Photo: Jack Dytrych
It Goes To 11: Payton Explains How His Favorite Microphone Enhances His Sound
In this installment of It Goes to 11, viral music sensation payton introduces fans to his favorite mic — the Neumann TLM 103 — and shares how he's using it on his next musical project.
After rising to fame in 2020, payton was finally able to splurge on a deluxe piece of equipment. Thus, the pop star found his new favorite microphone: the Neumann TLM 103.
In his episode of It Goes to 11, GRAMMY.com's series spotlighting artists' favorite instruments and equipment, payton explains that he first wanted to purchase the microphone after discovering it during a studio session two years ago. "I used it in a studio I was recording in in North Hollywood, and I just loved the sound," he recalls.
Specifically, he loves the microphone because of the tonal quality it gives his voice. "I don't love a lot of overproduction. I like to keep things super simple," he adds. "It has a really cool proximity range on it, so the closer you are to the mic, the deeper it is."
That's coming in handy in his next batch of music, which he's hoping to start releasing this summer. Listeners will get to hear the mic in action, especially when it comes to the vocal stacks he uses in his music.
"You can get a very thick vocal in the front, and everything else, you can kinda back up a little bit, and just have it all be a little bit thinner. So, super nice for recording stacks, as well," payton explains.
Fans will soon get to know the sound that payton loves so much. Until then, enjoy this episode, and check back for more episodes of It Goes to 11.
Photo: le3ay Studio
It Goes To 11: DPR IAN Unveils The Drumsticks That Inspired His Musical Dreams
Korean artist DPR IAN shares the story behind his Ahead 5A Drumsticks, the nostalgic piece of gear he discovered while watching Joey Jordison's Slipknot performance videos as a teenager.
Korean artist DPR IAN might have abandoned his drumming days, but that doesn't change the fact that it planted the roots for his artistry — which is why he still names his Ahead 5A drumsticks his favorite piece of musical gear.
"I remember my friend showing me a video on YouTube by Slipknot — Joey Jordison," the singer/songwriter, whose birth name is Christian Yu, recounts in the latest episode of It Goes to 11. "That was the first time I got absolutely shook."
Because of his hours of watching the band's videos, he could quickly recognize the tools they used on stage in any instrument shop. After convincing his mom to buy the same drumsticks as Jordison's, Yu drummed everywhere, including his car dashboard, which still has dents today.
Eventually, it was time to perform on the drums live. Having never been in front of an audience, the nerves were so high that he remembers he "blacked out" on stage as soon as the song started playing. "It was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life because I froze."
However, DPR IAN says it taught him a valuable lesson: not to become a drummer. But it also showed him that one negative experience shouldn't ruin his entire perspective on music.
"The greatest success is actually from a failure," he declares. "You have to learn how to be bad [at] things."
Press play on the video above to learn more about DPR IAN's history with the drums, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of It Goes to 11.
It Goes To 11: B.I Shares The Sweet Story Behind His Fan-Gifted Microphone
Korean rapper B.I shows off his favorite instrument, a Shure J5E microphone — not because it's blinged-out, but because it's a symbol of his fans' love.
Most musicians' favorite instruments are ones they seek out — the ones they've dreamed about since childhood, or ones passed down from a family member. But Korean rapper B.I cherishes his most beloved item because it was a token of appreciation from his loyal supporters.
"It was my 24th or 25th birthday," he recalls in the latest episode of It Goes to 11. "At the time, my fans were showing me their love because they wanted me to continue making music, and they gave me this microphone as a birthday present."
Thankfully, the fans made sure to invest in high-quality tech that B.I could enjoy for years to come. It's a Shure J5E, blinged out in cubic crystals.
"Now, it's lost a few crystals since I've used it a lot. It's so shiny and glittery. It catches my eye and my heart," B.I explains. "Since I know it's a good microphone, I like it even more. It's like my fans are saying, 'I want the best things for my singer.'"
When he doesn't perform with the microphone, B.I confesses he feels "insecure." But he's on top of the world when he does use it because of its clear sound, and he can never get enough of the lights shimmering on the crystals: "It makes it stand out more, or it gives off a nice effect."
Press play on the video above to learn the full story of how B.I acquired his treasured Shure J5E microphone, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of It Goes to 11.
Photo: Martha Alvarez Bernal
It Goes To 11: Meet León Leiden's Prized Violin That He's Had Since His 14th Birthday
Mexican musician León Leiden shares the "emotional" story behind his favorite instrument, a 19th century violin, which has become his most reliable safe space.
Every violinist knows the instrument only gets better with age. So, it's safe to say genre-bending Mexican musician León Leiden — who grew up in a family of classical musicians — understands the opulence behind his 19th-century violin.
"I don't think a violin can sound like this one out of the factory," Leiden explains in the latest episode of It Goes to 11. "Wood is a material that requires time to become more flexible. It requires changes in temperature, humidity, and air density to become more versatile. The more time passes by, it'll have a warmer tone."
The violin is even more important to Leiden because his parents, who are professors at a public university in Mexico, had to save their money for it. It's become a symbol of not only their love but also their support for his music career.
"It was very expensive for us, and we didn't know if we would be able to get the violin," he says. "When my birthday came, they were like, 'We did it!' It was very emotional."
Today, the violin has become his solace. "Instead of being a place of risk, it's a place of safety and comfort."
Press play on the video above to learn more about his relationship with his violin, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of It Goes to 11.
Photo: Jody Domingue
It Goes To 11: Black Pumas' Eric Burton Shows Off The Synthesizer That Reminds Him Of His Childhood
Among his extensive instrument collection, Black Pumas singer Eric Burton favors his Roland JU-06A because of its vintage sound and "that sheen that I love."
Psychedelic soul duo Black Pumas have consistently channeled the sounds of the '70s and '80s. So, it makes perfect sense that the group's co-founder, Eric Burton, favors an instrument that can authentically replicate a classic tone: a Roland JU-06A synthesizer.
"I first acquired the Boutique JU-06A in Berlin, Germany, while we were on tour," Burton recounts in the newest episode of It Goes to 11. "Right before soundcheck, I went shopping with our keyboardist, looking for equipment that I could take on the bus and have on the move for inspiration."
And he does, indeed, take it everywhere. It accompanies him to lunch, dinner and even more soundchecks.
"I like how vintage it sounded. I love how toyish it felt. It reminds me of my childhood, almost like a Polaroid picture. It has that sheen I love," Burton says.
Most days, he utilizes the Roland JU-06A to simulate the feeling of other players: "There's a button you can push to hold whatever chord you're playing in place so that once you push it down, it'll go on forever."
You can witness the magic of Burton's synthesizer in person throughout the first half of the year, as the Black Pumas will kick off their 2024 tour on Jan. 18. The trek is in support of their sophomore album, Chronicles of a Diamond, which includes their latest GRAMMY-nominated track, "More Than A Love Song," up for Best Rock Performance at the 2024 GRAMMYs.
Press play on the video above to learn more about the features of Eric Burton's beloved Roland JU-06A synthesizer, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of It Goes to 11.