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J.Ivy On The Power Of A Teacher

J.Ivy 

interview

J.Ivy On The Power Of A Teacher

Recording Academy Chicago President J. Ivy shares his personal story about the importance of teachers

GRAMMYs/Mar 26, 2021 - 10:49 pm

Some people know from their earliest years what they’re bound to do for the rest of their lives, while others need to have that unlocked. J. Ivya onetime poetry skeptic, had his passion for spoken word unlocked his junior year of high school with the help of his English teacher Ms. Paula Argue. 

Long before winning a Peabody, a Clio, and an NAACP Image Award—or before contributing to Kanye West’s Grammy-winning College Dropout, giving John Legend his stage name and sharing his poetry with the world in books, on TV, and on record—J. Ivy was a kid in an English classroom assigned to write a poem. 

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“It was my junior year at Rich Central High School in Olympia Fields, Illinoisthe south suburbs of Chicago. I was super shy and didn’t have a lot of confidence in myself,” Ivy recalls. 

Part of the assignment included reading the poem out loud, but a young Ivy, then known as James, wasn’t keen to share his poetry. Yet, Ms. Argue saw such potential in what he’d written that she insisted. “I was interested in hip-hop and not traditional poetry, but I learned you’re not gonna argue with somebody named Ms. Argue!” Ivy laughs.

As an attentive teacher, Argue knew that she needed to do whatever she could to help ignite the spark of talent she had spotted. “When students show promise in assignments, I look for other ways for them to expand on it,” Argue says. In addition to giving Ivy an A grade for his poem “There Once Was a Cloud”, Argue insisted he perform the poem at the talent show she was organizing. Still unconvinced by the premise of poetry, Ivy said he’d be there but ultimately no-showed. The next day, Argue refused to let the poetry spark fade. “She said, ‘This time I'm not asking you, you have to do it,” Ivy recalls being told.

He then spent the next few weeks memorizing a piece that Argue had given him, and when his recitation earned a standing ovation, the die was cast. “My life changed in that instant,” he says.

Argue recalls the pride she felt in that moment, knowing she’d helped him spot something special within himself. “I was just blown away seeing him embrace this voice, this presence that he didn’t even know he had,” she says. “It’s amazing to see what a little touch of encouragement can do.”

Ms. Paula Argue/ Photo: Courtesy of Paula Argue

For Ivy, that love quickly became focused on self-expression, of sharing his innermost thoughts with the world. And as Ivy started performing at every talent show, club show, and performance at the school, Argue encouraged him along the way. After graduating high school and starting college at Illinois State, that passion continued to grow. While the performative aspect of spoken word first caught his attention, Ivy quickly became entranced by writing as well. He started attending more and more open mics and talent shows, now performing his own poetry, and thriving on the response. “I felt an electricity shoot through my body when the audience chuckled at something that made me chuckle when I wrote it [and] when they cried at something that made me cry,” he says. “I fell in love with storytelling, with poetry that I didn’t know existed before Ms. Argue introduced me to it.”

And as the years went by and the accolades and achievements piled up, Ivy made sure to keep in contact with the teacher that made it all possible. “Teachers should be the highest-paid people in the country,” vows Ivy. 

For Argue, nurturing Ivy’s talent was about giving back. After initially thinking she’d like to be an attorney, Argue, having graduated from Rich Central High not all that long before starting to teach there, found herself inspired to share the passion and encouragement that had been shared with her. “I wanted to pay forward what my own teacher, Ms. Evans, had given me,” she says. “She was for me what I hope I have been for James: somebody to encourage me to do my best, to do what I love and do it well.”

Through his countless tour dates, book releases, albums, and more, Ivy has retained a connection to the teacher that helped him find and live in his purpose. And Argue, in turn, has been inspired by their continued friendship. “He’s always kept in contact to let me know what’s going on in his life, and whenever he’s in town we’ll go to lunch or he’ll stop by my classroom,” she says. 

Ivy continues to return to Ms. Argue’s classroom to talk with students about the power of poetry because he understands the depth of potential that teachers can have. “Teachers are the foundation and pillars of who we are,” he says. “There’s so much love and compassion, time and energy that they pour into our students. They change lives, they even save lives. They push people in directions that they don’t even know are possible. That’s why I love Ms. Argue. I want her to know that without her, none of this would be possible.”


For the past 60 years, the Recording Academy’s Chicago Chapter has recognized and celebrated the creative accomplishments of our members across the Midwest, fought for their collective rights, and supported them in times of need. We are proud of our legacies and excited to continue looking ahead. Here's to the next 60.

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Living Legends: Chicago's Robert Lamm On Songwriting and Longevity
Robert Lamm (center front) with Chicago.

Photo:Joshua Helms/ Gallery Films

interview

Living Legends: Chicago's Robert Lamm On Songwriting and Longevity

Following decades of hits and holiday cheer, Robert Lamm discusses Chicago's evolution and their festive new Christmas album featuring Dolly Parton.

GRAMMYs/Dec 18, 2023 - 04:51 pm

As one of the longest-running and biggest selling bands in music history, GRAMMY-winners Chicago have staked a claim as the ultimate “rock band with horns” since their debut album was released over a half-century ago.

Since those early days and throughout a run of instantly-recognizable songs from “25 or 6 to 4” to “You’re the Inspiration” and “If You Leave Me Now” (which won the GRAMMY for Best Pop Vocal Performance By A Duo, Group Or Chorus at the 19th Annual Awards Ceremony), vocalist and songwriter Robert Lamm has remained an unchanging frontman in an ever-changing lineup.

It’s an ongoing legacy that continues this holiday season with their latest album Greatest Christmas Hits which extrapolates Lamm and company’s penchant for recording seasonal tunes accented by their unique sound, a creative kick that began in 1998 with Chicago XXV: The Christmas Album.

Along with holiday hallmarks like “Winter Wonderland,” the new album also features guest artists like Dolly Parton who joins in with the band on the Paul McCartney staple "Wonderful Christmas Time.”

Lamm spoke to GRAMMY.com about their long legacy, songwriting and choosing the right seasonal songs to give their personal spin.

You and the band recently performed on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Would that rank up there as one of the more unique places you've performed?

Well, there was a circus venue in Paris, and it was a very fancy night for some reason. I guess Chicago had made an impression in Paris, so one day they called us to play in a big top [tent] there. It was quite beautiful and strange.

Do unique spaces make performing more fun, or are you 'on guard' because you're out of your element?

Actually, it wasn't upsetting or scary or anything like that. It was curious, but then we got down to business.

I think the tendency is to group all of your songs together. As a result, a chronology is lost on people. They forget that "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is" was the first song you recorded for your debut album. Did that feel like being the first batter of a baseball game scoring a home run?

Well, thank you. Yes, I feel that way. In the early days when we were first recording, a lot of the songs were songs that I had written, and I had no idea what was going to happen with them. We did have a great producer in James William Guercio and most of us had not ever been in a recording studio, so that was the most nervous thing for everybody. It was in a seriously good studio in New York and he had to show us where to stand and what instruments should be put here and there. So it was that kind of thing, all very new.

It was almost like the songs were secondary to figuring out how to do this and record. So thankfully it turned out fine. A number of songs from that first album became popular and for a recent performance, we brought out a lot of songs which were on that first album; we never played most of them for most of our career. We pulled them out to examine them; songs that were very strange rock songs.

When you look back at your peers from the early days, not too many are still touring or recording.

Or still alive.

That must give you a unique perspective on music, success and the industry?

I think we feel mostly very lucky. Obviously 55 years into a career where we really never stopped, the thing that changed was the various people who have come into the band and left for one reason or another. 

That was always something we had to figure out how to do, for someone to come in and be a drummer, bass player or singer even. Being open to learning the repertoire, which obviously throughout every year got larger and larger and larger. That was something we had to learn how to do again. We've done a lot of learning over the years [Laughs].

I know you have lectured at NYU and Stanford University about songwriting. Is there one big lesson you'd give to aspiring songwriters?

Wow, I'm making this up now as we speak, but I think that you have to believe in what you're writing. You have to like it, or love it. I've always tried to not repeat myself ever in writing songs, whether it's the lyrics or the musical structure. 

I have always said, "Don't repeat what you're doing." I've always thought that writing a song is like learning something completely different than I've ever done. Writing the song, I've learned something. It might be a small thing, or it might be a big thing. 

I love writing songs. I didn't know I was going to be a songwriter, I was just a guy in a rock band. For a long time I thought that's what I was. But I'm a songwriter.

So as a songwriter, what are you looking for when you choose to cover a Christmas song? There are millions to choose from, as evidence in your new Greatest Christmas Hits album.

There are millions of bad Christmas songs [Laughs]. I have to like it, the guys in the band have to like it. Like when we did "The Christmas Song," Mel Torme's composition, which is a great song and he's a great musician. But I was living in New York at the time when we had decided to do the first Chrisrtmas album. It's not that we wanted to disguise these songs as something else because these songs are legitimate, popular songs done by many, many people. What we had going for us as a band is that we have a sound. We have a way of arranging things that is us, so the combination of a good song and the arrangement by Chicago, that's the deal.

When it comes to the new Christmas album, the bulk of the songs are remastered. What's the remastering process like for an artist?

As recording technology has blossomed in the digital age, in the beginning it was a little tedious. Between the actual digital equipment on the one hand but also the playback equipment was very different. So the guys who do that for a living are extremely creative and extremely top-drawer. There's a lot of bad recording out there and there always has been.

This Christmas album is one of the only albums you released that isn't numbered. Where did the idea come from to start, and continue numbering?

I have to give credit to our original producer, James William Guercio, who produced probably among the greatest Chicago albums. He suggested, "Let's not get caught up in tricky, phony titles for the albums." So by and large we stayed with the numbering because we want to have people considering collecting the albums, like other collectors of music. We wanted to have it be somewhat more respectable.

What about your inspiration for a song like "Saturday in the Park," which lays out scenes in a park like a little musical? 

We were in New York when I think we were recording our third album. It was summer and those were the days when Central Park was open on the weekends to the public and I think that was a fairly new development in the city. 

Because we were in New York, I always in those days carried around a Beaulieu Super 8 camera just for the hell of it. I shot a lot of footage of what I was seeing and what I was experiencing on that particular day: the park being open like that and people really enjoying the park experience in Manhattan, which is still really great. I was trying to capture that and when I finally got home and looked at the film, I just described what I was looking at to write the lyrics.

What about writing a lyric like "Saturday in the park, I think it was the Fourth of July." Including "I think" adds a deeper layer to it, because you could have just as easily said that it was the Fourth of July.

Well, yeah. And that's because I actually had two consecutive years where I was filming the park. So it was either the Fourth of July, or it may have been the fifth of July the following year. And I also just liked it lyrically, whether it was accurate or not.

Going back to your debut, it was released in 1970. Does it feel like that was a fortuitous time to come onto the scene? If you came out in the mid-60s, maybe it wouldn't have been received at the time because the industry was dealing with the effect of the Beatles. But if you came out in the mid-70s, you would have gotten lost in disco.

Yeah, we would have been lost in the shuffle in the mid-70s and we virtually were by the end of the 70s. We really had to figure out how to survive. We wanted to keep recording, but it was tricky.

Was there a pressure to have a more disco sound?

For a minute, yeah; for as long as disco lasted. We actually came in during the later end of that trend and it was futile. It was awful. We've done other recordings without trying to be disco or thought of as disco. We had done subsequent recordings for subsequent albums that would have qualified but we were past it, and so was everybody else.

Is there a song in your entire discography that you thought should be a bigger hit?

Well, yeah. As the songwriter or the arranger or even the vocalist or instrumentalist of any particular song, there's a lot of them. They're my babies and I'd like people to be introduced to the babies they have never heard before. 

So, is there a song you'd tell people to stream right now?

I can't answer that, there's just too many. I haven't had enough coffee [Laughs.]

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GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016
Kendrick Lamar

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

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GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016

Upon winning the GRAMMY for Best Rap Album for 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' Kendrick Lamar thanked those that helped him get to the stage, and the artists that blazed the trail for him.

GRAMMYs/Oct 13, 2023 - 06:01 pm

Updated Friday Oct. 13, 2023 to include info about Kendrick Lamar's most recent GRAMMY wins, as of the 2023 GRAMMYs.

A GRAMMY veteran these days, Kendrick Lamar has won 17 GRAMMYs and has received 47 GRAMMY nominations overall. A sizable chunk of his trophies came from the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards in 2016, when he walked away with five — including his first-ever win in the Best Rap Album category.

This installment of GRAMMY Rewind turns back the clock to 2016, revisiting Lamar's acceptance speech upon winning Best Rap Album for To Pimp A Butterfly. Though Lamar was alone on stage, he made it clear that he wouldn't be at the top of his game without the help of a broad support system. 

"First off, all glory to God, that's for sure," he said, kicking off a speech that went on to thank his parents, who he described as his "those who gave me the responsibility of knowing, of accepting the good with the bad."

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He also extended his love and gratitude to his fiancée, Whitney Alford, and shouted out his Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates. Lamar specifically praised Top Dawg's CEO, Anthony Tiffith, for finding and developing raw talent that might not otherwise get the chance to pursue their musical dreams.

"We'd never forget that: Taking these kids out of the projects, out of Compton, and putting them right here on this stage, to be the best that they can be," Lamar — a Compton native himself — continued, leading into an impassioned conclusion spotlighting some of the cornerstone rap albums that came before To Pimp a Butterfly.

"Hip-hop. Ice Cube. This is for hip-hop," he said. "This is for Snoop Dogg, Doggystyle. This is for Illmatic, this is for Nas. We will live forever. Believe that."

To Pimp a Butterfly singles "Alright" and "These Walls" earned Lamar three more GRAMMYs that night, the former winning Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song and the latter taking Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (the song features Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat). He also won Best Music Video for the remix of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood." 

Lamar has since won Best Rap Album two more times, taking home the golden gramophone in 2018 for his blockbuster LP DAMN., and in 2023 for his bold fifth album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.

Watch Lamar's full acceptance speech above, and check back at GRAMMY.com every Friday for more GRAMMY Rewind episodes. 

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25 Semifinalists Announced For The 2024 Music Educator Award
Music Educator Award

Photo Courtesy of the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum

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25 Semifinalists Announced For The 2024 Music Educator Award

Twenty-five music teachers, from 25 cities across 17 states, have been announced as semifinalists for the 2024 Music Educator Award, presented by the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum. One ultimate recipient will be honored during GRAMMY Week 2024.

GRAMMYs/Oct 11, 2023 - 01:59 pm

Twenty-five music teachers have today been announced as semifinalists for the Music Educator Award, an annual award, presented by the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum, that supports and celebrates music education and music educators across the U.S. The 25 semifinalists, who hail from 25 cities across 17 states, were selected from a pool of more than 2,000 initial nominations from across all 50 U.S. states. Finalists will be announced in December, and the ultimate recipient of the 2024 Music Educator Award will be recognized during GRAMMY Week 2024, days ahead of the 2024 GRAMMYs.

Nominations for the 2025 Music Educator Award are now open.

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Presented by the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum, the Music Educator Award recognizes current educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the music education field and demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools. The Award is open to current U.S. music teachers. Anyone can nominate a teacher — students, parents, friends, colleagues, community members, school deans, and administrators — while teachers are also able to nominate themselves; nominated teachers are notified and invited to fill out an application.

Each year, the recipient of the Music Educator Award, selected from 10 finalists, receives a $10,000 honorarium and matching grant for their school's music program. The nine additional finalists receive a $1,000 honorarium and matching grants. The remaining 15 semifinalists, among the group announced today, will receive a $500 honorarium with matching school grants.

The Music Educator Award program, including honorariums, is made possible by the generosity and support of the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation. In addition, the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, NAMM Foundation, and National Education Association support this program through outreach to their constituencies.

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The full list of the 2024 Music Educator Award semifinalists is as follows:

Name School City State
Dawn Amthor Wallkill Senior High School Wallkill New York
Jeremy Bartunek Greenbriar School Northbrook Illinois
William Bennett Cane Bay High School Summerville South Carolina
Meg Byrne Pleasant Valley High School Bettendorf Iowa
Ernesta Chicklowski Roosevelt Elementary Tampa Florida
Michael Coelho Ipswich Middle and High School Ipswich Massachusetts
Drew Cowell Belleville East High School Belleville Illinois
Marci DeAmbrose Lincoln Southwest High School Lincoln Nebraska
Antoine  Dolberry P.S. 103x Hector Fontanez  Bronx New York 
Jasmine Fripp KIPP Nashville Collegiate High School Nashville Tennessee
J.D. Frizzell Briarcrest Christian School Eads Tennessee
Amanda Hanzlik E.O. Smith High School Storrs Connecticut
Michael Lapomardo Shrewsbury High School Shrewsbury Massachusetts
Ashleigh McDaniel Spatz Rising Starr Middle School Fayetteville Georgia
Kevin McDonald Wellesley High School Wellesley Massachusetts
Coty Raven Morris Portland State University Portland Oregon
Trevor Nicholas Senn Arts at Nicholas Senn High School Chicago Illinois
Vicki Nichols Grandview Elementary Grandview Texas
Annie Ray Annandale High School  Annandale Virginia
Bethany Robinson Noblesville High School Noblesville Indiana
Danni Schmitt Roland Park Elementary/Middle School Baltimore Maryland
Kevin Schoenbach Oswego High School Oswego Illinois
Matthew Shephard Meridian Early College High School Sanford Michigan
Alice Tsui New Bridges Elementary Brooklyn New York
Tammy Yi Chapman University Orange California

Learn more about the Music Educator Award and apply to the 2025 Music Educator Award program now.

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A Guide To Modern Funk For The Dance Floor: L'Imperatrice, Shiro Schwarz, Franc Moody, Say She She & Moniquea
Franc Moody

Photo: Rachel Kupfer 

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A Guide To Modern Funk For The Dance Floor: L'Imperatrice, Shiro Schwarz, Franc Moody, Say She She & Moniquea

James Brown changed the sound of popular music when he found the power of the one and unleashed the funk with "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag." Today, funk lives on in many forms, including these exciting bands from across the world.

GRAMMYs/Nov 25, 2022 - 04:23 pm

It's rare that a genre can be traced back to a single artist or group, but for funk, that was James Brown. The Godfather of Soul coined the phrase and style of playing known as "on the one," where the first downbeat is emphasized, instead of the typical second and fourth beats in pop, soul and other styles. As David Cheal eloquently explains, playing on the one "left space for phrases and riffs, often syncopated around the beat, creating an intricate, interlocking grid which could go on and on." You know a funky bassline when you hear it; its fat chords beg your body to get up and groove.

Brown's 1965 classic, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," became one of the first funk hits, and has been endlessly sampled and covered over the years, along with his other groovy tracks. Of course, many other funk acts followed in the '60s, and the genre thrived in the '70s and '80s as the disco craze came and went, and the originators of hip-hop and house music created new music from funk and disco's strong, flexible bones built for dancing.

Legendary funk bassist Bootsy Collins learned the power of the one from playing in Brown's band, and brought it to George Clinton, who created P-funk, an expansive, Afrofuturistic, psychedelic exploration of funk with his various bands and projects, including Parliament-Funkadelic. Both Collins and Clinton remain active and funkin', and have offered their timeless grooves to collabs with younger artists, including Kali Uchis, Silk Sonic, and Omar Apollo; and Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, and Thundercat, respectively.

In the 1980s, electro-funk was born when artists like Afrika Bambaataa, Man Parrish, and Egyptian Lover began making futuristic beats with the Roland TR-808 drum machine — often with robotic vocals distorted through a talk box. A key distinguishing factor of electro-funk is a de-emphasis on vocals, with more phrases than choruses and verses. The sound influenced contemporaneous hip-hop, funk and electronica, along with acts around the globe, while current acts like Chromeo, DJ Stingray, and even Egyptian Lover himself keep electro-funk alive and well.

Today, funk lives in many places, with its heavy bass and syncopated grooves finding way into many nooks and crannies of music. There's nu-disco and boogie funk, nodding back to disco bands with soaring vocals and dance floor-designed instrumentation. G-funk continues to influence Los Angeles hip-hop, with innovative artists like Dam-Funk and Channel Tres bringing the funk and G-funk, into electro territory. Funk and disco-centered '70s revival is definitely having a moment, with acts like Ghost Funk Orchestra and Parcels, while its sparkly sprinklings can be heard in pop from Dua Lipa, Doja Cat, and, in full "Soul Train" character, Silk Sonic. There are also acts making dreamy, atmospheric music with a solid dose of funk, such as Khruangbin’s global sonic collage.

There are many bands that play heavily with funk, creating lush grooves designed to get you moving. Read on for a taste of five current modern funk and nu-disco artists making band-led uptempo funk built for the dance floor. Be sure to press play on the Spotify playlist above, and check out GRAMMY.com's playlist on Apple Music, Amazon Music and Pandora.

Say She She

Aptly self-described as "discodelic soul," Brooklyn-based seven-piece Say She She make dreamy, operatic funk, led by singer-songwriters Nya Gazelle Brown, Piya Malik and Sabrina Mileo Cunningham. Their '70s girl group-inspired vocal harmonies echo, sooth and enchant as they cover poignant topics with feminist flair.

While they’ve been active in the New York scene for a few years, they’ve gained wider acclaim for the irresistible music they began releasing this year, including their debut album, Prism. Their 2022 debut single "Forget Me Not" is an ode to ground-breaking New York art collective Guerilla Girls, and "Norma" is their protest anthem in response to the news that Roe vs. Wade could be (and was) overturned. The band name is a nod to funk legend Nile Rodgers, from the "Le freak, c'est chi" exclamation in Chic's legendary tune "Le Freak."

Moniquea

Moniquea's unique voice oozes confidence, yet invites you in to dance with her to the super funky boogie rhythms. The Pasadena, California artist was raised on funk music; her mom was in a cover band that would play classics like Aretha Franklin’s "Get It Right" and Gladys Knight’s "Love Overboard." Moniquea released her first boogie funk track at 20 and, in 2011, met local producer XL Middelton — a bonafide purveyor of funk. She's been a star artist on his MoFunk Records ever since, and they've collabed on countless tracks, channeling West Coast energy with a heavy dose of G-funk, sunny lyrics and upbeat, roller disco-ready rhythms.

Her latest release is an upbeat nod to classic West Coast funk, produced by Middleton, and follows her February 2022 groovy, collab-filled album, On Repeat.

Shiro Schwarz

Shiro Schwarz is a Mexico City-based duo, consisting of Pammela Rojas and Rafael Marfil, who helped establish a modern funk scene in the richly creative Mexican metropolis. On "Electrify" — originally released in 2016 on Fat Beats Records and reissued in 2021 by MoFunk — Shiro Schwarz's vocals playfully contrast each other, floating over an insistent, upbeat bassline and an '80s throwback electro-funk rhythm with synth flourishes.

Their music manages to be both nostalgic and futuristic — and impossible to sit still to. 2021 single "Be Kind" is sweet, mellow and groovy, perfect chic lounge funk. Shiro Schwarz’s latest track, the joyfully nostalgic "Hey DJ," is a collab with funkstress Saucy Lady and U-Key.

L'Impératrice

L'Impératrice (the empress in French) are a six-piece Parisian group serving an infectiously joyful blend of French pop, nu-disco, funk and psychedelia. Flore Benguigui's vocals are light and dreamy, yet commanding of your attention, while lyrics have a feminist touch.

During their energetic live sets, L'Impératrice members Charles de Boisseguin and Hagni Gwon (keys), David Gaugué (bass), Achille Trocellier (guitar), and Tom Daveau (drums) deliver extended instrumental jam sessions to expand and connect their music. Gaugué emphasizes the thick funky bass, and Benguigui jumps around the stage while sounding like an angel. L’Impératrice’s latest album, 2021’s Tako Tsubo, is a sunny, playful French disco journey.

Franc Moody

Franc Moody's bio fittingly describes their music as "a soul funk and cosmic disco sound." The London outfit was birthed by friends Ned Franc and Jon Moody in the early 2010s, when they were living together and throwing parties in North London's warehouse scene. In 2017, the group grew to six members, including singer and multi-instrumentalist Amber-Simone.

Their music feels at home with other electro-pop bands like fellow Londoners Jungle and Aussie act Parcels. While much of it is upbeat and euphoric, Franc Moody also dips into the more chilled, dreamy realm, such as the vibey, sultry title track from their recently released Into the Ether.

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