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Quarantine Diaries: Lindgren And Melanie Fontana Are Hosting An Open House, Cooking Blue Apron & Watching "Cake Wars"

Lindgren and Melanie 

Photo courtesy of Lindgren and Melanie Fontana

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Quarantine Diaries: Lindgren And Melanie Fontana Are Hosting An Open House, Cooking Blue Apron & Watching "Cake Wars"

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

GRAMMYs/May 19, 2020 - 09:55 pm

As the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the music industry, the Recording Academy reached out to a few musicians to see how they were spending their days indoors. Today, songwriter/producer Lindgren and his wife, singer/songwriter Melanie Fontana—who collectively have worked with names like BTS, Dua Lipa, Britney Spears, Halsey and more—share their joint Quarantine Diary.

Friday, May 15

[9:32 a.m.]

Lindgren: I get rudely awakened by a hungry cat trying to scratch her way through my bedroom door. Melanie gets up to feed the little monster, so obviously I go back to sleep. I am no use to the world at this ungodly hour. 

Melanie: Hello! I’m up! Throughout these quarantine times, my body has been truly terrible at sleeping. 9:30 a.m. is pretty much the latest my brain will let me go, even if I go to bed at 4 a.m. (which is what I did last night). My cat Vanderbilt is scratching like crazy at our bedroom door. Time to open the can and start the fish factory for her. I get myself a fresh, steamy cup of coffee from our Jura coffee maker. I peek out the back door window to see if it’s sunny; it is! I let Vandy out. She starts pouncing on invisible predators as I sit in the morning’s breezy silence of our backyard.

[11:22 a.m.]

Lindgren: This time the awakening is sweet. I being served fresh coffee with oat milk by my lovely wife who hands me my phone and kisses my forehead. The cat is now snuggly and ready for a nap in my lap while I slowly boot up my brain that apparently still runs on Microsoft Windows 98; slow to start but then very steady and reliable. I check my emails, delete the spam and respond to the ones from the home country (Germany) as they are already on their way home from their offices. Next up is iMessage. (God, I hate group chats.) A looming red double digit number lets me know that I’m fashionably late to a morning plotting party with our manager, Justin Garza. Once I’m all caught up on the ‘DREAMTEAM’ chat group I begrudgingly get out of bed at 11:50 (nobody should have to live like this).

Melanie: I leave my laziness on a poolside lounger to head back inside the house make a fresh cup of coffee for Lindgren. I use my pointer knuckle to gently tap on the bedroom door and I pad barefoot into our still shadowy room to deliver Lin his (late) morning brain fuel. I want bagels. Bad. We have some in the freezer, for sure. 

[1:07 p.m.]

Lindgren: After a second coffee and a pastrami bagel, I finally feel human. Humans go to work, right? But there’s nothing to do just yet... other than... Oh yeah, we’re showing the apartment today! Over the last two weeks we’ve been renovating our newly aquired rental property in Hollywood and today a potential tenant wants to see it. Am I done with everything? Of course not. So I pack my tools, glove and mask up and get in the car. 

Time to "car test" the songs from this week. I’ve been missing this ritual throughout this time of adjusting to this new normal. We play the songs we wrote and produced, judge the writing, arrangement and mix on the car’s Bose system and sing along. "Pull uuuuup!" yells my wife. 

Melanie: Crap. I’m late! I’m supposed to be doing an "account takeover" of my manager’s company’s Instagram account, The Dream Adopters. Wish I was doing something a bit more musical today to show his followers, but eh, guess that’s life! Actually, today is a pretty cool day for some songs we already wrote and produced. We have a double release day! Bonnie x Clyde are releasing a REALLY unique song we worked on called "Atypical." At 9 a.m. Jessica Andrea will be putting out her long-awaiting single "Love Like This," a tune Lindgren, Jess and I poured our hearts into!

We are now at our investment property in Hollywood to give a quick "6-foot-masked-tour" to some potential tenants. I am currently and magically juggling ripping down old light fixtures, answering questions on my takeover, vacuuming and then eventually heading down to the lobby to let in our interested party. Please, lord, don’t try to talk us down in rent price. This place is f**king adorable and it's fully furnished with the comfiest and cutest furniture. Honestly, anyone would be lucky to wake up to these breathtaking Runyon Canyon/Downtown views. Someone stop me from renting out my own house so I can live here (like the city kid I am at heart!).

[2:59 p.m.]

Lindgren: Phew, just in time the new clock is hung, the bedroom barn door finally level (my poor German OCD had been tingling since the day I put it up crooked) and all the dust is swept up. Time for the Open House. 

[4:37 p.m.]

Lindgren: Jessica Andrea texts "Come Outside." We step outside to find our masked friend on the front lawn and an ice cold six pack of Mango White Claw on the porch. Time to celebrate the upcoming release of "Love Like This," a song the three of us wrote for her project. It’s gorgeous. I hope it does well. Six feet apart and fully masked, we chat about potential promo moves and boys. Ain’t no hang with Jess without boy talk. ;-)

Melanie: Back home from Hollywood and JESSICA ANDREA IS A QUEEN. She just stopped over to drop off a $100 The Palm Coffee Bar gift card as well as a box of mango White Claws. Now that’s how we like to celebrate release days, baby! Jess, Lindgren and I sit six feet apart on my front lawn to talk a bit of "release strategy" in regards to "Love Like This" coming out in like... four hours. The song is really dreamy. It’s a pop experience. I hope it does as well as I think it will! Masks on, we continue to chat about how quarantine can be such a bummer for artists, who can no longer just head out there and do live performance promo for the foreseeable future. We speculate for a while over how it’s going to be even in the near future. Who friggin knows.

[6:48 p.m.]

Lindgren: Time to be the music power couple for a bit. So we make some Daily Harvest smoothies and head into our respective studios to finish up some work. Melanie works on a track from our friends Daytrip and I go over notes from the band Public on a song we’ve been fine-tuning. With this magnifiscent weather outside it’s hard not to leave the studio patio door open and give the good people of Burbank a free concert. But I must resist the urge. 

Melanie: Lindgren heads into our A Room studio to wrap up editing vocals on a song he’s been feverishly poring over these last few days with the band Public (signed to Island) and I head into the B Room studio to melodyne vocals on an unfinished song I started working on with Daytrip last week. They always send me such unrivaled, inspiring tracks, I have to make sure what I send back to them is up to par. I love this song. It’s called "Blame Me."

[8:30 p.m.]

Lindgren: It’s been a couple minutes since Daytrip’s 808 bass made the wall between our studios shake. That can only mean one of two things: Melanie is either petting Vanderbilt or has started cooking. Damn, I’m hungry. Blue Apron’s orange glazed meat Chinese balls are on the menu. 

Melanie: Lindgren and I live for our Blue Apron meal cooking kits. Tonight, orange glazed meatballs is on the menu. Holy crap. Sandiest head of bok choy I have ever seen. Washing this thing for at least two minutes before I can even think of prepping it. Other than writing songs and home-renovation/interior design, cooking is my third passion. As I’m thin-slicing three large freshly washed carrots, I start to miss the cooking classes that Lindgren had got me for Christmas a couple years ago. Those were fun. We should do that again! On a serious note, I always dream of owning a small, very well decorated café that serves small plates, coffee, wine and beer. Goals, am I right?! 

[9:52 p.m.]

Melanie: We crash Jess Andrea’s Instagram live. There were talks of Shia Lebouf and new songs on the way.

[10:50 p.m.] 

Lindgren: Time for a quiet walk through the neighborhood. Wow, I don’t even need a sweater tonight. Nice job, California. Oops, how did we make it all the way down to Whole Foods on Olive? Shall we turn around? "I miss Vanderbilt," says Melanie. Homeward then!

Melanie: Taking long, late-night walks is a newfound happy addition to our life. Somehow, floating atop a lively conversation about real estate and industry politics, we walk all the way to Whole Foods on Olive Ave. How the hell did we get all the way over here???

[11:57 p.m.]

Melanie: Laying on our massively oversized, gray tweed couch. This thing could tame a wild boar, I’m convinced. Time for reruns of "Cake Wars"! Sometimes you just have to watch something silly to stop the gears in your brain from turning so rapidly. I have to put my phone down now, because if I look at this screen for too long, I’ll be up wired till 6 a.m.! Goodnight, you weird and beautiful world. 

[1:30 a.m.]

Lindgren: After "Penny Dreadful" and a couple "Cake Wars" reruns, Melanie and Vanderbilt—my cats, as I endearingly call them—have succumbed to the sleep-inducing gravity of our couch. Time to switch over to "The West Wing."

[3:45 a.m.]

Lindgren: The edible is hitting like a truck. What did Josh say? What did CJ do? I can’t follow anymore. I wake Melanie up with a kiss on the forehead and whisper "bedtime."

"Good night, Veebee," she says to the snoring ball of cuteness. 

All photos courtesy of Lindgren And Melanie Fontana

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.

Quarantine Diaries: ARI Is Cuddling With Her Cat, Making Her Own Tea & Preparing For Her Debut 'IDIOT GRL' EP Release

ARI

Photo: Nicole Davis

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Quarantine Diaries: ARI Is Cuddling With Her Cat, Making Her Own Tea & Preparing For Her Debut 'IDIOT GRL' EP Release

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

GRAMMYs/Aug 12, 2020 - 02:59 am

As the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the music industry, the Recording Academy reached out to a few musicians to see how they were spending their days indoors. Today, rising singer/songwriter ARI shares her quarantine diary. ARI's debut IDIOT GRL EP is out Aug. 14.

[9:40 a.m.] A late start to the day. I just woke up to my cat Malakai licking my face and snuggling under my chin, desperate for cuddles. I reluctantly gave in before diving into my morning routine, which starts by going through all of the daily news on my Snapchat feed to see what’s going on in the world.

[11 a.m.] Just out of the shower and into the kitchen for the usual: tea and avocado toast. I don’t typically like tea or coffee, but I had this amazing tea from Starbucks once and fell in love with it. I ended up finding the recipe and making it myself, and to be honest, I like my version better. Once I boil the kettle, I start part two of my morning “meditation”: watching one of my favourite shows while I respond to emails. With the IDIOT GRL EP coming out next week, I can tell you there are a TON of emails. I turned on "Gilmore Girls" (my guilty pleasure) and opened up my laptop to go through my calendar.

[1:45 p.m.] Recording session time. Zoom calls have become my everyday life. It’s crazy to think that this time last year, you could actually be in a room with people. Now the most social interaction I get is virtually. On the positive side, I get to set up my little home studio from the comfort of my own bed and I find the sessions to be really productive with no outside distractions.

[3:30 p.m.] Malakai is meowing at my door. As I try to sing over him, eventually I can’t ignore his cute little voice. We take a quick break and I have a little playtime with him. I can hear my song playing in the living room—it still weirds me out hearing myself. My guess is my roommate aka my manager is sending off final approval for the “IDIOT GRL” music video, which comes out the same day as the EP. Super excited for everyone to finally see it!

[6:00 p.m.] Time for dinner. It may just be my favourite part of the day. During my session, my roommate cooked us some delicious pasta. We eat dinner together every night, which is really nice. Usually, after dinner, we wind down and watch TV, but we decided to try doing an arts and crafts project tonight. I watched this TikTok video of a DIY way to make music plaques. You take a screenshot of a song on Spotify and use a marker to trace out the name of the song, artist, play button, etc. Once that’s done, you simply add the album artwork of your choice, frame it, and voila! I thought it would be a cool idea to make a wall of each of the songs off of my EP.

[9:00 p.m.] After an eventful day, I decided to go watch a drive-in Maple Leafs game (wearing a mask, of course). My sister works for the TSN network and started hosting drive-in game nights to promote the network and social distancing events. I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest hockey fan, but I’ll never pass up an opportunity to spend time with my family.

[11:30 p.m.] I finally get home and hop straight into bed. I feel like I haven’t spent much time on Instagram today, so figured I’d open it up before getting some shuteye. I launched the pre-save link for the EP today and told my followers that I would DM anyone who pre-saved it and sent me a screenshot. I always love getting to interact with my fans and I can’t tell you how grateful I am to see how excited people are for my debut EP. It’s a great feeling to end the day with.

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Quarantine Diaries: Tedy Is Watching Anime, Walking Around Toronto & Releasing New EP ' Boys Don’t Cry'

Tedy 

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Quarantine Diaries: Tedy Is Watching Anime, Walking Around Toronto & Releasing New EP ' Boys Don’t Cry'

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

GRAMMYs/Sep 17, 2020 - 04:47 am

As the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the music industry, the Recording Academy reached out to a few musicians to see how they were spending their days indoors. Today, alternative soul pop singer Tedy shares his Quarantine Diary for Sept. 10. Tedy's Boys Don’t Cry EP is out now

[6 p.m.] Good Morning! This is me just after waking up, getting ready to start my day because a proper sleep schedule has left the chat...about to go on my daily walk before I head to the studio to work on some new music the day before my Boys Don’t Cry EP drops.

[7 p.m.] The scenery on my walk was unreal today. It literally looks like a painting! This is the Mimico Creek Bridgewest of Downtown Toronto. I really love the way the moon reflects on the water and just the overall vibe. Hope I can carry this with me into the studio later! I swear this picture isn't edited.

[8 p.m.] So begins another late night distanced writing session. Toronto is in Phase 3 of reopening with most businesses and services back open. I’m so glad that I can record in person again but of course making sure to take all proper safety precautions.

[10 p.m.] Listening to my new super awesome songs that will be coming out after the Boys Don't Cry EP! But you can’t hear the new stuff yet muhahhaha! I’m so excited, only 2 hours left before the EPcomes out!! I genuinely feel so good to finally share all of these songs that I have been living with for 2 years now with you all.

[12:30 a.m.] MY EP IS OUTTTTTT!!!! I had so many extreme emotions to let go of and share with words & music. Hopefully, the songs can help heal people! This is so scary, but at the same time, I feel light and free that everyone can experience these feelings with me.

[3 a.m.] Still going strong in the studio. I’m exhausted but also energized. I think I’llt ake a nap on that couch.

[6 a.m.] Another late/early(?) Uber back home. Mentally exhausted but Sza's "Prom" is blasting in my ears. Love her. Have also been listening to: Kid Laroi–"Maybe" Halsey–"Be Kind,"  Dominic Fike–"Double Negative" and Isaac Dunbar–"Make Up Drawer." Love diving into new styles of music and understanding myself more through it.

[7 a.m.] Back home. Couldn’t fall asleep, went out on my balcony, staying up to look at the view each morning is a must!

 

 [8 a.m.] Still can’t sleep! I love to playing League of Legends on my downtime and watch Anime.This series“ The God of High School” it’s about Jin Mori, a high schoolmartial artist, he is invited by a mysterious organization to compete inThe God of High School Tournament. Jin Mori is told that if he wins, any wish he makes will be granted...I love the incredible animation and the amazing soundtrack.

[10 a.m.] Me still not sleeping because sleep is for the weak and I have interviews to do. If I go to bed I won't wake up, hah!

[1 p.m.] That’s it for today. I can’t wait for you guys to hear & love the EP fully!! This has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Love you all and thank you for the support. 

Quarantine Diaries: Caylee Hammack Is Making Espresso, Gardening & Promoting Her New Album, 'If It Wasn't For You

Quarantine Diaries: Joan As Police Woman Is Bike Riding, Book Reading & Strumming D'Angelo

Joan as Police Woman

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Quarantine Diaries: Joan As Police Woman Is Bike Riding, Book Reading & Strumming D'Angelo

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

GRAMMYs/Apr 7, 2020 - 07:21 pm

As the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the music industry, the Recording Academy reached out to a few musicians to see how they were spending their days indoors. Today, singer/songwriter Joan Wasser of Joan as Police Woman, whose forthcoming covers album, COVER TWO, includes tracks by The Strokes, Prince, Talk Talk, and more, shares her Quarantine Diary.

Thursday, April 2

[10 a.m.-12 p.m.] Went to bed at 4 a.m. last night after getting drawn into working on a song. Put on the kettle to make hot coffee while enjoying an iced coffee I made the day before. Double coffee is my jam. Read the news, which does not do much for my mood. Catch up with a few friends, which does a lot of good for my mood. Glad it goes in this order.

[12 p.m.-2 p.m.] Make steel cut oats with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, fresh ginger, fresh turmeric, a sprinkling of cinnamon and cardamom, and of course, coconut butter to melt on top. If you’re not into coconut butter (sometimes marketed as coconut "manna"), I’d suggest just going for it and getting it (or ordering it) and putting it on your sweet potatoes, your oats, anywhere you’d put butter. I’m not vegan but I do enjoy hearing the tiny scream uttered by a strawberry as I cut into it. 

Contemplate some yoga. Contamplate meditating. Do neither. Resume work on the song I want to finish and send today. I have a home studio and I spend a lot of my time working on music here. The song is a collboration sent to me from Rodrigo D’Erasmo in Milano that will benefit the folks who work behind the scenes in the music touring system in Italy. 

[2 p.m.-4 p.m.] I traded in a guitar for a baritone guitar right before all this craziness hit but hadn’t had the time to get it out until now. I put on some D’Angelo, plugged into my amp and played along as if I were in his band. Micahel Archer, If you’re reading this, I hope you are safe and sound and thank you immensely for all the music you've given us always. 

[4 p.m.-6 p.m.] Bike repair shops have been deemed "necessary," thank goodness, because biking is the primary way I get around and I need a small repair. I hit up my neighborhood shop and they get my bike in and out in 10 minutes, enough time to feel the sun for a moment. 

I ride fast and hard down to the water's edge and take in a view of the East River from Brooklyn. There are a few people out getting their de-stress walks but it is mostly deserted on the usually packed streets.

[6 p.m.-8 p.m.] Practice Bach piano invention no. 4 in Dm very, very, very slowly. I never studied piano but I’m trying to hone some skills. Realize I’m ravenous. Eat chicken stew with wild mushrooms I made in the slow cooker yesterday. It’s always better the second day.

[8 p.m.-10 p.m.] Get on a zoom chat with a bunch of women friends on both coasts. We basically shoot the sh*t and make each other laugh. 

Afterwards I still feel like I ate a school bus so I give into yoga. I feel great afterwards. This photo proves I have a foot. 

[10 p.m.-12 a.m.] Record a podcast for Stereo Embers in anticipation of my new release on May 1, a second record of covers, inventively named COVER TWO. Continue to work on music (it’s a theme).

[12 a.m.-2 p.m.] Tell myself I should think about bed. Ignore myself and confinue to work on music. 

[2 a.m.-4 a.m.] Force myself into bed where I have many books to choose from. This is what I’m reading presently, depending on my mood. Finally I listen to Nick Hakim’s new song, "Qadir," and am taken by its beauty and grace. Good night. 

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

Quarantine Diaries: L.A. Pop Luminary Katelyn Tarver On Quarantining With Siblings, IN-N-OUT Burger & White Wine

Katelyn Tarver

Photo courtesy of Katelyn Tarver

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Quarantine Diaries: L.A. Pop Luminary Katelyn Tarver On Quarantining With Siblings, IN-N-OUT Burger & White Wine

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

GRAMMYs/Mar 24, 2020 - 09:49 pm

As the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the music industry, the Recording Academy reached out to a few musicians to see how they were spending their days indoors. Today, L.A. indie-pop performer/actress Katelyn Tarver, who many might recognize as Jo Taylor on Nickelodeon's "Big Time Rush," Natalie ABC's "No Ordinary Family" and Mercedes on ABC Family's "The Secret Life of the American Teenager," shares her Quarantine Diary.

Friday, March 20

8 a.m.–10 a.m.: Normally I wake up around 8:30 a.m. every day, but this quarantine has me SLEEPING IN. So this block of time I was…. asleep. 

10 a.m.–12 p.m.: Finally drag myself out of bed and make some coffee and food. My sister and brother live in town and are both hanging at my place. We decided to all quarantine together, because without each other, we will lose our minds. Some call it unhealthy co-dependence, we just call it normal sibling relationship! 

12 p.m.–1 p.m.: My sister and I decided to do a workout. Our friend Sam is a fitness instructor and thankfully, has decided to lead workout classes over Instagram live for the time being. Honestly, I might end up working out more during this quarantine than I do in my normal life, but still to be seen… (probably not). 

1 p.m.–4 p.m.: Feeling pretty accomplished after that workout. That’s the thing with quarantine. Literally doing anything besides sitting on the couch feels like a massive feat. I decide that I’m going to do an instagram live at 4 p.m. to announce my new single. Before then I need to make some food, and I all the sudden have a craving for a chicken quesadilla? You don’t question things during this time, you just move forward. I cooked a quesadilla and as usual, it took me longer than expected, so now it’s like 3:30 and I gotta figure out where I’m doing this live! 

4 p.m.–6 p.m.: Instagram live, baby! This was actually really fun. Got to bring a few fans in to chat and announced that I have a new single coming out, which is always scary and exciting! I also had to laugh at the timing. I've had a plan to put this song out for a few months, and coincidentally the song is called "Feel Bad." Who knew how applicable it would end up being!!!

Around 5 p.m. I decide that it’s time for a glass of wine. Yes, that is ice cubes in white wine. It’s called CLASS and SOPHISTICATION. 

6 p.m.–8 p.m.: We decide to learn how to play "Pluto Projector" by Rex Orange County. I take the lyrics and chords on the wall in front of me. My brother is on guitar. I remember how much I love this song, and as cheesy as it sounds, how much music makes me feel better. I would’ve been getting ready to play at the House Of Blues in Dallas had this not all happened and I’ve been really bummed about the tour getting postponed since I got the news. I know everyone is dealing with setbacks and canceled plans right now, so that makes it a little easier. But I'm still letting myself be sad if I need to be. The truth is, I hadn't been on a tour like that in so long, and I was really, really looking forward to it. But... there's literally nothing I can do.

That’s a lot of what this quarantine has been for me so far. Fighting between being sad and upset and trying to release it and accept the reality of what’s happening. Working on it…

8 p.m.–11 p.m.: My sister volunteered to go get us In-N-Out Burger for dinner, which we all got really excited about. Then we called up some friends and planned a virtual game night playing QuipLash over Google Hangouts. It took some strategy to figure out the logistics of being able to play that virtually, but once we got it, we laughed for three hours straight. 

11:30 p.m.: Going to bed. Tomorrow is Saturday. I remember that I made an appointment to do my taxes at 5 p.m. (it was supposed to be in person but now will be over the phone) and I haven’t done any of the paperwork I was supposed to do to be ready for it. Somehow just have not found the time!!! Some things never change! Good luck to everyone out there during this weird, disorienting time. We’ll get through it!!!!!

If you wish to support our efforts to assist music professionals in need, visit: https://www.grammy.com/MusiCares/CoronavirusReliefFund

If you are a member of the music industry in need of assistance, visit: musicares.org.