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Behind The Board: Producer/DJ Spencer Brown Explains How Embracing His Sexuality Changed His Creative Process
Spencer Brown

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Behind The Board: Producer/DJ Spencer Brown Explains How Embracing His Sexuality Changed His Creative Process

As an openly gay artist, Spencer Brown strives to make his fans feel accepted by keeping one goal in mind: "to bring as much love and peace and good energy as I possibly can."

GRAMMYs/Jun 30, 2022 - 11:03 pm

Spencer Brown certainly wears an array of hats as a DJ and producer. But if you ask him, he'll tell you he plays just one role in this life — however broad.

"The easiest way to describe what I do is just: artist,'" he says. "I produce music; I DJ my own music; I DJ, digging through other people's music that people maybe don't know. But artist, I think, is the easiest way to do it."

As he describes in the below video, his mission as an artist is simple: bringing joy. "My ultimate mission with my music is to bring as much love and peace and good energy to people as I possibly can."

Brown — who came out as gay in 2020 — has used dance music as an outlet of many sorts since he was young. In a special episode of Behind The Board for Pride Month, Brown details how his creative process changed once he embraced his sexuality. "When I was a kid, and I wasn’t out of the closet, I was very uncomfortable, growing up, with myself. Once I really started to learn and understand myself, I could really be in tune with my creative side even more. And I feel like my music significantly improved."

He also offers a helping hand to those who might be struggling to find acceptance within themselves or their community. "I never had an LGBTQ idol growing up," he adds. "If someone is struggling and they really like my music, I want to connect with them on that."

Brown also describes the flow state conducive to creativity, how he shows up to DJ gigs with a "blank slate," and why he avoids "by-the-books" sounds. Check out the insightful video above and keep checking GRAMMY.com for more episodes of Behind The Board.

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GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016
Kendrick Lamar

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

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GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016

Upon winning the GRAMMY for Best Rap Album for 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' Kendrick Lamar thanked those that helped him get to the stage, and the artists that blazed the trail for him.

GRAMMYs/Oct 13, 2023 - 06:01 pm

Updated Friday Oct. 13, 2023 to include info about Kendrick Lamar's most recent GRAMMY wins, as of the 2023 GRAMMYs.

A GRAMMY veteran these days, Kendrick Lamar has won 17 GRAMMYs and has received 47 GRAMMY nominations overall. A sizable chunk of his trophies came from the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards in 2016, when he walked away with five — including his first-ever win in the Best Rap Album category.

This installment of GRAMMY Rewind turns back the clock to 2016, revisiting Lamar's acceptance speech upon winning Best Rap Album for To Pimp A Butterfly. Though Lamar was alone on stage, he made it clear that he wouldn't be at the top of his game without the help of a broad support system. 

"First off, all glory to God, that's for sure," he said, kicking off a speech that went on to thank his parents, who he described as his "those who gave me the responsibility of knowing, of accepting the good with the bad."

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He also extended his love and gratitude to his fiancée, Whitney Alford, and shouted out his Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates. Lamar specifically praised Top Dawg's CEO, Anthony Tiffith, for finding and developing raw talent that might not otherwise get the chance to pursue their musical dreams.

"We'd never forget that: Taking these kids out of the projects, out of Compton, and putting them right here on this stage, to be the best that they can be," Lamar — a Compton native himself — continued, leading into an impassioned conclusion spotlighting some of the cornerstone rap albums that came before To Pimp a Butterfly.

"Hip-hop. Ice Cube. This is for hip-hop," he said. "This is for Snoop Dogg, Doggystyle. This is for Illmatic, this is for Nas. We will live forever. Believe that."

To Pimp a Butterfly singles "Alright" and "These Walls" earned Lamar three more GRAMMYs that night, the former winning Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song and the latter taking Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (the song features Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat). He also won Best Music Video for the remix of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood." 

Lamar has since won Best Rap Album two more times, taking home the golden gramophone in 2018 for his blockbuster LP DAMN., and in 2023 for his bold fifth album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.

Watch Lamar's full acceptance speech above, and check back at GRAMMY.com every Friday for more GRAMMY Rewind episodes. 

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Press Play: Claud Gets Vulnerable In This Confessional Performance Of Their New Single, "Wet"
Claud

Photo: Courtesy of Claud

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Press Play: Claud Gets Vulnerable In This Confessional Performance Of Their New Single, "Wet"

Emerging pop singer Claud narrates the story of a guilty pleasure toxic relationship on "Wet," the lead single from their upcoming album, 'Supermodels.'

GRAMMYs/Jun 29, 2023 - 10:33 pm

On their new single "Wet," bedroom pop newcomer Claud places themselves in the heat of a toxic relationship. Even amid empty apologies and tearful early morning phone calls, Claud can't get enough.

"That's not an apology/ But I'll take what I can get/ Dip your feet but not too wet," Claud sings in the chorus. "I swear this isn't like me/ But you're standing on the edge/ Say you'll never jump, but I know you want it."

In this episode of Press Play, Claud delivers an intimate performance of "Wet" live from their bedroom floor. The intimate, simple setting only intensifies the diaristic nature of the track.

"Wet" is the lead single from Claud's upcoming album, Supermodels, out July 14 via Saddest Factory Records. "'Wet' was written in one fast sitting. The writing process as kinetic as the outcome. Writing these songs felt like dropping a boulder into a pond, really shaking up the way I look at myself as an artist," they explained in a press statement. 

On July 21, Claud will begin their headlining international tour in Bristol, United Kingdom, wrapping on Oct. 12 in San Francisco, California.

Watch the video above to see Claud's acoustic performance of "Wet," and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Press Play.

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Black Sounds Beautiful: How Lil Nas X Turned The Industry On Its Head With "Old Town Road" And Beyond
Lil Nas X at the 2020 GRAMMYs.

Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage

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Black Sounds Beautiful: How Lil Nas X Turned The Industry On Its Head With "Old Town Road" And Beyond

In this episode of Black Sounds Beautiful, relive Lil Nas X's massive debut, "Old Town Road," and learn how he's since been an advocate for Black and LGBTQIA+ communities through his music and his platform.

GRAMMYs/Jun 28, 2023 - 05:00 pm

Lil Nas X became a global sensation practically overnight, but it wasn't an accident.

The American singer and rapper — born Montero Lamar Hill — became fluent in music and pop culture at an early age, becoming a meme aficionado. His love for internet culture cultivated the perfect recipe for his debut single, "Old Town Road," to become one of the most viral hits in music history; the song also prompted a necessary conversation about the bounds of genre. 

"Old Town Road" rose to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and still holds the record for most time spent at No. 1 at 19 weeks. The single later helped Lil Nas X snag two GRAMMY Awards for Best Pop/Duo Group Performance and Best Music Video. (To date, he's won 2 GRAMMYs and has received 11 nominations overall.)

Aside from his immense musical talent, Lil Nas X — who came out as gay on social media during his Hot 100 reign — has been a fierce champion for LGBTQIA+ and Black communities.

"It's just acceptance of gay people. And they see that as a bad thing, like, They're trying to normalize it. You know what? Yeah. That's actually what I'm trying to do," he told GQ in 2021.

At just 24 years old, Lil Nas X has plenty more history-making and game-changing moves in store. As he revealed during his March 2023 campaign with Coach, "My next big chapter is coming."

Press play on the video above to learn more about Lil Nas X's industry-altering career, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Black Sounds Beautiful.

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Global Spin: Cub Sport Offer An Ethereal Performance Of "Keep Me Safe"
Cub Sport

Photo: Diego Compomar

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Global Spin: Cub Sport Offer An Ethereal Performance Of "Keep Me Safe"

The Australian pop group chronicles the simultaneous joy and shame of a secret relationship in "Keep Me Safe," the lead single from their latest album, 'Jesus at the Gay Bar.'

GRAMMYs/Jun 27, 2023 - 05:00 pm

With "Keep Me Safe," Cub Sport narrates the bliss of being with who they truly love in secret, while confessing the shame of putting on a different persona in public. Being in a heterosexual relationship might have kept the peace between their loved ones, but it created a painful sense of unhappiness and emptiness inside. 

"Went and got a girlfriend/ Just to throw them off track/ Double lines, yeah/ It's driving me mad/ Losing everybody/ But I don't really feel that sad," Cub Sport reveals in the track's first verse. "I just want to die in our heaven/ If it'll keep me safe." 

In this episode of Global Spin, the Australian pop group delivers an ethereal performance of "Keep Me Safe." Soft lights illuminate the band, while neon blue strobes accompany the song's climax.

"Keep Me Safe" is the lead single from Cub Sport's newest album, Jesus at the Gay Bar, inspired by the relationship between bandmates Tim Nelson and Sam Netterfield.

"I wrote 'Keep Me Safe' about a euphoric but complicated time," Nelson detailed in a press statement. "Shedding some light on it now feels like I'm validating my younger self and celebrating the magic in something I was ashamed of at the time."

Press play on the video above to watch Cub Sport's vulnerable performance of "Keep Me Safe," and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Global Spin.

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