Photo: Nate Hertweck/Recording Academy
Jessie Reyez Gets Real, Connects The Dots Between Crying & Songwriting
The magnetic young singer/songwriter breaks down her hit "Imported," teases her debut album and reveals the best co-writing secret you'll ever hear
Backstage at Governors Ball, a random fan stops dead in his tracks and, with eyes open wide in shock, struggles to find the words to tell Jessie Reyez he just saw her set, she is incredible and he really felt what she was doing. It's true. And in person, she connects just as honestly and directly as in her music, thanking the new fan just as sincerely as she sings.
We spent a few minutes with Reyez to hear about her latest version of "Imported" featuring 6lack, the ingenious ways she approaches co-writing sessions and what she's got up her sleeve for her full-length debut album.
People are loving "Imported" right now, especially the new version with 6lack. What do you love about that song? Why do you think it's connected with your fans?
I don't know why, to be honest. I don't know why it's connected. I'm happy it's connected. I'd like to think that it's because it's real life. The song is based on real life. I was going through it and I was trying to get over somebody. And it's just funny, too, because I'm also speaking to myself in the song at a point saying, "Be careful because sometimes it's not always the best way to get over somebody, trying to be physical with someone else when your heart isn't ready." Maybe it's because the song caters to both perspectives as well. I'd like to think [it does].
For sure, a great song often has many angles. How did you get connected with 6lack for that collaboration?
Me and 6lack used to actually see each other all the time at festivals. We would just always cross paths and we were friends prior too, and then it just made sense. So our team reached out to him and then made it happen.
What else are you working on right now?
I'm working on my debut album right now. I'm damn near done. I'm just doing the final touches.
Anything you can talk about? I know it's all under wraps until it's not, but how do you feel about this project being your first full-length?
Stressed. I feel stressed about it. But I heard someone talking about it like childbirth, like when you're giving birth and you're like, "This f*ing hurts, this is awful. This sucks." And then you see the child and you're like, "I love you." So I think I'm right before the "I love you" [laughs].
I'm curious what you're listening to right now? sometimes people just disappear into their own thing when their making an album.
I tend to go backwards more than I go forward in music, so I listen to a lot of Otis Redding and Smokey Robinson and Amy Winehouse, and Bob Marley, Tanya Stephens, and Celia Cruz and Carlos Vives. The cool thing about music is you'll never in your life be able to hear every song, whether you're going forward or backward or now. There's just so much, and it's beautiful, so I'm exploring back.
Absolutely, and art is forever, so what you're making now will be around long after we're gone.
Amen. That's the plan, man. Legendary sht. Timeless sht.
Switching gears, the importance of mental health is something that you've opened up about. What is it that you do to make sure you stay healthy mentally?
I meditate. Yoga. Oh my god, if it wasn't for hot yoga, I think I'd be a totally different person. Well, not totally different, I would just be more of my bad side, I guess. You know? Everybody's got their yin and yang, so I feel like meditating helps my brain just take a second to be like, "Relax. It's fine. It's not the end of the world if something goes wrong, and just be more chill." So I meditate and I sit in the grass, and I take off my shoes, and I recharge, and it's lit.
Mental health is so important— Jessie Reyez (@Jessiereyez) May 25, 2019
Everything is clouded without it
It’s like driving a fast car with the windshield painted black
You're a songwriter first, which I love - what's your songwriting process like, especially now that you're a successful artist as well?
Just vibe. It's just kinda vibe. If it's me and my guitar. I just play the guitar and whatever comes out, whatever I'm feeling. And then if it's me and the producer, it's just vibe. It's not really changed, I guess, because it's something that I still do. So for example, if I get pulled into a session and they want me to write for another artist, I'll ask the artist when the last time they cried is. So that I make sure that I'm taking a piece of their truth, so that when they sing their song it's authentic to them. You know? But for myself, it's kind of easy to think of the last time I hurt because it's usually floating right on top of my heart, so I could just grab it and go.
That's beautiful. What's the rest of the year look like for you?
A lot of work. Honestly, I've been in the studio for the last four months. That's so funny. I've been in the studio forever and I just can't wait to drop this music, man. I'm anxious to get this child the fuck out of me.
Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com
Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors
Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it
Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.
McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award.
The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.
"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."
With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.
Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.
Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images
Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show
Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion
There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.
The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.
This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.
"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."
Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.
Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards
Dreamville, Meek Mill, 21 Savage, Tyler, The Creator, and YBN Cordae all earn nominations in the category
The 2020 GRAMMYs are just around the corner, and now the nominations are in for the coveted honor of Best Rap Album. While we'll have to wait until the 62nd GRAMMY Awards air on CBS on Jan. 26 to find out who will win, let's take a look at which albums have been nominated for Best Rap Album.
Revenge of the Dreamers III – Dreamville
Dreamers III, the third installment in the label’s Revenge of the Dreamers compilation series, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and achieved gold status this past July. In addition to a Best Rap Album nod, Dreamers III is also nominated for Best Rap Performance next year for album track “Down Bad,” featuring J.I.D, Bas, J. Cole, EARTHGANG, and Young Nudy.
Championships – Meek Mill
In many ways, Championships represents a literal and metaphorical homecoming for Meek Mill. Released in November 2018, Championships is the Philadelphia rapper’s first artist album following a two-year prison sentence he served after violating his parole in 2017. Championships, naturally, sees Meek tackling social justice issues stemming from his prison experience, including criminal justice reform. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, his second chart-topper following 2015’s Dreams Worth More Than Money, and reached platinum status in June 2019. Meek Mill's 2020 Best Rap Album nod marks his first-ever GRAMMY nomination.
i am > i was – 21 Savage
Breakout rapper and four-time GRAMMY nominee 21 Savage dropped i am > i was, his second solo artist album, at the end of 2018. The guest-heavy album, which features contributions from Post Malone, Childish Gambino, J. Cole, and many others, has since charted around the world, topped the Billboard 200 – a first for the artist – in the beginning of 2019, and achieved gold status in the U.S. As well, nine songs out of the album’s 15 original tracks landed on the Hot 100 chart, including multi-platinum lead single “A Lot,” which is also nominated for Best Rap Song next year. 21 Savage’s 2020 Best Rap Album nomination, which follows Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance nods for his 2017 Post Malone collaboration, "Rockstar,” marks his first solo recognition in the top rap category.
IGOR – Tyler, The Creator
The eccentric Tyler, The Creator kicked off a massive 2019 with his mid-year album, IGOR. Released this past May, IGOR, Tyler’s fifth solo artist album, is his most commercially successful project to date. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking his first time topping the coveted chart, while its lead single, "Earfquake,” peaked at No. 13, his highest entry on the Hot 100. Produced in full by Tyler and featuring guest spots from fellow rap and R&B stars Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, Solange, and Playboi Carti, among many others, IGOR follows the rapper’s 2017 album, Flower Boy, which received the Best Rap Album nod that same year.
The Lost Boy – YBN Cordae
Emerging rapper YBN Cordae, a member of the breakout YBN rap collective, released his debut album, The Lost Boy, to widespread critical acclaim this past July. The 15-track release is stacked with major collaborations with hip-hop heavyweights, including Anderson .Paak, Pusha T, Meek Mill, and others, plus production work from J. Cole and vocals from Quincy Jones. After peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard 200, The Lost Boy now notches two 2020 GRAMMY nominations: Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song for album track “Bad Idea,” featuring Chance the Rapper.
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.