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Quarantine Diaries: Sudanese Singer/Songwriter GAIDAA Is Playing COVID-Safe Shows In Rotterdam

GAIDAA

Photo by Segraphy

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Quarantine Diaries: Sudanese Singer/Songwriter GAIDAA Is Playing COVID-Safe Shows In Rotterdam

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

GRAMMYs/Sep 2, 2020 - 09:52 pm

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, Netherlands-based Sudanese R&B singer/songwriter GAIDAA shares her Quarantine Diary. Below, GAIDAA chronicles her first post-lockdown live shows at Rotterdam's LantarenVenster venue (all in accordance with local COVID-19 guidelines). Her critically acclaimed debut EP Overture is out now.

Friday, August 14, 2020 | Rotterdam, The Netherlands

[9:20 a.m.] Just woke up. Gonna chill in bed for a bit. Got show day today, two sold-out shows in Rotterdam, so it should be lit. My friend is picking me up in a couple hours, trynna catch my zen and gonna start my day :) 


[12:50 p.m.] New laptop just arrived like 5 minutes before I was supposed to leave and my dad got really excited, so I did a mini-unboxing. 


[1:30 p.m.] My close friend arrived to pick me up and we are officially on our way to Rotterdam. Car sickness always kicks in at some point, but the excitement is already highkey kicking in. Rotterdam is a really dope city actually, I don’t come enough. 

[4:30 p.m.] Arrived at the venue and saw my band and friends again since the last show in Amsterdam a week ago. We haven’t rehearsed since the show a week before, so we’ll see how soundcheck goes. Felt kinda crazy and weird that I was doing two shows the same night. 

 
[5:00 p.m.] Soundcheck tings. Soundcheck is always hectic, and this is the very beginning stages of us performing together so I’m still figuring out what I want onstage. Personally I always get really overwhelmed during soundcheck and never really know how to get fully comfortable. Last show I showed up to soundcheck and ended up crying (haha), so this time was already an improvement. The sound guy has been super chill. 


[7:00 p.m.] Did the first show and was lowkey super nervous. There was a whole drama with my brothers not being able to make it because of public transport, so I was super happy when they did make it to be able to see the second show. This gives me a lot of energy, especially because it’s the youngest’s first time seeing me perform! 

 

[8:30 p.m.] Ended up doing the second show in the original comfy pajamas I pulled up in, haha. I wanted to be as comfortable as I could be so I wouldn’t stay stuck in my head. I had a great time and feel super blessed to have been able to perform during these times. Me and my family and my friends had a great time. Now back to my regular life, haha. 

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.

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

Rotimi

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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."

Mumu Fresh On What She Learned From Working With The Roots, Rhyming & More

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