Quarantine Diaries: Rosehardt Is Playing His New Piano & Lauren Ruth Ward Is Dancing To Emo Music

Rosehardt & Lauren Ruth Ward


Quarantine Diaries: Rosehardt Is Playing His New Piano & Lauren Ruth Ward Is Dancing To Emo Music

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the music industry, reached out to musicians to see how they were spending their days off the road

GRAMMYs/Nov 20, 2020 - 02:08 am

As the 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, we have a special bi-costal edition, with Brooklyn-based Rosehardt and Los Angeles-based Lauren Ruth Ward, two artists featured in Dr. Martens Presents: Music & Film Series, sharing their Quarantine Diaries.

Rosehardt, Brooklyn

[8:45 a.m.] On occasion, I'll wake up and my hair will be shampoo commercial voluminous. I don't try and explain it, I just show gratitude by continuing to care for it like my mama taught me.

[9:30 a.m.] We made cold-seared salmon last night. Hella tasty. I put the leftovers into an omelet. Also hella tasty. Additionally, if one can have toast with jam with breakfast, and one can also have toast with peanut butter with breakfast, then logically one can have a PB&J with breakfast. Don't @ me.

[12 p.m.] Today was a very special day.

[12:05 p.m.] A very, very special day.

[12:45 p.m.] Not only did the American people make the right choice at the voting booths, but I became the proud owner of this gorgeous piano. It was given to me by the sweetest woman from Craigslist (!!!).

[1 p.m.] Seriously, if you want a piano and have room, peruse the free section on CL, you'd be surprised. I was so tremendously fortunate to not only find this piano in amazing shape, but I couldn't have asked for a better CL experience. Her only stipulation was that it went to someone who would put it to use and das me. Thank you, Julia from Craigslist.

[1:30 p.m.] This is my cat Ishmael. I don't usually let him in the studio but I was feeling gracious and he was meowing incessantly.

[4:45 p.m.] This is Alex, the mysterious piano tuner my roommate recommended who not only does a great job tuning, but always obliges when asked to play a little when he's finished. I really wish you could hear this photo.

[5 p.m.] I plunked around on the beauty for a minute and now it's loaf time. Ish loves loaf time. We all love loaf time.

Lauren Ruth Ward, Los Angeles

[8 a.m.] Wake up and caffeinate. We have an espresso machine with a milk steamer, the whole shebang.

[8:15 a.m.] Check in. Look at my calendar and make sure my schedule is realistic. My friend Emma and I call ourselves The Over-Committers Committee (lol). I drink my coffee on my porch, sometimes journal and send out confirmation texts to hair clients and anyone I have plans with.

[8:30 a.m.] I pull myself away from my phone—I have a timer on my social apps to keep me from mindlessly scrolling! Depending on the day, I will do Patreon duties, Pullstring Vintage work or merch fulfillment. All of these are truly exciting and inspiring.

On Patreon, I post behind-the-scenes videos, and photos on my private Instagram. I also chat with fans about their week and if they relate to what I've shared. This kind of connection with them has kept me sane. I also get to "see" two of my Patron tiers monthly on a Zoom hang. I also spend this time prepping monthly mail-out incentives.

Pullstring Vintage is my new baby! After a buying trip, I wash all the items. Some need extra love—bleaching, tie-dying, studding or button, hem or zipper repair. Then, I take photos of all garments with my friend Zoë. Prior to posting, I take measurement photos and create descriptions for each garment. I then post and repost and chat with my sweet vintage-loving supporters. On drop days, I stay tethered to my assistant, Ivy, who takes care of sales via DM. Mondays and Fridays are post office days. I put thank you letters and pressed flowers go into every package (I love this part). We then DM everyone their tracking number along with another thank you.

Merch fulfillment! I sell 14 different items on Bandcamp. They have slightly different packaging processes but everything gets autographed, thank you carded and, you guessed it, pressed flowers from my garden.

[12 p.m.] After tapping in and out of the above worlds, it's usually lunchtime. I'll have a little something and then exercise! I love walking a couple miles while listening to podcasts (Brené Brown) or audiobooks (currently spinning the autobiography of Malcolm X). Or, if I have less time, I'll turn the heat up in my living room and freestyle yoga with dance and ab work integrated. I always do this to screamo/pop rock bands' albums, something I listened to in high school. Yesterday was Decadence by Head Automatica—totally holds up. If I have even less time, I'll freestyle dance in my front yard for three to four songs—quick and life-changing.

On other days, this is prime haircut time. I prefer to cut in the hours of 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

[3:30 p.m.] As I mentioned, on Mondays and Fridays I go to the post office (where I am helped by either Ernie, Adora or Stanley). Other days I'll have a golden light, front yard hang with a friend.

[5 p.m.] I kiss my dog for the seventieth time today.

[6 p.m.] Pandemic life: make dinner, sometimes simple, sometimes elaborate. I prep snacks and juice my Imperfect Foods produce for the week. Then I hang/watch TV/read/after-dinner walk with my partner. Sometimes we'll have a guest or two over for a drink and a porch hang. Living the dream!

Days where I have no clients and no pending orders, I either aimlessly craft or I write. Song messages come to me unplanned—this is my way of planning those unplanned creative spurts. I work on songs alone and sometimes with bandmates. The day will go as follows: coffee, podcast while I walk, then get together with either Eduardo for LRW band, Chris for Aging Actress or Andrew for Heaven Electric.

These days are few and usually clumped together. Because I released an album in March and because the music industry has slowed down immensely, I've been treating writing less militantly and been allowing myself to explore other passions.

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Rotimi On Performing At ESSENCE Fest, Growing Up African-American & More



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'

GRAMMYs/Jul 8, 2019 - 10:04 pm

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."

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Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards


Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards

Dreamville, Meek Mill, 21 Savage, Tyler, The Creator, and YBN Cordae all earn nominations in the category

GRAMMYs/Nov 20, 2019 - 06:28 pm

The 2020 GRAMMYs are just around the corner, and now the nominations are in for the coveted honor of Best Rap Album. While we'll have to wait until the 62nd GRAMMY Awards air on CBS on Jan. 26 to find out who will win, let's take a look at which albums have been nominated for Best Rap Album.

Revenge of the Dreamers III – Dreamville                                                                        

This star-studded compilation album from 11-time GRAMMY nominee J. Cole and his Dreamville Records imprint features appearances from some of the leading and fastest-rising artists in hip-hop today, including label artists EARTHGANG, J.I.D, and Ari Lennox, plus rappers T.I, DaBaby, and Young Nudy, among many others. Recorded in Atlanta across a 10-day recording session, Revenge of the Dreamers III is an ambitious project that saw more than 300 artists and producers contribute to the album, resulting in 142 recorded tracks. Of those recordings, 18 songs made the final album, which ultimately featured contributions from 34 artists and 27 producers.

Dreamers III, the third installment in the label’s Revenge of the Dreamers compilation series, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and achieved gold status this past July. In addition to a Best Rap Album nod, Dreamers III is also nominated for Best Rap Performance next year for album track “Down Bad,” featuring J.I.D, Bas, J. Cole, EARTHGANG, and Young Nudy.

Championships – Meek Mill

In many ways, Championships represents a literal and metaphorical homecoming for Meek Mill. Released in November 2018, Championships is the Philadelphia rapper’s first artist album following a two-year prison sentence he served after violating his parole in 2017. Championships, naturally, sees Meek tackling social justice issues stemming from his prison experience, including criminal justice reform. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, his second chart-topper following 2015’s Dreams Worth More Than Money, and reached platinum status in June 2019. Meek Mill's 2020 Best Rap Album nod marks his first-ever GRAMMY nomination.

i am > i was – 21 Savage

Breakout rapper and four-time GRAMMY nominee 21 Savage dropped i am > i was, his second solo artist album, at the end of 2018. The guest-heavy album, which features contributions from Post Malone, Childish Gambino, J. Cole, and many others, has since charted around the world, topped the Billboard 200 – a first for the artist – in the beginning of 2019, and achieved gold status in the U.S. As well, nine songs out of the album’s 15 original tracks landed on the Hot 100 chart, including multi-platinum lead single “A Lot,” which is also nominated for Best Rap Song next year. 21 Savage’s 2020 Best Rap Album nomination, which follows Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance nods for his 2017 Post Malone collaboration, "Rockstar,” marks his first solo recognition in the top rap category.

IGOR – Tyler, The Creator

The eccentric Tyler, The Creator kicked off a massive 2019 with his mid-year album, IGOR. Released this past May, IGOR, Tyler’s fifth solo artist album, is his most commercially successful project to date. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking his first time topping the coveted chart, while its lead single, "Earfquake,” peaked at No. 13, his highest entry on the Hot 100. Produced in full by Tyler and featuring guest spots from fellow rap and R&B stars Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, Solange, and Playboi Carti, among many others, IGOR follows the rapper’s 2017 album, Flower Boy, which received the Best Rap Album nod that same year.

The Lost Boy – YBN Cordae

Emerging rapper YBN Cordae, a member of the breakout YBN rap collective, released his debut album, The Lost Boy, to widespread critical acclaim this past July. The 15-track release is stacked with major collaborations with hip-hop heavyweights, including Anderson .Paak, Pusha T, Meek Mill, and others, plus production work from J. Cole and vocals from Quincy Jones. After peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard 200, The Lost Boy now notches two 2020 GRAMMY nominations: Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song for album track “Bad Idea,” featuring Chance the Rapper.

Brittany Howard, Brandi Carlile, Leon Bridges, 2 Chainz & More Join Small Business Live Benefit Livestream

Brittany Howard

Photo: C Brandon/Redferns/Getty Images


Brittany Howard, Brandi Carlile, Leon Bridges, 2 Chainz & More Join Small Business Live Benefit Livestream

Proceeds from the event will be go toward loans to small businesses founded by people of color, with additional support to women-owned and immigrant-owned businesses, via Accion Opportunity Fund

GRAMMYs/Jun 16, 2020 - 04:13 am

This Saturday, June 20, artists including Brittany Howard, Brandi Carlile, Leon Bridges, 2 Chainz and more will come together for Small Business Live, a livestream fundraiser event for small businesses facing challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Proceeds from the livestream will go to Accion Opportunity Fund to support small businesses founded by people of color, with additional support to women-owned and immigrant-owned businesses.

“Entrepreneurs of color are denied credit more often and charged higher rates for money they borrow to fund their businesses. We need to accelerate support to underserved businesses in order to reach our full potential,” Accion Opportunity Fund CEO Luz Urrutia said. “We have to decide what we want our Main Streets to look like when this is over, and we must act decisively to keep small businesses alive and ready to rebuild. This is a fun way to do something really important. Everyone’s support will make a huge difference to small business owners, their families and employees who have been devastated by this pandemic, the recession, and centuries of racism, xenophobia and oppression.”

Tune in for Small Business Live Saturday, June 20 from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. EDT on The site also provides a full schedule of programs and links to watch the livestream on all major digital platforms. To learn more about Accion Opportunity Fund, visit the organization's website.

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Taylor Swift Plots 2020 World Tour With U.S. Dates For Lover Fest East & West

Taylor Swift

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/VMN19/Getty Images


Taylor Swift Plots 2020 World Tour With U.S. Dates For Lover Fest East & West

Following dates in Europe and South America, Swift will land in the U.S. for Lover Fest East and West, where the pop star will open Los Angeles' brand new stadium

GRAMMYs/Sep 18, 2019 - 02:38 am

Taylor Swift  will be spreading the love in support of her hit album 2020, but it may or may not be in a city near you. The GRAMMY winner announced plans for her summer 2020 tour in support of her seventh studio album, including two shows each in Foxborough, Mass. and Los Angeles for Lover Fest East and West respectively as the only four U.S. dates announced so far.

The tour kicks off in Belgium on June 20 and hits festivals in seven European countries before heading to Sao Paulo, Brazil on July 18 then heading to U.S. Swift will then present Lover Fest West with back-to-back Los Angeles July 25 and 26 at the newly named SoFi Stadium. The concerts will serve as the grand opening of the much-anticipated NFL venue. The tour will wrap a double header at Gillette Stadiuim in Foxborough July 31 and Aug 1

"The Lover album is open fields, sunsets, + SUMMER. I want to perform it in a way that feels authentic," she tweeted. "I want to go to some places I haven’t been and play festivals. Where we didn’t have festivals, we made some. Introducing, Lover Fest East + West!" 

Lover was released Aug. 23 and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Her sold-out tour for her previous album, 2017's Reputation, was the highest grossing U.S. tour ever, breaking her own record.

Tickets for the new dates go on sale to the general public via Ticketmaster on Oct. 17.