Photo: Ana Sanchez
Quarantine Diaries: SYML Is Working In The Studio, Recording New Songs & Watching "The Last Dance"
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, platinum-selling Seattle artist SYML shares his Quarantine Diary. SYML's new single, "The Dark," is out now.
[7 a.m.] You know we got our kids those alarms that turn green when it’s "OK" to wake their parents. What that looks like is our kids, Finlay (5) and Josie (3), have been waiting like hyenas on the edge of their beds since 6 a.m. just staring at that clock and waiting for the kill. 7 a.m. hits and we are awakened by the hyenas clamoring on top of us to start another day. Here’s the amazing part: my wife has trained our children to go play independently for an hour after they wake us up. So even though the waking is abrupt, we get about an hour to lay on our phones and talk about the day to come. This has been a pandemic game-changer.
[8 a.m.] Coffee. It’s too cliche to say that I am from Seattle and just MUST have my coffee a certain way. What’s true is that we got this machine right after we got married, eight years ago, and have done the tedious math to make sure we are indeed saving money and feel good about how much money we spent on it back then. The beans are from Costco. Coffee is for closers.
[9 a.m.] Marion (my wife) heads to her home office and I head down to the studio. I am reminded daily of how fortunate we are to be able to continue working from home during this time. I was on tour when the lockdown began and we missed about two weeks of shows. As an artist, cancelling shows is hard. But as a fan, having a show canceled SUCKS. It’s just one example of how being together is important, and I can’t wait for that to come back.
[9 a.m.–9:30 a.m.] Emails and phone calls, followed by work. Another pandemic life saver has been our sweet girl, Maggie, a nine-month-old labradoodle. We’ve taken a lot of walks together while I’m on the phone.
[9:30 a.m.–4 p.m.] I love having multiple songs or productions in progress at any given time. I've found that I am most efficient if I have something else to bounce to when one thing isn’t clicking. It also keeps it fun instead of banging your head against a wall. It’s impossible to ignore what is happening in my country, and our world, at the moment. Thankfully, there are many ways that we can be helping ourselves and each other to become better at living together in community. I believe music and art are great vessels for questioning, challenge, peace, and of course, love. I have been inspired recently. This is one of my new songs that was recorded while in quarantine. It’s called "The Dark" and it’s about only being able to get to the "light" by going through the darkness.
[4 p.m.–7 p.m.] I have loved this time for one main reason: spending time with Marion and our kids. The past few years I have spent almost as many nights away as I have with them. As hard as it has been, being together has never been better. During this window of the day, we are usually outside, especially since summer is amazing here in the Northwest. If we have time during the day, this is when we work out. Marion and I have been “training” for a half marathon while in lockdown. We did one a year ago and are pretending like we have another one coming up in a few weeks.
[7 p.m.] Dinner. Cocktail. Adult Time. We love eating together as a family, but we probably only do it about half the time. For food we’ve been enjoying: various bowls, grilling things to put in bowls, ordering things that come in bowls—basically basic bowl life. On the drink front, our summer vibe has been tequila and mezcal cocktails, with the occasional sparkling rosé, as you do. The perfect pairing for a summer meal is a bonfire, which we also enjoy frequently.
[10 p.m.] Time to have another drink and watch something (or work more). We tore through Season 2 of "The Politician." Since then I’ve been loving "The Last Dance." I grew up watching Michael Jordan so the nostalgia is huge when watching this. What an incredible story, and the cast of characters is wild!
[12 a.m.] Sleep. Since being off tour, it’s been nice to fall asleep before midnight. Occasionally I will work late in the studio, but I do so knowing that my kids are probably already up and staring at their alarm clocks, waiting to pounce.
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.
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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
Taylor Swift will be spreading the love in support of her hit album Lover.in 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 Lover album is open fields, sunsets, + SUMMER. I want to perform it in a way that feels authentic. 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! https://t.co/xw6YMN38WE pic.twitter.com/IhVPQ8DMUG— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) September 17, 2019
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!"
Tickets for the new dates go on sale to the general public via Ticketmaster on Oct. 17.
Fleetwood Mac in 1975
Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Poll: From "Dreams" To "The Chain," Which Fleetwood Mac Song Is Your Favorite?
"Dreams" experienced a charming viral moment on TikTok after a man posted a video skateboarding to the classic track, and now it's back on the charts, 43 years later
In honor of Fleetwood Mac's ethereal '70s rock classic "Dreams," which recently returned to the Billboard Hot 100 thanks to a viral TikTok skateboard video from Nathan Apodaca, we want to know which of the legendary group's songs is your favorite!
Beyond their ubiquitous 1977 No. 1 hit "Dreams," there are so many other gems from the iconic GRAMMY-winning album Rumours, as well as across their entire catalog. There's the oft-covered sentimental ballad "Landslide" from their 1975 self-titled album, the jubilant, sparkling Tango in the Night cut "Everywhere" and Stevie Nicks' triumphant anthem for the people "Gypsy," from 1982's Mirage, among many others.
Vote below in our latest GRAMMY.com poll to let us know which you love most.
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: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
Ariana Grande Donates Proceeds From Atlanta Show To Planned Parenthood
"Ariana Grande's generous donation comes at a critical time—in Georgia and across the country, anti-women's health politicians are trying to ban all safe, legal abortion," Dr. Leana Wen, President of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement
Today, Planned Parenthood confirmed that GRAMMY winner Ariana Grande has donated the proceeds from her June 8 concert in Atlanta, around $250,000, to the reproductive health non-profit. The contribution follows several Southern states, including Georgia, passing restrictive anti-abortion bills in May.
This is incredible, @arianagrande — thank you!— Planned Parenthood (@PPFA) June 12, 2019
We're so grateful for your longstanding commitment to supporting women’s rights & standing with Planned Parenthood to defend access to sexual and reproductive health care. #IStandWithPP #StopTheBans https://t.co/zFkBVONNK9
"Ariana Grande's generous donation comes at a critical time—in Georgia and across the country, anti-women's health politicians are trying to ban all safe, legal abortion," Dr. Leana Wen, President of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement to People, who broke the news.
Wen, who is a medical doctor and the former Baltimore City Health Commissioner, spoke to the critical timing of Grande's donation, at a time when lawmakers are rolling back years of women's rights legislation:
"This is not what the American people want, nor is it something they'll stand for. Thanks to inspiring support like hers, Planned Parenthood can continue to fight back—in the courts, in Congress, in state houses, and in the streets—against these dangerous attacks on people's health and lives. We are so grateful to Ariana for her longstanding commitment to supporting women's rights and standing with Planned Parenthood to defend access to reproductive health care. We won't stop fighting—no matter what."
As People and other outlets point out, the donation follows the singer's response to hate speech made outside of the Atlanta concert. Ari fans tweeted a video of a protester outside of the venue making homophobic, sexist and racist comments over a P.A. system to the young women. Grande commented on the post, writing: "man... saddened but not surprised by this one bit. I'm so sorry any of my fans had to encounter this. we will do our best to ensure this doesn't happen again. proud of u all for not fighting / engaging violently. never worth it. wishing him peace & a healed heart cause girl yikes."
The Atlanta show was one of the stops on the pop star's Sweetener World Tour, which continues across North America until mid-July, after which she'll headline Lollapalooza on Aug. 4, then take the tour across the pond to London on Aug. 17 for its European leg.