Quarantine Diaries: Courtney Marie Andrews Is Painting, Hiking & Making Yogurt Parfaits

Courtney Marie Andrews


Quarantine Diaries: Courtney Marie Andrews Is Painting, Hiking & Making Yogurt Parfaits

As the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the music industry, reached out to a few musicians to see how they were spending their days indoors

GRAMMYs/Jul 20, 2020 - 10:30 pm

As the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the music industry, reached out to a few musicians to see how they were spending their days indoors. Today, singer/songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews shares her Quarantine Diary. Courtney's forthcoming album, Old Flowers, drops on July 24.

July 15, 2020 

[8:30 a.m.] It’s a sunny summer morning in Nashville, Tennessee. I have awoken from an insane apocalyptic dream—asteroids falling, bridges collapsing, the whole affair... So I decide to wash away the strangeness with some yoga. I roll over and make my way downstairs to the floor. On my mat, I search for a new class on YouTube I haven’t taken before. My search leads me to a petite, tough lady with a mighty flow. The zen trance works, and I make it through the whole video this morning, so I consider my nightmare erasure a success. Or maybe it was the Palo Santo? 

[9:30 a.m.] Across the living room and into the kitchen, I put on a pot of coffee. While it’s brewing, I make my habitual yogurt parfait, decorated with homemade granola and berries. Friends often tease me about my obsession with parfaits, sending me funny pictures from around the world when they eat one on tour. They’ll be smitten to know that even in quarantine, I eat a parfait almost every morning. 

[10 a.m.] Once I prepare my breakfast and coffee, I travel to my studio and writing room. Last week, some musicians and I safely got together to film a Tiny Desk concert, so I have to listen to and approve the mixes. I talk to my manager about some upcoming live performances we plan to film. Afterward, I, unfortunately, go down an email rabbit hole (including my 10-minute New York Times briefing, the only news I allow myself to consume these days, for sanity).  

[11 a.m.] After all the behind-the-scenes work, my pen calls to me, and I begin working on some poetry. I’m working on releasing my first collection of poems sometime next year, so I have to dedicate a solid two hours every morning to meet the deadline for my publisher in a couple of months. Writing in the mornings is my forte. Something about the clean slate of morning makes it easier to speak with clarity. I see my neighbor, Debbie, wave through my window as she mows my lawn. She’s the only one on the block with a mower, so I enjoy seeing her pop her head out, unannounced, mowing my lawn... the Southern hospitality is real. 

[1 p.m.] My porch is humming and jingling with the sound of windchimes, which beckon me to water my garden. All of my tomatoes have recently ripened, so I’m going to make sure there aren’t any waiting to be picked. When I arrive at my garden, I find enough tomatoes to last me the whole summer—an entire overall’s worth! So, I make lunch with them, using salt and pepper, and then proceed to finish the poem that I was working on before. 

[2:30 p.m.] After writing, I've decided to take my version of an afternoon siesta, which means painting... 

I’ve picked up painting in quarantine as a wonderful way of passing the time. Right now, I’m finishing up a portrait of my kitchen table. I’m using lots of subject matter around my house for inspiration. On tour, I have always been a journal doodler, so it’s exciting to explore color in the context of my doodles. 

[5 p.m.] It’s time to put on my high top Converse and go for my daily walk. Hiking and walking have both been a massive mental health booster in quarantine. Most days I drive to the park near my house—an expansive, nearly always empty park, with miles of walking trails. I’m so thankful to have trails like this so close to home that are so desolate! On days when I am feeling adventurous, I’ll drive an hour or two out of town and hike in more mountainous areas. Luckily, there’s an abundance of waterfalls in Tennessee to discover, to happily feed the solitude when Mother Nature is involved. She is very healing. Walking is my sacred space and gets my gears turning for song and poem ideas. 

When I arrive, I see the local deer clan braising the fields. Better than T.V., I tell ya. 

[6:30 p.m.] Seeing as I have enough tomatoes to feed the partridge family for a year (only boasting because it was my only fruitful harvest. Turns out I’m a terrible gardener), I decide to make a tomato avocado salad for dinner. Rarely do I eat meat, maybe only once every two weeks as a treat. At the beginning of quarantine, I was attempting and failing to cook like a five-star French chef, but now I’m back to making what is easy, what I know. As an Arizonan born and raised woman, I cook a lot of Mexican food. My new album is coming out next week, so I need all the extra time I can get in for work and creative endeavors. 

Usually, at dinner time, I call or FaceTime a friend or family member. After talking to one of my best friends tonight, we lamented, "imagine the day we don’t talk about our perils involving coronavirus?" With a very sad laugh, we sheepishly continue the COVID conversations. I cannot wait for that day to come, and to perform onstage again.

[8 p.m.] After a busy day at, essentially, the liberal arts college I’ve created, I strum my nylon, in my favorite open tuning, in bed for an hour. Then, I pick up a book I’m currently reading that is breathtaking, "The Lady and the Monk." Tomorrow, I will wake up, and live a different version of today again, and again, until this is some apocalyptic dream I had long ago.

Lights out, sweet dreams. 

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.

Jay-Z And Meek Mill's REFORM Donates Surgical Masks To Vulnerable Prison Population

Meek Mill

Photo: Brian Stukes/Getty Images


Jay-Z And Meek Mill's REFORM Donates Surgical Masks To Vulnerable Prison Population

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says correctional facilities are particularly vulnerable places for COVID-19 to spread

GRAMMYs/Apr 7, 2020 - 05:01 am

Jay-Z and Meek Mill's criminal justice reform organization REFORM has donated roughly 100,000 surgical masks to correctional facilities including in the states of New York, Tennessee and Mississippi.

The organization said it donated 50,000 masks to New York City's Rikers Island Correctional Facility, 40,000 masks to the Tennessee Department of Correction and 5,000 to Mississippi State Penitentiary. Spin reports that an additional 2,500 masks were sent to a Rikers medical facility. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says correctional facilities are particularly vulnerable places for COVID-19 to spread.  

"Incarcerated/detained persons live, work, eat, study, and recreate within congregate environments, heightening the potential for COVID-19 to spread once introduced," according to the CDC. Other vulnerabilities include the fact that incarcerated people, for the most part, can't leave and, depending on the size of the facility, space for someone to medically isolate could be limited.

"We need to protect vulnerable people behind bars & GET THEM OUT!" REFORM said in a tweet. The organization sees this as a threat to public health and said on its website that it is working with experts and advocates "to develop a set of common-sense recommendations that would make us all SAFER."

They also announced on Twitter that they helped the South Carolina Department of Corrections locate 36,000 masks for their population. 

Across the nation, COVID-19 cases have been popping up in correctional facilities, including North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee

'Bitches Brew' At 50: Why Miles Davis' Masterpiece Remains Impactful

Dreamville Festival 2020 Is Officially Canceled Due To COVID-19

J. Cole

Photo: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images


Dreamville Festival 2020 Is Officially Canceled Due To COVID-19

The second annual music festival from J. Cole's Dreamville Records squad and friends was first postponed from April until August, and will now have to wait until 2021

GRAMMYs/May 19, 2020 - 02:27 am

Dreamville Festival has announced they are canceling their 2020 event due to public safety concerns caused by coronavirus. The second annual edition of the one-day music fest, hosted by J. Cole and his talent-filled Dreamville Records, was originally slated to take place on April 6 at Dorothea Dix Park in Raleigh, N.C., but was rescheduled to Aug. 29 after the pandemic struck the U.S.

Like countless other events that were set to take place this year, it will now have to wait until 2021. Dreamville says all 2020 ticket holders will be receive refunds soon.

Selena XXV - Veinticinco Años Tribute Concert Canceled Due To COVID-19

"After much deliberation and careful monitoring of the current situation, we have decided to cancel Dreamville Festival 2020. Although we originally hoped it would be possible to bring you the festival this August, the ongoing uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 pandemic has made this timeline no longer possible. This decision has been extremely difficult to make, but the safety of our fans, artists, and staff is always our top priority, and nothing will ever take precedence over your well-being," the organizers wrote in a statement shared across their social channels and on the fest's website.

The message also shared details on refunds, noting that all tickets purchased online will automatically be refunded to the original payment method, beginning this week. Fans who bought physical tickets from official points of purchase can request a refund here.

"Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this. Please stay safe, healthy, and sane so we can reunite with you in 2021," the statement added.

Watch: J.I.D Talks Lollapalooza Debut, Working With J. Cole & Dreamville, New Music & More

According to Pitchfork, the debut Dreamville fest also faced unforeseen setbacks; it was originally set for Sept. 15, 2018 at Dorothea Dix Park but was pushed to April 6, 2019, due to Hurricane Florence. The 2019 event featured performances from Dreamville head Cole and labelmates J.I.D, BAS and Ari Lennox, as well as SZA, Big Sean, 21 Savage, 6LACK, Rapsody, Nelly and other heavy-hitters in hip-hop and R&B.

No artists have been revealed yet for the second edition of the fest.

The Dreamville squad earned their first two collective GRAMMY nominations at the most recent 62nd GRAMMY Awards; for Best Rap Album for the collaborative Revenge Of The Dreamers III and Best Rap Performance for one of its singles, "Down Bad." Cole earned a total of five nods, including for his work on that project, and took him his first GRAMMY win for his feature on 21 Savage's "A Lot."

Dreamville's Lute Drops New Single And Video, "GED (Gettin Every Dolla)"

Houseparty’s "In The House": Katy Perry, John Legend, Alicia Keys + More

Katy Perry

Photo: Getty Images/Getty Images


Houseparty’s "In The House": Katy Perry, John Legend, Alicia Keys + More

The three-day livestream event taking place this weekend (May 15-17) will allow users to view performances and segments while chatting with friends in realtime

GRAMMYs/May 15, 2020 - 12:46 am

Houseparty, the face-to-face social video app, is bringing a star-studded lineup of performances, workouts and cooking lessons to its users, including appearances by Katy Perry, John Legend, Snoop Dogg, Alicia Keys and more than 40 other celebrities. The event, "In The House," will take place over the course of three days, beginning this weekend on Friday, May 15 and running through Sunday, May 17.

Per Rolling Stone, the event’s programming will see a live performance of Perry’s unreleased track “Daisies,” slated to be released on Friday, May 15, in addition to sets by Legend, Chvrches and others. The program will also feature special cooking lessons on unique recipes provided by Snoop Dogg, 2 Chainz and Zooey Deschanel. Alicia Keys will also host a karaoke session and lead a 30 minute at-home workout. The full lineup and event schedule are available here.

Read More: How To Use Music Techniques To Prepare Healthy Food

The three-day event will allow those who tune in to enjoy free performances from the comfort of their homes, and they’ll be able to chat and interact with friends via the app all in real time. In a statement to Variety discussing the program, Houseparty CEO and co-founder Sima Sistani said “We are bringing back appointment viewing… to capture that feeling of sitting on the couch for that special show with your family or friends on a Friday night.”

Houseparty is available to download for free on iOS and Android devices, as well as online where users can tune in to stream the live event. Each segment will air again 12 hours following its original stream for those who may have missed the original broadcasts.

John Legend Performs “Nothing Compares 2 U”

Apple Music Launches $50 Million COVID-19 Royalty Fund For Indie Labels

Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images


Apple Music Launches $50 Million COVID-19 Royalty Fund For Indie Labels

The streaming giant is looking to create stability via advanced payments for independent labels and artists during times of uncertainty

GRAMMYs/Apr 9, 2020 - 12:18 am

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to propose a ripple effect of financial woes and future questions for artists, musicians and the music industry altogether, Apple Music is taking major strides to offer a semblance of relief.

On Tuesday, the streaming platform officially announced the launch of a $50 million advance royalty fund, set in place to ensure that independent labels and their artists can continue operating and getting paid during this time.

In a letter issued to various independent labels, obtained by Rolling Stone, the streaming giant wrote "These are difficult times for the music industry globally. Livelihoods are at risk, with multiple sources of income that our industry relies on vanishing overnight. Apple has a deep, decades-long history with music, and we are proud to be in close partnership with the best labels and artists in the world. We want to help."

The statement continues, "Today Apple Music is announcing the creation of a $50 million-plus fund available as advances on future royalties to independent labels, to help them pay artists and maintain operations."

According to stipulations, labels with existing distribution deals on the platform who are earning a minimum of $10,000 in Apple Music royalties quarterly are eligible for royalty advances. To receive an advance, labels will need to accept the agreement and be under Apple Music’s latest distribution deal by a May 8, 11:59 p.m. PDT deadline.

In recent events, social distancing and quarantining measures have caused a series of tour and festival cancellations, music release pushbacks and streaming activity has effectively declined. With its new initiative, Apple Music looks to support often overlooked independent artists and labels whose wellbeing doesn’t necessarily depend on the security of major label or industry backing. Advanced royalty payments will help sustain stability for those artists, even while things are rocky.

For more information on how you can directly support musicians and artist communities during the COVID-19 crisis, visit MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund and consider donating here.

Quarantine Diaries: PJ Is Making TikToks, Covering Roddy Ricch's "High Fashion" & Binging "Ozark" On Netflix