Quarantine Diaries: World Music Performer Nahko Is Doing Cardio & Performing From His Living Room

Photo credit Donté Maurice


Quarantine Diaries: World Music Performer Nahko Is Doing Cardio & Performing From His Living Room

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 6, 2020 - 10:04 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, Nahko, of world music collective Nahko and Medicine for the People, shares his Quarantine Diary.

Thursday, April 2

[9 a.m.] I woke up this morning to my alarm at 9 a.m. It's been hard to get up any earlier than that since nothing seems that urgent right now. The only real urgency seems to come from my own internal manic behavior that scolds me for losing daylight. I take time at home, alone, very seriously since my day job usually robs me of that. A routine helps an Aquarius like me ground out and feel sane in my day-to-day. I'm a big fan of lists, mood boards and schedules. Today's schedule is pretty packed. With all the staying at home, I've happily turned my living room into a filming studio for the myriad of requests coming in. One thing I'm grateful for is the gift of music ... a service that can withstand times like these, a welcomed form of resilience.  

[10 a.m.]  At this point, I've showered and eaten breakfast, which consisted of granola and raspberries, and am drinking my morning quart of lime water. Drinking lime water in the morning helps digestion. Limes are acidic and help saliva break down food—pretty cool. I'm a pretty regular guy though, just trying to be productive at a time where we may find ourselves doing nothing to care for our bodies. Pretty sure that I'm going to come out of this quarantine looking like a Winnie the Pooh on steroids. Honey never looked so good. Anyways, there I was, drinking my lime water post brekkie and preparing for my next move: yoga mat.  

[11 a.m. - 12 p.m.] Yogi Bear life. Somehow I've managed to maintain the motivation to keep up my practice. After 30-45 minutes of yoga, it's time to head out to the training course that is my driveway.  I do laps around my circular driveway like a hamster on the wheel, hit my garage gym for bench presses and sit-ups, and then hit the driveway again for that daily dose of cardio. You've got to work with what you've got.  

[1 p.m. - 4 p.m.] I had back-to-back live Instagram sessions today. This isn't unusual as of late. I've been doing a Sunday Service for our community where I share a live two-hour performance from my living room. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I do a segment called "Real Medicine" where I casually check in with a wide spectrum of my friends over Insta live to get their take on the global crisis and get pearls of wisdom. Guests so far have been Aaron Rogers, Aubrey Marcus, Shailene Woodley, and Trevor Hall. It's hardly a podcast. Made for IGTV. Our attention spans can't handle more than that anyways, let's be honest. Today, like so many other days, I've been able to use my superpowers for good and humbly accepted the request to perform for Global Citizen + WHO. It's good to see NGO's thriving right now, we're all getting creative as to how we can support folks who've lost their jobs and homes and so much more. So, here I am with my afternoon cup of Joe and today's mantra: I am a ray of fking sunshine.  

[5 p.m. - 7 p.m.] After having been on the phone screen for hours, I had to blow off some steam and do some laps around the driveway again. I swear my calves will be Hulk like post 'Rona days. Must be my lucky charms because as I was getting some of that fresh Pacific Northwest oxygen boost, a double rainbow graced the sky and I went ballistic. It's the little things. Ok, no, it's the rainbows. I gladly threw up a shaka and Care Bear'd the F out of that moment. Small victories in a long term search for that mystical pot of gold.  

Sitting on a stump, letting the light rain tickle my face, I smiled and closed my eyes. In the background, birds chirped and sang in excitement. Spring isn't canceled. I could hear the quote my auntie shared earlier in the day reverberating in my head like a mantra: in the words of Arundhati Roy, "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing...."

I know how important it is, little moments like this, to just literally soak in and exude gratitude. There are millions less fortunate—it makes me angry to think we are the richest nation in the world and yet we don't have the system set up to protect the most vulnerable in society, let alone small business and so much more. It's just so insane. I take a deep breath. The only solutions I'll be discovering today will be in how I navigate my energy and time. That collective pot of gold is within our reach, but it's going to take all of us working together to discover it.  
[8 p.m. - 12 a.m.] Welcome to the final hours of my day. What on earth have I even done today. Plenty. So, what's for dinner? In an effort to make life harder, I committed to no red or white meat till quarantine is over. Yeah, I'm nuts. More challenges? Hit me up. So, a handsome stir fry with vegan chicken is tonight’s serving. Top it off with a healthy, medicinal shot of tequila and boom you've got a meal. Tequila is definitely not canceled. After my five-star meal, I spend the remaining hours of healthy brain activity typing up this journal for you all.

Thanks for reading and remember, there is a future we can believe in right around the corner.

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


Jay-Z And Meek Mill's REFORM Donates Surgical Masks To Vulnerable Prison Population

Meek Mill

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

GRAMMYs/Apr 7, 2020 - 05:01 am

Jay-Z and Meek Mill's criminal justice reform organization REFORM has donated roughly 100,000 surgical masks to correctional facilities including in the states of New York, Tennessee and Mississippi.

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. 

Across the nation, COVID-19 cases have been popping up in correctional facilities, including North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee

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Quarantine Diaries: ARI Is Cuddling With Her Cat, Making Her Own Tea & Preparing For Her Debut 'IDIOT GRL' EP Release


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

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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Dreamville Festival 2020 Is Officially Canceled Due To COVID-19

J. Cole

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

GRAMMYs/May 19, 2020 - 02:27 am

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.

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"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.

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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."

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Houseparty’s "In The House": Katy Perry, John Legend, Alicia Keys + More

Katy Perry

Photo: Getty Images/Getty Images


Houseparty’s "In The House": Katy Perry, John Legend, Alicia Keys + More

The three-day livestream event taking place this weekend (May 15-17) will allow users to view performances and segments while chatting with friends in realtime

GRAMMYs/May 15, 2020 - 12:46 am

Houseparty, the face-to-face social video app, is bringing a star-studded lineup of performances, workouts and cooking lessons to its users, including appearances by Katy Perry, John Legend, Snoop Dogg, Alicia Keys and more than 40 other celebrities. The event, "In The House," will take place over the course of three days, beginning this weekend on Friday, May 15 and running through Sunday, May 17.

Per Rolling Stone, the event’s programming will see a live performance of Perry’s unreleased track “Daisies,” slated to be released on Friday, May 15, in addition to sets by Legend, Chvrches and others. The program will also feature special cooking lessons on unique recipes provided by Snoop Dogg, 2 Chainz and Zooey Deschanel. Alicia Keys will also host a karaoke session and lead a 30 minute at-home workout. The full lineup and event schedule are available here.

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The three-day event will allow those who tune in to enjoy free performances from the comfort of their homes, and they’ll be able to chat and interact with friends via the app all in real time. In a statement to Variety discussing the program, Houseparty CEO and co-founder Sima Sistani said “We are bringing back appointment viewing… to capture that feeling of sitting on the couch for that special show with your family or friends on a Friday night.”

Houseparty is available to download for free on iOS and Android devices, as well as online where users can tune in to stream the live event. Each segment will air again 12 hours following its original stream for those who may have missed the original broadcasts.

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