searchsearch
Quarantine Diaries: Tenille Townes Is Co-Writing Over Zoom & Watching "The West Wing"

Tenille Townes

Photo by Matthew Berinato

news

Quarantine Diaries: Tenille Townes Is Co-Writing Over Zoom & Watching "The West Wing"

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 17, 2020 - 09:38 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, country performer Tenille Townes shares her Quarantine Diary. Townes' acclaimed debut album, The Lemonade Stand, is out now. 

September 1, 2020

I’ve been here in Nashville during these past few months, in my little apartment that overlooks a bunch of houses, trees and a constant current of cars on the interstate. I haven't been home this much in a long time, and it’s been quite different changing the routine of life on the road for the past few years to being in the stillness and quiet of home. I can’t wait to be back out there…I miss the high of the road so much. But I’m doing all that I can to soak in this time and am grateful for the ways that it is stretching and growing me. I feel like I’m in a season of searching right now…I’m thankful to be turning to music, writing songs that help me process what’s happening in my heart, and in the shifting world. There’s a lot going on out there, and there’s a lot to take in. Time has such a strange way of moving right now. Somehow the days go quickly, and I cannot believe that it is already September, but I also feel like March was two years ago.

[6:15 a.m.] I’m an early bird. I love the way the sun comes in through the windows in my apartment and hits my ceiling light, reflecting little rainbow confetti spots across my bedroom wall. I’ve been re-reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron right now. I read this book when I first moved to Nashville six years ago, and I loved it. It was so helpful in my writing process. In a lot of ways being in Nashville this much, reminds me of the first few months when I moved to town and didn’t know anyone, and spent most of my days listening to music and writing songs by myself in my first little apartment I rented. It seems only fitting to be working my way through this book again now. So I’m starting my day with a messy stream of consciousness, filling up pages of my journal before my feet hit my floor. 

[7:00 a.m.] I usually go for a long walk in the mornings. Walking has very much kept me sane in this season. I’ve never walked as much as I have this year, ha. I think I miss the momentum of moving and putting one foot in front of the other has felt therapeutic to me. Some days I listen to music, or a podcast, and some days I walk in the quiet, and take in all that is around me and marvel at the shape of the clouds or the colours of the leaves and flowers. Today I saw a butterfly pausing on a streetlight while listening to Joni Mitchell’s Clouds.

[8:30 a.m.] Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. Lately I’ve been obsessed with scrambled eggs and toast. I’m not good with making food at all, but I’ve been learning to a little more this year, and having fun listening to Billie Holiday while I attempt to make things in my kitchen. I decided I’d try to make some jam after a friend gave me a bag of peaches, and now I have it every morning on my toast. It’s delicious with peanut butter! After breakfast, I have a zoom call interview with CBC Radio, and then I’m going to get some ideas together preparing for my write.

[11:00 a.m.] Songwriting with friends over Zoom in this time has been so wonderful. It’s been a lifeline for me, being able to escape into making up a song, and either talking about what I’m feeling, or going somewhere entirely different and forgetting about it. Both are helpful for me. Today I wrote with Lori McKenna and Dan Fernadez. We’ve never written together with all three of us yet, but I’ve been sure enjoying writing with both of them these past few months. Dan and I still haven’t met in person, but I feel like I know him after our sessions together. He’s a wonderful human. Lori is my hero. I admire her spirit so much, and will forever be enamored by her style of writing. While we write together, I’m just trying to keep my cool the whole time because I’m the biggest fan of her music.

Today we got a beautiful song about growing up. I could write about that theme any day…it’s wild to me how Zoom sessions can still work to write a song. There is nothing that will ever replace the energy of being in a room together, singing harmony on a chorus and watching the song come together like magic sitting beside one another. But I have been so surprised by the energy that can still exist through a screen. These sessions have been so much faster too. Today we finished our song in just under two hours.

[1:30 p.m.] I’ve made a little snack for lunch. Usually hummus and grapes. And then I spent some time practicing piano… I’m a slow learner on this instrument but I love to play. It’s a good brain break to just watch some YouTube lessons and practice note by note. I love learning by repetition… Lately I’ve been learning just the first few bars of Clair De Lune and I’m very much fumbling my way through, but it’s so fun. What a beautiful piece of music that is.

[3:00 p.m.] Usually in the afternoons I touch base with my manager, Crystal, and today we talked about plans for recording some new music soon, which I am so very excited about. I can’t wait to bring some of the songs from this era of zoom sessions to life. I’m thankful for the time right now to be working on new music and dreaming about the next adventures.

[6:00 p.m.] Tonight, I had leftover poppyseed chicken casserole and I usually watch an episode of "The West Wing" while I eat. I am just watching that show for the first time right now and I love it so much. So much integrity. It makes me want to stand taller and go get the world!! Tonight, after supper, I Facetimed my family and got to see my parents and grandparents together around their table. I miss everybody at home a lot right now, but it’s wonderful to see everyone’s faces on a call. Makes it seem not so far away! My Pepere was telling jokes as per usual, and my Memere was rolling her eyes and holding back her chuckles. I love that some things from home feel like they never change.


[8:00 p.m.] In the evenings, I’ve been working on worktapes. I started using logic at the beginning of quarantine, and my friend Daniel Tashian let me borrow one of his mics and helped get me started with my little system. So grateful for him. I’m having a lot of fun learning how to make little versions of these new songs. I usually stack way too many harmonies ha. But it’s so fun to just play around with things on here. Sometimes cowriters will send me a track, and I just sing to it and send them a vocal back. It really does astound me how much can be done across the distance. I disappear into this learning logic vortex until my eyes get heavy and I decide it’s time to call it a night.

Before I fall asleep, I think about the day… I think about the things I don’t have control of, think about all that I don’t understand, think about all that I miss right now, and then think about all that I’m really grateful for. I feel thankful to be healthy, thankful for the heroes of the world right now taking care of people, thankful that things in the world are moving and shaking for the better, thankful my loved ones are safe, thankful to be making music and doing the thing that I really love. Thankful that we never really get to know what’s coming next in the plan. I'm learning to let go a little more right now. To notice the voice in my mind and try to shift it to a kinder vocabulary. To see the moon outside my window and find comfort that we’re all staring up at the same one. To believe in the good. There’s so much good.

Quarantine Diaries: Lori McKenna Is Attending Zoom Songwriting Sessions & Watching "Hamilton"

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

news

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.

Kiana Ledé Talks Opening Up On ‘KIKI,' Lucky Daye Collab & “Urban” Term | Up Close & Personal

TLC, Chicago, Kelly Rowland & More Announced As Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Performers

TLC 

Photo: Alison Buck/Getty Images

news

TLC, Chicago, Kelly Rowland & More Announced As Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Performers

The 93rd annual Thanksgiving celebration will make its way through Manhattan, with musicians, astronauts, Broadway stars—plus a gigantic Snoopy and Spongebob—helping spread the holiday cheer

GRAMMYs/Nov 1, 2019 - 11:47 pm

Today, Nov. 1, Macy's announced details for their forthcoming 93rd annual Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. The performers slated to bring festive cheer to the colorful parade floats include GRAMMY winners TLC, Kelly Rowland, Chicago, Ciara and Black Eyed Peas.

Read: Meeting The Black Eyed Peas Halfway In Honor Of 'The E.N.D.''s 10th Anniversary

Current Latin GRAMMY nominee Ozuna will also be joining in on the fun, bringing his joyful reggaetón to the Sour Patch Kids float. You can find GRAMMY- and Emmy-winning "Pose" star Billy Porter looking fierce atop Coach's "Rexy in the City"—a fancy T-Rex and the first-ever luxury brand-sponsored float in the historic parade. Rexy will join the ranks of the huge Snoopy and Spongebob, as well as a new smiling sun float from world-renown artist Yayoi Kusama, featuring her ever-present polka dots.

Broadway—including "Wicked" and "Rent"—star Idina Menzel is also set to appear—you likely know her as the voice of Elsa in Frozen and the Disney film's ubiquitous "Let It Go." Singer and former "Glee" lead Lea Michelle, rising Nashville-based, Canada-born country artist Tenille Townes, and 12-year-old Houston-born, Atlanta-based rapper That Girl Lay Lay will also perform.

Other special guests include "Unwritten" singer Natasha Bedingfield, K-pop group NCT 127, the cast and Muppets of "Sesame Street" and former NASA astronauts Kay Hire and Janet Kavandi.

The event takes place the morning of Thanksgiving, Thurs., Nov. 28. It will air on NBC from 9 a.m. to noon during all time zones. More info can be found on Macy's site.

Nirvana Manager Danny Goldberg Talks 25 Years of 'MTV Unplugged In New York'

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

Tedy 

news

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

news

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