Photo courtesy of Lisa Loeb
Quarantine Diaries: Lisa Loeb Is Celebrating 25 Years Of "Stay (I Missed You)" & Watching "RuPaul's Drag Race"
The GRAMMY-winning '90s mainstay is also releasing a new music video featuring Michelle Branch, "Doesn't It Feel Good"
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, GRAMMY-winning indie-pop/rock favorite Lisa Loeb shares her Quarantine Diary. Lisa Loeb's latest studio album A Simple Trick To Happiness is out now. Watch Lisa's new video, "Doesn't It Feel Good" featuring Michelle Branch and directed by Jessa Zapor-Gray, exclusively on GRAMMY.com below.
[7:00 a.m.] I start off the day early before the kids get up, to feed my 19-year-old diabetic Tortie cat and give her insulin, drink a strong coffee (Lisa Loeb Wake Up! blend, of course, perfect flavor and strong with milk and sugar), Ezekiel Bread toast with almond butter and super fruit jelly, and a walk outside before the day begins. The sun shines pink through the window at the top of the stairs at my house in Los Angeles. You can see the sunscreen on my nose, because it’s early and I always wear my sunscreen, but was probably too tired to notice I didn’t finish blending.
[7:45 a.m.] I make the kids breakfast, something like bagels or pancakes, fruit, bacon, yogurt, and hope that they eat it before they get into their virtual classes.
[9:30 a.m.] while my 8-year-old, Emet, has a break, I take a tap class—distanced, in the back yard, with masks. I love walking, dance classes and strength training, most of which is happening online, but I finally moved the tap class into the back patio with a couple of like-minded moms. Connecting with humans, safely, set to music, really lightens things up.
[1:00 p.m.] After I make lunch, the kids go back to their virtual school. I stay in earshot of my son while trying to scoot into my office to answer a million emails and stay on top of the myriad projects I have going on: a new family friendly children's album, new songs for a new grown-up album, voice-over auditions, fan club vinyl signing of my 25th anniversary no. 1 song, "Stay (I Missed You)," which was also GRAMMY-nominated!
[4:00 p.m.] Later, after the kids are done with their school, I change clothes, turn on the bright lights, set up the gear, and start pre-recording events and concerts. There are so many virtual events happening all over the country: from voting events to women’s cancer and lupus, I’m honored to play all of them, and people have been reaching out to musicians a lot. Sometimes the events are live, but often they’re prerecorded, so I’ve become a pro with lighting, makeup, hair and audio, and really trying to get our wi-fi up to speed—literally.
Sometimes I have fan club events online, watch-alongs, or live concerts, including two concerts in which I’ll be playing my entire Tails album acoustically on Sept. 26 on the LoopedLive app, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its release. Here I am pre-recording a TV appearance for a Ziggy Marley duet that will air on the Kelly Clarkson show, then I’ll finish up with an appearance for a Hallmark special to honor Hero Dogs.
There’s usually a number of Cameo shout-out requests that have come in at this point for birthdays, anniversaries, or just uplifting message, and I try to squeeze them in before I make dinner for the kids. Or if I’m smart, order in Thai food!
[7:30 p.m.] After dinner, Emet watches part of an Avengers movie with my husband, Roey. I cuddle with my daughter, Lyla and our aforementioned cat, Sweetie McGee, while we eat ice cream with chocolate chips and watch "RuPaul’s Drag Race."
[8:30 p.m.] Then it’s up to bed to brush teeth, get in the PJs and read with each kid, if it’s not too late, and then time to finish up some work, clean the kitchen and get in bed to read. I’m an avid reader, and during the distancing orders, I’ve been able to read more than ever. Then, time for sleep, and to set the alarm for the next day to see what it will bring.
Rotimi On Performing At ESSENCE Fest, Growing Up African-American & More
The Nigerian-American singer and actor sat down with the Recording Academy to talk about what inspired his latest album, 'Walk With Me'
In 2015, Rotimi stepped into the New Orleans Superdome for the first time to experience the magic of ESSENCE Fest. Four years later, in 2019, the "Love Riddim" singer returned to the celebration as a performer, something he said was spoken into existence.
"Last year me and my manager had a conversation and I said, 'Listen, I'm going to be on the [ESSENCE] mainstage this year. 365 days later, we did it," Rotimi told the Recording Academy at the 25th annual ESSENCE Fest.
Rotimi, also an actor on Starz' "Power," has evolved since his last album, 2017's Jeep Music, Vol.1. The singer said he really hit home with its follow-up, the recently released Walk With Me, a project he worked hard for, putting in hours in the studio after filming on set.
"Walk With Me is the first time I actually felt like I was giving myself as an artist, and personally I feel like with everything else I have going on I wanted to show people that this is really what I do," he said. "I wanted people to understand who Rotimi is, who Rotimi was before, who I want to be and just understand my growth and the journey and my passion for what I do."
Part of why the album felt like such a representation of him is because it embodies beats of his African roots, something he said was very present growing up Nigerian-American.
"I grew up with a lot of Fela Kuti and I grew up with Bob Marley," he said of his musical roots. "But I also grew up with Carl Thomas and Genuine and Usher, so there was a genuine mixture of who I am and what I've grown up to listen to. The actual Walk With Me project was a mixture of influences of Akon and Craig David."
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
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.
Photo: Nicole Davis
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
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.
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
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.
"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.
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."