Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Usher on stage at the 62nd GRAMMYs
Usher, Shakira, J Balvin, Miley Cyrus & More To Play At Global Citizen's Campaign, Concert & Summit Kickoff
“Global Goal: Unite for Our Future” will "highlight the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has on marginalized communities" with the June 27 televised event
Global community organization Global Citizen has teamed up with the European Commission to announce “Global Goal: Unite for Our Future,” a televised concert event featuring performances by Usher, Shakira, J Balvin, Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Hudson, Quavo, Christine and the Queens, Coldplay and more on June 27.
The campaign, concert and summit will, “Highlight the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has on marginalized communities—including people of color, those living in extreme poverty, and others facing discrimination,” according to a statement.
Shakira spoke to the galvanizing spirit of the event, saying "Global Citizens around the world are calling on world leaders to help bring an end to COVID-19 by urging them to commit the billions of dollars needed to deliver testing, treatments and vaccines to everyone, everywhere. We need health equity and global justice, and we know that only by uniting to fight for the world we want can we build back toward a healthier future for all."
"Global Goal: Unite For Our Future" will be hosted by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and, in addition to its musical guests, will also feature appearances by Billy Porter, Charlize Theron, Chris Rock, Forest Whitaker, Salma Hayek Pinault, and more.
"As Global Citizens," Cyrus said, "we’re calling on leaders around the world to combat the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has on marginalized communities by committing funds to develop and deliver tests, treatments, and therapeutics. Because of this global effort, we will be more able to ensure that everyone, everywhere has access to COVID-19 testing and treatment, regardless of their income or where they live."
Additionally, the summit portion of "Global Goal...," hosted by Katie Couric, will give viewers the chance to, "Watch as world leaders, corporations and philanthropists respond to our collective calls for the development and equitable distribution of COVID-19 therapeutics, tests and vaccines for everyone, everywhere."
“Global Goal: Unite for Our Future" will air on NBC and iHeartMedia on June 27. Check the organization's website for further details and times.
Photo: Dane Clark
It Goes to 11: Noah Reid's Favorite Instrument Is A Custom-Made Wedding Gift With A Family Connection
Noah Reid shares the story behind his one-of-a-kind acoustic guitar, which was made expressly with him in mind.
Musician and actor Noah Reid's favorite instrument is an acoustic guitar that was custom-built by renowned luthier Linda Manzer, who's worked on guitars for the likes of Carlos Santana, Pat Metheny and Paul Simon. But the instrument's pedigree isn't the biggest thing that makes it special — it's also an important part of Reid's family history.
In this episode of It Goes to 11, Reid shares the deeply personal story behind his guitar, which was a wedding gift from his parents. Every detail behind the instrument was crafted with him in mind, beginning with the fact that it was made in 1987 — the year he was born.
"It's personalized on the headstock with a drawing by my dad," Reid explains, adding that Manzer also worked on the instrument with him and his playing style in mind. "She included a letter that said, 'I've heard you play in person, and I've tuned this, and the action is such that I think it will suit your playing style."
Reid's parents gave him the guitar as a gift the night before his wedding ceremony in 2020, along with a detailed case for the instrument. Having it before the wedding itself allowed the musician to make a special memory with his new guitar right away: performing for his new wife in front of their loved ones.
"Playing this guitar on my wedding day was just a crazy confluence of music and emotion and belonging and family," the singer — who Schitt's Creek fans may remember from his heart-melting performances as Patrick — says. "It was really everything. There's a sense of belonging with this instrument that feels unique and special. It's not just for an everyday occasion."
Press play on the video above to get to know Reid's special acoustic guitar for yourself, and keep checking back to GRAMMY.com for more episodes of It Goes to 11.
How Youth-Run Label Syryn Records Supports Up-And-Coming Artists, Music Industry Hopefuls
Born out of the pandemic, Syryn Records offers young future music professionals real-world experience in the industry — and what they've done with it is impressive.
The COVID-19 lockdown forced many people to get creative with how they connected with each other and interacted with the world. The leaders of Girls Rock Santa Barbara were no different, but they also had a pressing decision to make: Skip their annual sleep-away summer camp for school-aged girls and gender expansive kids, or adapt their programming for the newly all-remote world.
This is how Syryn Records — a youth-run record label dedicated to supporting young female-identifying and gender expansive artists as they grow their careers in music — was born.
The label's teen interns built Syryn from scratch, running the label's day-to-day operations while also collaborating on the development of branding, website and social media.
While the first cohort of Syryn interns released singles from seven artists and contributed to creative assets for those releases, second session interns are signing artists. Twenty-one-year-old Heaven Lee is Syryn's first signed artist, and will release her debut single on the label later this year. The Syryn squad also kept busy creating an online publication called GRL Mag, and doing TikTok reports from concerts.
Now firmly on the other side of lockdown, the spring 2022 cohort of 39 interns hosted the first IRL Syryn event in April: a showcase concert featuring Heaven and other young up-and-coming artists at The Rattle in Los Angeles. The next cohort is to continue to support Heaven, sign another artist or two, and release another compilation album to support even more young artists.
In addition to supporting young artists, Syryn nurtures its interns — some of whom are aspiring artists themselves, while others are into visual art or see themselves on the business side of the industry. The internship offers them real world experience, as well as industry connections through weekly mentorship meetings with female musicians and music industry professionals. The 24 mentors for the spring session included Kate Nash, Megan Mitchell, LATASHÁ and myself, representing music journalism.
GRAMMY.com spoke with three interns — one who is graduating high school, a college student, and a recent college grad — and one adult leader. They share the impact of their experience at Syryn, their visions for themselves as young women in music, and how their hard work has helped the label evolve.
To start, it'd be great if everyone could introduce themselves and tell me your role at Syryn, and why you signed up to be a part of it.
Blaire Michael: I'm the program mentor and lead at Syryn Records. I help run all of the departments and manage the program, and make sure that everybody feels like they're getting the most out of it… and also just feels seen, and understood and supported.
Marissa McShepard: I am in the art department, and I've really been enjoying working with the team of artists. I chose to apply because I'm a visual artist and I'm into music as well. And I felt "Why not try to get some experience in that field?" since all I've been doing is my major in college, which is business and I don't really enjoy it that much.
Isabella Diaz: I joined Syryn because it's actually what led me to Girls Rock about two years ago. I saw it on Instagram and I was like, "Oh my God, that's so cool." I guess I didn't have the confidence to put in an application. So this year, I was like, "No, I'm going to do it." It's great because it's kind of an entry into the music industry. I'm going into college and will be majoring in entertainment management. I'm on the marketing team.
Sasha-Courtney Hofisi: I am an intern in the art department and I get to work alongside Marisa and some other really dope artists on the art and the aesthetic behind Syryn Records. We're working closely with some of the artists on their upcoming projects, which is dope. I saw [Syryn] on Instagram and am a music industry major and a multidisciplinary artist, primarily a musician. I really wanted the opportunity to explore my job options after college; I think that being in the program has given me a better idea of what my career options can be.
I would love to hear more about how Syryn came together in summer 2020, and the journey from there.
Michael: The last session started in 2020 and it was a pivot, because COVID was happening and everyone was trying to figure out how to stay engaged and supported and part of the community. And so [the staff at Girls Rock Santa Barbara] came up with a couple of different programs, one focused on journalism and another focused on promoting young artists and giving young folks an opportunity to explore the different things you can do to support an artist as a music professional.
The label is now formalized this year, but previously, it was a lot of artists that were just part of the Girls Rock community that brought in a single and the interns came together to help do the art for it and to help with some of the publicity. They created a Syryn Instagram and website.
We loved how it went and we were like, "Why don't we actually sign artists?" We have all of our interns supporting actual signed artists to the Syryn Record label, and we're exploring a lot of different ways that we can keep building it out.
How do you decide what music to release on the label?
Michael: We had a ton of artist applications. We had to narrow it down to those we felt were self-sufficient enough in that they knew how to produce, they knew a little bit about engineering, they already had written some songs and the songs had a really good structure to them. [Essentially], we felt like they were ready to push their music out, so they were at the right part in their journey to link with Syryn Records.
The whole team at Girls Rock Santa Barbara talked about every single intern and every single artist, and chose the folks that we wanted to join us. We have two artists that we're working with right now. We're super excited to work with them.
What does Syryn offer in support of its artists?
Michael: We have four departments: A&R, publicity, marketing and the art department. And they're all kind of working together but separately, building the different pieces. Marketing is talking to the artists about getting an aesthetic together and the brand guidelines, so when they're posting there's consistency. The art department is making art, helping with covers, canvases, all those kinds of things, and also has been helping with our website. The publicity department is putting together press releases, getting ready for when we launch and also reaching out and talking to people about our artists and our program.
McShepard: The art department first started with, again, the aesthetic of Syryn… but we also moved on to looking at the aesthetics of the artists, starting with Heaven and then on to Zoey. [We worked] with other departments, making sure that our collaboration is smooth. We just finished working with the marketing department to make a good cover for Heaven's single, which was really fun.
Hofisi: We actually got the chance to be put into pairs to collaborate on Heaven's single covers. We've been able to combine our two departments' skills together to be able to create a cohesive project and pitch for the signed artist, so they can have options for their covers and such.
Another really cool feature that all the interns get is that we have a guest mentor come speak to us on Mondays. It's a great way to make connections, but also it's been the easiest way for me to be able to ask as many questions as I want about different careers, and see people across a plethora of… fields within the industry.
Diaz: Like Sasha and Marissa mentioned, we just finished a collaboration between the two departments. I really liked how every single group had a totally different perspective on it, and the ideas that were thrown out there were really cool.
In marketing, we've also been working on getting our social media going. I've been doing a lot of TikToks, like concerts of the week, record of the week, guest mentor of the week, a lot of weekly stuff. We're trying to continue our posting schedule. We were working on some color palettes as well. We want to get a cohesive idea for the artists for when we do start all the releases, so everything can be ready and looking pretty.
I really like Syryn's collage / DIY-style art! Who makes the decisions around the visual elements of the label?
Michael: The art department really does represent the artists interests, but we've had meetings where Heaven comes in. Heaven's met with the marketing department and talked about color schemes and the fonts we're choosing, and we handed those over to the art department. They made so many different versions because then we get to all present them to Heaven.
I think the important part of our record label… has always been that the artist has a ton of creative control. And we want to make sure that we're supporting their vision.
McShepard: Outside of artists' work and artists' aesthetic, we all have some say in what's finalized. For example, we still have to vote on a banner for the website. I think that's great that we all get to have a say because we all put in the work and we all help each idea come to fruition.
Diaz: In marketing, we have these mood boards going and we all get to add to them and see our perspective on it, and then as we keep doing that it becomes more cohesive. When we get the artists in, then we get more ideas and that's [when] we finalize everything. It's a team effort and we really value everyone's opinion. I really like that.
What can you tell me about the label's aesthetic, and how you came to that decision?
Hofisi: At least for our banner and our website upgrade, a huge thing that we talked about is trying to kind of play with, in an age-appropriate way, the Syryn Records title and the mythology and association with siren. So, we wanted to play into a mystical vibe. We were thinking about fairies, and flying cats and a very foresty vibe, like mushrooms and plants, to liven it up and add a little bit more of a magical vibe to it.
We also really wanted to play into the gender expansiveness as well of Syryn Records — not only the fact that it is focused on women empowerment, but also gender inclusion as well. So we have a lot of androgynous mystical creatures like fairies, or elves, stuff like that. That will be included in this next phase of the Syryn Records brand.
McShepard: The only other thing that she didn't mention was just the color palette, again, making sure those colors are inspiring and supporting the vibe that we're going for. And making sure that it is age-appropriate and all-inclusive when it comes to our females and gender expansive folks. We wanted to have some kind of cohesion on that front while still promoting diversity.
Michael: Yeah, we never wanted anyone to look at our brand and feel like they're not included if they are part of our outreach. So trans, non-binary, racial diversity, gender. We wanted to make sure you look at something from us and say, "Oh, I belong here." So how you build your art, how you build your brand can really signal to people "I belong here" or "I don't belong here." So that's important.
Can you tell me about the Syryn artist showcase that happened recently?
Hofisi: I was very, very, very blessed with the showcase. I met one of my best friends, actually, in this internship, in the art department. Basically, we had the idea of wanting to do a show and get the chance to meet each other for the first time. Her birthday was coming up as well, so the timing was really great. We asked Blaire if she had any ideas for venues and she was generous enough to offer to try to help us collaborate with the record label.
The showcase was really, really great. We got to have Heavenheadline the event. We really wanted the event to highlight dope women that are doing amazing things in music, and wanted to showcase their talents. We had a very intimate acoustic vibe to it. It was Venusian themed, and we wanted to bring the outdoors inside, so we had a little grass patch and flowers. There were five acts. It was very, very exciting.
Michael: It's really cool because it was two interns coming together and producing an event for Syryn Records, which is kind of crazy. And we got to keep it fully in-house, Devin [Davis, the Syryn A&R Mentor Lead] and I did the sound for the event. One of our guest mentors is the director of The Rattle, which is a creative space [in Los Feliz in Los Angeles]. It kind of came full circle and was really, really sick. And we had two interns performing and the two artists signed to our label.
So it's a beautiful example of when you bring all these elements together the synergy that can happen and how it can sort of organically uplift your message or your mission without you having to do too much besides putting the right people in the right rooms together.
At this point in time, what does everyone's "dream job" look and feel like? Are you interested in working in the music industry?
Diaz: For me personally, it feels like a pinball; it just bounces around all the time and is never fully set. But now, working anywhere in management or [as] an agent will be cool. Working with a label and working with a group of people has made me realize that I really do like the collaborative aspect, so working for a label — whether it's one of the big corporate names or one of the smaller local ones — seems to be really, really cool.
I would love to be able to work in something that lets me experience my favorite things, which are concerts and music, on a more intimate level and bring those experiences to people. I grew up on these things, and would love to show it to the next generation to be like look at this great world and eventually they can take over.
McShepard: This is a very real question for me right now as I'm about to graduate from college in a week. And I'm hating it because it keeps changing…. I'm thinking I need to be in this corporate job, like I said, I'm [majoring] in business, specifically my focus is in consulting. I do interviews like this with people all the time, and I always love to connect with people and talk to people and that's my favorite part.
I grew up in the theater, I was a scene artist painting-wise, and I also was a dancer and singer. So at this point it is just like, Marissa, what do you want to do with your life? [Chuckles] I've got all these options. Honestly, at this point, my end goal, sooner rather than later, would be to have an art gallery and art therapy brick and mortar kind of place. Because I would love to still be able to connect with people in that way and also get my bag doing my art.
Photo: Courtesy of William Murphy
Positive Vibes Only: William Murphy Invites You To His Church For A Soaring Performance Of "You've Already Won"
Let William Murphy and a chorus of backing singers move you with an inspiring performance of "You've Already Won," a soaring message of positivity, hope and faith.
Gospel artist and pastor William Murphy has a message of joy and inspiration to share in "You've Already Won," a song that comes off the track list of his seventh album, Worship & Justice, which arrived earlier this year.
In this episode of Positive Vibes Only, Murphy invites fans to join him for a live performance of the song set in church, complete with soaring harmonies from a chorus of backing vocalists and joyous interjections from members of the congregation. This performance of "You've Already Won" was filmed at The dReam Center Church of Atlanta, which Murphy co-founded with his wife, Danielle, in 2006.
It's fitting that this performance of "You've Already Won" was filmed live in Murphy's church — many of Worship & Justice's 20 tracks were recorded as he performed them for a congregation. That recording session took place in December 2021, and Murphy explained to CCM Magazine that the experience was particularly rewarding after two years of COVID-19 related closures.
"We were gathering for the first time in almost two years," the three-time GRAMMY nominee recounted. "We had over a thousand people in the room. People still had masks on, but it was like a wind of fresh air to see the room filled again."
Press play on the video above to experience Murphy's joyful live performance of "You've Already Won" for yourself, and check back to GRAMMY.com every Sunday for new episodes of Positive Vibes Only.
Photo: Jamie Nelson
5 Takeaways From Megan Thee Stallion's New Album 'Traumazine'
Megan Thee Stallion opens up about anxiety and being shot on her second album, 'Traumazine,' which was released with a single day's notice on Aug. 12.
"The chemical release in the brain when it is forced to deal with painful emotions caused by traumatic events and experiences," she explained in the post. "See synonyms: self-realization."
On Aug. 11, Megan announced that her second album is called Traumazine and it would be released the next day. On Twitter, the Houston rapper, 27, made it seem like she had wanted to keep the release day a secret, but leaks prompted her to talk about it.
"From my cover art, pieces of my track list and me even hearing a part of a song I haven't dropped yet leaking (and we ALL know who the only ppl who had access to all these PRIVATE links are..) I might as well…lol," she wrote.
The album straddles rap and pop through collaborations with guests like Jhené Aiko, Dua Lipa, Latto, Rico Nasty and Future, offering listeners a rare glimpse inside the mind behind her body of work. Here are five key details to know about Megan Thee Stallion's new album, Traumazine.
She Addresses Being Shot — Maybe For The Last Time
Megan briefly references a July 2020 incident in which rapper Tory Lanez allegedly shot her in the foot. According to CBS News, Lanez has been charged with assault with a semiautomatic firearm and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle.
"I feel like Biggie, 'Who Shot Ya?'/ But everybody know who shot me, bitch/ So now, let's stop speaking on the topic," Megan raps in "Who Me (feat. Pooh Shiesty)."
On July 28, a lawyer for Lanez asked that his Sept. 14 trial date be delayed; he's due back in court on Aug. 12.
Notorious B.I.G. Is A Running Metaphor
Megan's Biggie lyric in "Who Me" is not the only reference to the late rapper on Traumazine. She samples the Isley Brothers' 1983 hit "Between The Sheets," which was also used for Notorious B.I.G.'s "Big Poppa," on "Consistency (feat. Jhené Aiko)."
The rapper also calls herself "Biggie-Biggie black" on "Not Nice" and interpolates Junior M.A.F.I.A.'s "Get Money," which was written in part by Christopher Wallace, on "Plan B."
She Opens Up About Depression And Anxiety
"Excuse me while I get into my feelings for a second. Usually I keep it in, but today I gotta tell it," Megan raps on "Anxiety," offering a rare look into her personal feelings. "Bad bitches have bad days too," she shares.
On "Flip Flop," she admits that, "Behind this smile, I'm fightin' these tears/'Cause a bitch be sad as f—/Ever since my mama died, 2019/ I don't really know who I can trust."
Bodily Autonomy Is Important
In the wake of the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, Megan fights for reproductive rights on Traumazine. She references emergency contraception on "Plan B" and asserts her bodily autonomy on "Gift & a Curse."
"My motherf—kin' body, my choice," she spits on "Gift & a Curse." "Ain't no lil' dick takin' my voice."
She Pays Homage To Ball Culture
Just as Beyoncé did on her new album, Renaissance, Megan pays homage to ball culture on Traumazine with the upbeat and boastful song "Her." Megan served looks and fierce commentary as a judge for two seasons on Legendary, the HBO Max competition series that pits houses of voguers against each other.
Traumazine is the last album that Megan owed to 1501 Certified Entertainment, her record label with which she has been engaged in a legal battle for earnings. She shared her frustrations with dealing with 1501 on social media while encouraging her fans to support the album.
"Y'all know I always have problems with dropping my music under this label, all these games and having to go to court just to put out my art has been so stressful," she tweeted on August 10. "Thank you hotties for rocking with me through the bulls—. WE ALMOST OUT LETS STAY FOCUSED AND RUN THIS LAST ONE UP."
Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
GRAMMY Rewind: Miranda Lambert Wins A GRAMMY For Best Country Album In 2015 And Thanks Everyone Who Helped "Make It Happen"
As Miranda Lambert took the stage to accept her Best Country Album trophy 'Platinum,' she made sure to honor the producers, co-writers and musicians who brought the album to life.
Before the 57th GRAMMYs took place in February 2015, Miranda Lambert had already received many GRAMMY nominations — and in 2011, she even won Best Country Vocal Performance for her song "The House That Built Me."
However, she'd never won Best Country Album — though her projects Four the Record and Revolution had both scored nominations — until 2015, when she earned the trophy for her fifth studio album, Platinum.
In this episode of GRAMMY Rewind, take a look back at Lambert's heartfelt acceptance speech as she accepted her award. As soon as she took the stage, she made sure to voice some recognition for her fellow nominees — Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Lee Ann Womack and Brandy Clark — who were all watching from the audience.
"I love every album in this category. I'm so thankful for this," Lambert said as she held her GRAMMY. "I poured my heart and soul into this record."
Many supporters helped propel Lambert on toward the making of her Platinum album — her then-husband Blake Shelton was lovingly looking on from his seat in the audience, for one — and she made a point of thanking her collaborators.
"Frank Liddell, Chuck Ainlay and Glenn Worf are amazing producers," she continued. "And all the musicians who played on this, and all the writers, and all the people that make it happen and get it to the people, get it to the fans. Thank you so much for this amazing night."
Lambert won her second Best Country Album GRAMMY in 2021, for her 2019 LP Wildcard. To date, Miranda Lambert has won 3 GRAMMYs and has received 23 GRAMMY nominations overall.
Press play above to watch Lambert's full acceptance speech, and keep checking GRAMMY.com for more episodes of GRAMMY Rewind.