sung by Erick the Architect from the Flatbush Zombies.

Maalouf then trades off with the saxophonist, as the two musicians deliver an impressive, improvised solo.

Capacity to Love is Maalouf's fifteenth studio album and first self-produced project. The genre-bending release features collaborations with pop singer J.P. Cooper, rapper D Smoke, New Orleans funk band Tank & the Bangas, and more.

Press play on the video above to watch Ibrahim Maalouf's performance of "Right Time," and keep checking back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Press Play.

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Press Play: Ranky Tanky Offer A Powerful Performance Of "Stand By Me" Using Traditional Gullah Techniques
Ranky Tanky's Quiana Parler

Photo: Courtesy of Ranky Tanky

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Press Play: Ranky Tanky Offer A Powerful Performance Of "Stand By Me" Using Traditional Gullah Techniques

South Carolina-based musical ensemble Ranky Tanky provide a glimpse into Gullah musical culture with this live performance of "Stand By Me," which features a call-and-response singing style and body percussion.

GRAMMYs/Jan 19, 2023 - 07:33 pm

As members of the tight-knit Gullah community, jazz-influenced gospel group Ranky Tanky constantly aim to keep the culture alive. Together, five members of Ranky Tanky — Quiana Parler, Quentin E. Baxter, Kevin Hamilton, Clay Ross, and Charlton Single — have made strides in educating people on Gullah, serving as the ethnocultural group's global music ambassador and leading initiatives to teach students about Gullah's history.

The lifelong friends turned bandmates released their sophomore album, Good Time, in 2019, which helped Ranky Tanky snag their very first GRAMMY Award for Best Regional Roots Music Album, marking the first Gullah music recognition in GRAMMY history.

In this episode of Press Play, Ranky Tanky presents "Stand By Me," the opening track from the award-winning album. The musical ensemble utilizes traditional Gullah performance techniques, emphasizing body percussion and call-and-response singing. Vocalist Quiana Parler stands centered at the microphone as a dancer performs a contemporary routine.

Ranky Tanky ended 2022 with their second GRAMMY Award nomination in the Best Regional Roots Music Album category for their live album recorded at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The 13-song LP includes another live rendition of "Stand By Me."

Later this year, Ranky Tanky is expected to release their third studio album and is currently slated to perform a string of shows throughout the United States.

Press play on the video above to watch Ranky Tanky's performance of "Stand By Me," and keep checking back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Press Play.

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Press Play: Tank And The Bangas Deliver A Vulnerable, Sultry Performance Of "Heavy"
Tank and The Bangas

Photo: Courtesy of Tank and The Bangas

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Press Play: Tank And The Bangas Deliver A Vulnerable, Sultry Performance Of "Heavy"

Tank and The Bangas highlight the importance of communication and trust with this intimate performance of "Heavy."

GRAMMYs/Jan 12, 2023 - 06:05 pm

For Tank and The Bangas frontwoman Tarriona "Tank" Ball, honest communication is king. But even if that isn't always easy to practice in her personal life, it always comes through in her group's music — and that's exactly the case with "Heavy."

"Heavy on your love/ Heavy on your trust in me/ Heavy on communication/ Honesty," Tank sings on the track, a B-side from their latest album, Red Balloon. It's an understated, yet powerful statement that characterizes the foundation of any healthy relationship.

In this episode of Press Play, the group shares the importance of an open dialogue with a sultry performance of "Heavy." As Tank stands front and center at the microphone, The Bangas — Joshua Johnson, Norman Spence II, and Albert Allenback — evoke a casual, intimate atmosphere to help put the song's vulnerable message at the forefront.

Red Balloon is Tank and The Bangas' third studio album and serves as a successor to their 2019 release, Green Balloon. The project earned the group their second GRAMMY nomination, as it's up for Best Progressive R&B Album at the 2023 GRAMMYs.

Press play on the video above to watch Tank and The Bangas' performance of "Heavy," and keep checking back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Press Play.

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Press Play On GRAMMY U Mixtape: New Year, It’s Poppin'! Monthly Member Playlist

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Press Play On GRAMMY U Mixtape: New Year, It’s Poppin'! Monthly Member Playlist

The GRAMMY U Mixtape is a monthly, genre-spanning playlist to quench your thirst for new tunes, all from student members. GRAMMY U celebrates new beginnings with fresh pop tunes that will kickstart 2023.

GRAMMYs/Jan 6, 2023 - 12:17 am

Did you know that among all of the students in GRAMMY U, songwriting and performance is one of the most sought after fields of study? We want to create a space to hear what these students are creating today!

The GRAMMY U Mixtape, now available for your listening pleasure, highlights the creations and fresh ideas that students are bringing to this industry directly on the Recording Academy's Spotify and Apple Music pages. Our goal is to celebrate GRAMMY U members, as well as the time and effort they put into making original music — from the songwriting process to the final production of the track.

Each month, we accept submissions and feature 20 to 25 songs that match that month’s theme. This month we're ringing in 2023 with our New Year, It's Poppin'! playlist, which features fresh pop songs that bring new year, new you vibes. Showcasing talented members from our various chapters, we felt these songs represented the positivity and hopefulness that GRAMMY U members embody as they tackle this upcoming year of exciting possibilities.

So, what’s stopping you? Press play on GRAMMY U’s Mixtape and listen now on Spotify below and Apple Music.

Want to be featured on the next playlist? Submit your songs today! We are currently accepting submissions for songs of all genres for consideration for our February playlist. Whether you write pop, rock, hip hop, jazz, or classical, we want to hear from you. Music must be written and/or produced by the student member (an original song) and you must be able to submit a Spotify and/or Apple Music link to the song. Students must be a GRAMMY U member to submit.

About GRAMMY U:

GRAMMY U is a program that connects college students with the industry's brightest and most talented minds and provides those aspiring professionals with the tools and opportunities necessary to start a career in music.     

Throughout each semester, events and special programs touch on all facets of the industry, including the business, technology, and the creative process.

As part of the Recording Academy's mission to ensure the recorded arts remain a thriving part of our shared cultural heritage, GRAMMY U establishes the necessary foundation for music’s next generation to flourish.

Not a member, but want to submit to our playlist? Apply for GRAMMY U Membership here.