Photo: Daniel Mendoza/Recording Academy
Parker Millsap On Covering Sly Stone & Why He Loves Living In Nashville | Newport Folk 2019
"When you think of Nashville you think of country music, but it's everything," the singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist told the Recording Academy at Newport Folk Festival
Oklahoma-born roots-rock performer Parker Millsap has been making a name for himself for years now, ever since the release of his debut album, Palisade, in 2012.
Still riding the wave of his third record, 2018's Other Arrangements, Millsap stopped by Newport Folk Festival 2019 to play a set, which included an electrifying cover of Sly Stone's "Everyday People."
"Amazon actually approached us to do the series they have called 'Amazon Originals' where they have people do cover songs," Millsap told the Recording Academy about the cover's origins "I really wanted to do a Sly Stone song 'cause I listen to a ton of Sly Stone. 'Everyday People' seemed like one I could get away with that people also knew, that everybody can sing along to. We hadn't played it live until we recorded it. And afterwards we were like, we should start playing this live. And people love it!"
The multi-instrumentalist also went deep on why he loves living in The Music City of Nashville, noting how genre-diverse its residents really are. (I.e., Nashville isn't just about country music.)
"I didn't realize how many musicians live in Nashville till I got there," he says. "When you think of Nashville you think of country music, but it's everything, man. Like, last night I met four people who live within a mile of me, and they're all musicians. I didn't realize the density of really talented and creative people [in Nashville]... That's my favorite thing about Nashville—the country people, the rock people, the metal people, the jazz people, the bluegrass cats, we all know the same people. We all have the same friends. It makes the world feel smaller."
Quarantine Diaries: Teenear Is Reading, Doing Cardio & Making Acai Bowls
As the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the music industry, GRAMMY.com reached out to a few musicians to see how they were spending their days indoors
As the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the music industry, GRAMMY.com reached out to a few musicians to see how they were spending their days indoors. Today, Miami-based pop/R&B upstart Teenear shares her Quarantine Diary. Teenear's latest single "Free" is available to hear now.
[6:30 a.m.] First thing that I do when I wake up is brush my teeth so I can get to the gym on time without my trainer yelling at me!
[9:00 a.m.] As soon as I get back home, I hop on the treadmill to get my cardio out of the way. I've really been trying to make sure I stay active during this time of having to be stuck in the house!
[12:00 p.m.] By this time, I'm hopping out of the shower, my adrenaline has finally gone down, and I'm able to make myself and Acai bowl and write in my journal. I also take this time to hit up my team and figure out what I have to get done for the day.
[2:00 p.m.] I start reading the books that I read daily. One of the books I started reading recently is The 365 Bible, which gives you specific versus on each day, and it reads in chronological order of how all the stories actually went. Another book I’m into is The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. This is one amazing book and I’m so happy my mom blessed me with this read! The last book I’m reading right now is A Singer's Compass that is actually written by my vocal coach Cassandra Claude.
[4:00 p.m.] I’m getting dressed to go outside and shoot some content. Creating content from home has definitely become a huge daily task but I'm grateful for it because now I’m able to find new ways to be creative and showcase my personality to my fans.
[7:00 p.m.] I try to take this time meditate. Throughout this whole pandemic I’ve been trying to get into new things and meditation has played a big role in me figuring out a little bit more about myself and my surroundings. No, I’m not a yoga person yet! I have tried countless classes and it's not for me just yet, but one day I’ll get into it!
[9:00 p.m.] Usually around this time, if I’m not sitting in a corner somewhere in the house singing, I’m most likely in my bathroom trying a new beauty product I just ordered online. The ads have gotten a little too good during this quarantine!
If you wish to support our efforts to assist music professionals in need, learn more about the Recording Academy's and MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.
If you are a member of the music industry in need of assistance, visit the MusiCares website.
Photo: Daniel Mendoza/Recording Academy
Adia Victoria On Making 'Silences' & The Pain & Love Behind "Different Kind Of Love"
We sat down with the Nashville-based singer/songwriter backstage at Newport Folk to dig into her highly acclaimed sophomore LP and find out how art can imitate heartache
An artist's job is to speak her truth. That's exactly what Adia Victoria does on Silences, the stunning follow-up to her 2016 full-length debut Beyond The Bloodhouds.
"The time that I spent writing and recording this album was the time that I felt the greatest monumental shift in my life after the first record, and you're no longer just a private person You've got a career," Victoria said. "And so there's a lot of internal changes that happen, and for me, I felt like one of the greatest [changes] was I lost my connection with myself. I didn't trust my internal voice. I was so worried about what other people would think, and so for me, this album represents my determination to speak the unspeakable, to push past the doubts and the anxiety of being out in the public and learning to speak my truth again."
The standout track "Different Kind Of Love" which she wrote while she was, "grappling with being dumped, to put it plainly," give a glimpse into her delicate darkness. According to Victoria, the big questions this album and this song ask are as much about an internal struggle than a relationship on the surface.
"At the end of the song, when I'm asking, 'between the end of the world/what will it be/who do you love,' I'm actually asking myself There's nothing like a little heartache to inspire some incredible art," she said with a self-depricating laugh.
Photo: Daniel Mendoza/Recording Academy
Exclusive: Passenger On Performing At Newport Folk & 'Runaway'
The British singer/songwriter provides his unique perspective on the iconic festival and talks about his upcoming American-themed album
Michael Rosenberg — aka Passenger — may have caught your attention back in 2012 with his hit single "Let Her Go," which showcased his clean vocals and folk aesthetic, which landed on the 2012 album, All The Little Lights. Passenger has released four albums since then, and he's getting ready with another.
With one parent from England and one from the U.S., he brings a unique perspective to performing at Newport Folk Festival. We sat down with the singer/songwriter to talk about his experience at the festival and his upcoming album, Runaway.
Photo: Daniel Mendoza/Recording Academy
Exclusive: Margo Price On 'All American Made,' Women's Rights & More
The dynamic singer/songwriter shares insights on her sophomore album, supportive record label, plans for what's next, and more backstage at Newport Folk Festival
After a debut album as celebrated as 2016's Midwest Farmer's Daughter, no one would have blamed Margo Price for resting on her laurels. But the singer/songwriter did anything but, and the follow-up, 2017's All American Made, arrived like an arrow out of the sky, filled with bold statement songs about everything from the current political climate to women's rights and more. She may have delivered her gospel via traditional country music, but she didn't let a single genre fence in her fierce messages.
To learn more, we connected with Price backstage at Newport Folk Festival to discuss her sophomore album, the story behind "A Little Pain," her relationship with Jack White's Third Man Records, and more.
Coming out of the incredible success of Midwest Farmer's Daughter, how did the bold direction for All American Made take shape?
Prior to making Midwest Farmer's Daughter I had been playing with bands and writing songs for 13 years. I never have really been wrapped into one genre the way that I think people identified me with country music when that album came out. But really, with All American Made, I wanted to be able to go back to writing in any style that I wanted. If I felt like something should have more of a soul groove to it, like "A Little Pain," we just did that. Or if I wanted to write a seven-verse folk song about the decline of our country, [I] also felt free to do that. There's always a stigma when anybody writes something that is political. For some reason, when it's a woman saying it, it can intimidate people so I was a little nervous of the reception and what folks would think. But I think that because of the state that our country's in right now it really resonated with a lot of folks.
Do you remember writing "A Little Pain"? Where did that song come from?
It was before we started traveling in a tour bus and we were just on the road in a van and sprinters and pulling a trailer. I was in the very backseat, been laying down and sleeping because it's hard to get rest when you're waking up really early and driving. So I just wrote it down and it was one of those things that came out [in] 20 minutes or less. I wrote it and I knew in my head what the melody was. When we got to the venue, I picked up the guitar and I put the two together. When I first wrote it, it was in a waltz tempo. It was like the Johnny Cash song "Busted." Then it just developed with the band into a thing where I put down my guitar and just sing it and enjoy that.
How about "Weakness"?
It started out as a poem, actually. I was feeling very bipolar one day, as one will, and I just had a whole list. ... Sometimes I'm Virginia Wolfe, sometimes I'm James Dean. It just kept going like that and my husband was going through my notebook and he found it and he was like, "There's a lot of really great bits in here." So he took those things and then he started writing it and then we finished it together. It's about the two sides to every human. It's the side that you show the world and then the side that maybe only your family knows or maybe only you know. There's darkness there.
Yes, it's empowering for a lot of people when they hear it — and humanizing.
I'm not perfect. I certainly have emotions that fly off the handle, but that's why we're here — to feel things, love and pain and everything else.
Absolutely. Coming out of the time in you career where you were writing in all those different styles, why was Third Man Records the right fit for you?
The amazing thing about Third Man is that they have let me be myself. They haven't tried to change me in any way. They're completely open to my ideas and ... prior to signing with them I had met with a couple major labels and I'd talked with some other indie labels and everybody wanted to change the record and change who I was, really. So it was refreshing to go to work with them and they're just like, "Anything you want. We back you up."
Nice. What are you working on now? What's next for you?
I'm gonna start recording my third full-length record this fall/winter. Already been talking to a producer, but I'm not telling anybody who, what or where. But it's gonna be a change of direction from the country world and I'm looking forward to it.
Last question: Bob Dylan went "electric" here at Newport 53 years ago now. What do you think fans will remember about this time period now in 50 years or so?
When I was onstage I touched for just a moment about women's rights and being able to let women headline a festival, having the equal playing field that men have. That, for me, is really important. That's why I wrote "Pay Gap," and I would like things to be fair and even. We thought we had that moment in the '60s and '70s — everyone was burning bras. At least we got women out of the kitchen, out of the household, working jobs, but there's still a lot of work to be done and I want to help.