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Global Spin: Watch George Perris Represent Greece With A Riveting Performance Of "No Armor"

George Perris

Errikos Andreou

news

Global Spin: Watch George Perris Represent Greece With A Riveting Performance Of "No Armor"

In the latest episode of Global Spin, watch singer/songwriter George Perris represent his home country of Greece with an uplifting performance of "No Armor"

GRAMMYs/Dec 7, 2021 - 11:43 pm

What better way to pay homage to Greece than traditional instrumentation on an old-world backdrop?

With ruins behind him on a jet-black night, multilingual singer/songwriter George Perris performs an evocative version of his song "No Armor" in the below video.

"The hands of time turn slowly/ So it seems/ But all the days turn quickly to years," Perris croons in a burgundy suit, accompanied by spectral acoustic strums from two accompanists.

In the latest episode of Global Spin, a video series highlighting luminous artists from around the world, soak in Perris' crepuscular performance and get a taste of his native land.

Enjoy the video above and click here to enjoy more episodes of Global Spin.

Tune in to the sounds of the world with Global Spin every other Tuesday at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m ET on the Recording Academy's official YouTube channel, Facebook page, Instagram page, and Twitter profile.

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ReImagined At Home: Watch George Perris Perform A Gossamer Version Of Mariah Carey's 1997 Classic "Butterfly"
George Perris

Photo: Courtesy of George Perris

video

ReImagined At Home: Watch George Perris Perform A Gossamer Version Of Mariah Carey's 1997 Classic "Butterfly"

In this episode of ReImagined At Home, watch singer/songwriter George Perris cover Mariah Carey's GRAMMY-nominated song "Butterfly."

GRAMMYs/Apr 27, 2022 - 07:41 pm

Part of the fun of ReImagined At Home is learning which songs still have legs all these years later. 

Within this GRAMMY.com performance series, artists perform GRAMMY-centric songs from yesteryear — from Train's "Drops of Jupiter" to Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats." 

Now, we have Greek/French singer/songwriter George Perris up to bat. Does Mariah Carey's "Butterfly," released all the way back in 1997, still hold up? The answer is a resounding yes — which says a lot about both Perris' interpretive talent and the strength of the original.

In this episode of ReImagined At Home, watch Perris navigate the emotional terrain of Carey's classic with poise . Backed by a sympathetic band, Perris sings Carey's words tenderly.

"Spread your wings and prepare to fly/ For you have become a butterfly," he croons. "Fly abandonedly into the sun/ If you should return to me/ We truly were meant to be." Back in 1997, "Butterfly" earned Carey a nomination for a GRAMMY for Best Female Pop Performance.

Watch this inspired nexus of pop's past and present above, and keep checking back for more episodes of ReImagined At Home.

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Press Play At Home: George Perris Celebrates Freedom With A Rooftop Performance Of "Disobey"
George Perris performs "Disobey."

Photo: Courtesy of George Perris

video

Press Play At Home: George Perris Celebrates Freedom With A Rooftop Performance Of "Disobey"

Greek-French singer George Perris shouts his message of freedom from the rooftops — literally — with a sunset performance of "Disobey" in this episode of Press Play at Home.

GRAMMYs/Jun 9, 2022 - 05:18 pm

In the empowering track "Disobey," George Perris celebrates his freedom. The song describes a "chain on my mind" that's been there since the singer can remember, but he's making the conscious decision to free himself from societal expectations and live life on his own terms.

In the latest episode of Press Play at Home, Perris shouts — or rather, sings — his freedom from the rooftops. Accompanied by an acoustic guitar and vocal harmony, the singer brings "Disobey" to life atop a building in his native Athens, Greece, against the backdrop of a sunset. 

This live version underscores the song's message of freedom: Closeup shots of Perris' face as he's singing suggest a peaceful confidence, and behind him are the wide open spaces of the city skyline. 

It's a fitting musical message for a powerful turning point in Perris' life. He wrote the song three years ago in Stockholm, Sweden, with collaborators Mark Caplice and Moh Denebi, at a time when personal freedom was at the forefront of his mind.

Releasing the song in 2021 turned out to be a stepping stone in an even larger move toward living authentically. In March of this year, he revealed to People that he is gay. Though he didn't quite consider it a coming out — he is openly gay in his personal life — it was the first time he'd ever spoken about his sexuality as a public figure. 

"It had a cost for me because there was a part of me that wanted to talk about it," Perris reflected. "A lot of people told me, 'You shouldn't come out,' 'You shouldn't talk about that publicly,' 'It'll destroy your career.'"

But on the contrary, sharing that part of himself with his fans became a potent musical inspiration for the singer. A year after he embraced themes of personal freedom with the release of "Disobey," he's continuing to take cues from similar themes of authentic living and sharing himself fully with his listeners. 

His most recent collection, No Armor, is a group of cover performances of the songs that have been most influential to him over the years, from artists such as Billie Eilish, Joni Mitchell and ABBA. Perris made his performances uniquely his own, arranging each track with a cast of Mediterranean instruments. 

Press play above to watch Perris' triumphant performance of "Disobey," and keep checking GRAMMY.com for more episodes of Press Play at Home

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Up Close & Personal: Shaggy And Sting Discuss Their Musical Beginnings, Songwriting Processes And GRAMMY-Winning Collaboration
(L-R) Chrissy Metz, Shaggy, Sting

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Up Close & Personal: Shaggy And Sting Discuss Their Musical Beginnings, Songwriting Processes And GRAMMY-Winning Collaboration

Two GRAMMY-winning musical legends joined together in this Nashville Chapter member-exclusive program, which was filmed at Nashville's Ocean Way and moderated by Chrissy Metz.

GRAMMYs/Sep 28, 2022 - 05:16 pm

Friends and collaborators Shaggy and Sting came together for a conversation at Nashville's Ocean Way Studio recently — and the result was a lengthy discussion about the way they write songs, the backstories behind some of their biggest hits, and of course, their GRAMMY-winning work together.

In an in-depth installment of Up Close & Personal, presented by the Recording Academy's Nashville Chapter and moderated by "This Is Us" star Chrissy Metz, the member-exclusive program presented an informal conversation that took fans through both artists' careers to date.

The two stars hail from very different parts of the world — Sting grew up in England, and became the frontman for legendary rock group the Police, while Shaggy was born in Kingston, Jamaica. but over the years, they've found layers of commonalities in their work.

In speaking about his songwriting process, Sting — who has written classic-rock hits like "Roxanne" and "Every Breath You Take" — notes that he mostly writes solo, a rarity in the famed songwriting collaboration hub of Music City.

"I've always been envious of people who have a writing partner," Sting says. "Lennon and McCartney, they were constantly playing off each other, competing with each other, and that was one of the engines of their success."

"But I never actually found that person, and I'm still alone," he adds, with a joke: "Isn't it sad?"

But he found an unlikely but fruitful creative partner in Shaggy for the two collaborative albums they've released together. One of them is 44/876, which won Best Reggae Album at the 2019 GRAMMYs — and includes a number of songs that the two artists co-wrote.

Shaggy explains that one of the reasons their songwriting partnership was so successful was because of their friendship: Where songwriting can be a tedious, solitary struggle, the two artists found that heading into the writer's room together broke some tension.

"I write a lot of songs, I'm pretty successful at it, but I don't particularly love it," Shaggy notes. "I like the live aspects of it. That's why I like working with him, because it's not as intense. It's more [like] we laugh, and out of that laughter comes something that works, that we hopefully both like."

To learn more about the two artists' creative processes — plus Shaggy's stint on The Masked Singer, and why they think the original James Bond might have been Jamaican — press play on the video above to watch the full episode of Up Close & Personal.

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Durand Bernarr's 'Wanderlust': The R&B Singer Explains Why He's "Constantly In A State Of Arriving"
Durand Bernarr

Photo: LaQuann Dawson 

interview

Durand Bernarr's 'Wanderlust': The R&B Singer Explains Why He's "Constantly In A State Of Arriving"

With Durand Bernarr’s 'Wanderlust' out now, the singer/songwriter speaks about leading the next wave of inclusionary R&B, merging comedy with his crooning, and why joining his congregation makes you family.

GRAMMYs/Sep 28, 2022 - 01:58 pm

Singer/songwriter and all-around tour de force Durand Bernarr has long excelled in showing how dope he is.

Born into a musically rich family — his mother was a professional music teacher and vocal coach, and his father did sound production for Earth, Wind & Fire — Bernarr not only had the chops for singing, but a larger-than-life personality.

Performing under the moniker "alcholharmony," Bernarr became one the YouTube’s first ever viral singing stars in 2007. Following the release of 8ight: The Stepson of Erykah Badu, Bernarr joined Badu as background vocalist, which elevated his profile leading up to his insta-classic album, Dur&, in 2020. The release netted Bernarr into a slate of notable appearances and viral offerings, as well as a legion of "cousins" who have joined his congregation of love, laughs, and lusciousness.

Fast forward to present day, and "the version of Little Richard that religion did not get to," has become a mainstay in R&B. His recently-released Wanderlust features 12 immersive songs ranging from self-reflective and confessional stylings ("Vacancy" feat. Just Liv) to the bouncy and boundary-setting like ("Boundaries," "H.I." feat. Devin Tracy), alongside instrumental work from Frank Moka and Braylon Lacy. 


The first single, "Lil Bit," produced by ActzMusiq and featuring Metta, finds the Cleveland-to-Los Angeles crooner looking for someone who is "little bit ugly." 

Bernarr and his brand of gangsta musical theater has made him become one of the inescapably popular voices in R&B, collaborating with The Internet, Ari Lennox, Patrick Paige II, Knxwledge, and Kaytranada. Add to the mix that Bernarr’s sold-out "Step Into My Office Tour" kept the summer active for many. The singer spoke with GRAMMY.com about Wanderlust, finding grace throughout the process and growing into his place as a playlist mainstay.

Whenever someone is around you, they’ll notice just how much your congregation flocks to you and appreciates your presence. What do you think it is about the Durand Bernarr Experience that connects so strongly with others?

First and foremost, I think people love it when someone has a very good attitude. They like it when they can come experience someone — whether in person or virtually — and feel uplifted by them.

With me having that familiar presence and feeling like a family member or best friend, it has that Midwestern/Southern charm that connects people to me. I feel a balance between them and me as a human being that goes a bit beyond just the music.

There are quite a few lyrical gems on Wanderlust that will surely find their way onto social media. "When the journey ain’t s—t, but the destination is lit," is affirming to those who are a work in progress. What inspired the hook for "Destination"...? What did giving yourself grace look like while putting together this album?

It came from a conversation I was having with someone; I was just trying to encourage them. This process of growth and getting out of one’s comfort zone is never comfortable at all. It takes going somewhere to get something. We sometimes forget to be present so that we can appreciate this journey from grinding to hustling to a space of arriving.

I’m constantly in a state of arriving, in a constant state of being in the journey. But these destinations are kind of like pockets, there is always going to be something else that we can learn and discover. And giving myself grace looked like not being so hard on myself. Grace looked like knowing I’m not going to get it right the first time and to allow myself to be a human being.

There’s this quote that I saw where it said, ‘When you’re talking down to yourself or negatively, your inner child is listening.’ We have to be careful of how we speak about ourselves to ourselves because we are always listening.


How would you describe your growth from your humble beginnings to now?

Dur& is my ninth project and I understand that overnight success is actually 10 years. From putting out mixtapes to a compilation project to the actual albums and EPs, I’ve built a brand from Alcoholharmony to now, and I let the music really tell the story. [With Wanderlust] I think I scaled back a bit on the vocal gymnastics and reveled in moments of simplicity. 

There’s a song on there in particular where I don’t adlib on the chorus at all, only on the bridge, and it is a bit more simple as opposed to my earlier approach. It’s like each instrument on the song has its part and that’s that. So, you’re able to catch things easier with this album.

Wanderlust is the first time you had a band joining you in the studio. Can you delve into the production and who joined you for this joyous revival?

I was talking to [producer and musician] Sam Hoffman about this. He did all of the interludes on Dur& and produced two songs on this project. Up until this point, I’ve had boot camps that were just full of musicians who loved to create moments. We did that constantly during a Monday night jam session and it ended up being something that turned into a project.

I cannot ever not do that ever again, because to be in the room with all these musicians was great. The first time I did that was with
the Free Nationals back in 2019. I got a chance to create from scratch working with them in the studio, which really inspired the need for me to do that with Wanderlust. So, playing with me are guys who I’ve been playing with for some time now. We were able to create so fast and get off so many different ideas.

It was dope to have these different perspectives. From
Frank Moka, [the] drummer with Erykah Badu to Brother B, who played on Mama’s Gun, to Daniel Jones — we have very strong vibes and a different musicality that came together to create Wanderlust. I’m so proud of it and proud of them.

I know which song is going to be the one that’s going to take off — and it’s not even the first single. I’ve been listening to it nonstop and if I have been sure about nothing else, it’s this — Wanderlust is a beautiful moment that I’m grateful to have had everyone a part of.

I hate to say that I’ve outdone myself because I wasn’t trying to do that, but I definitely outdid myself [
laughs].

Wanderlust also features the voices of Just Liv and Devin Tracy, who offer some more range and color to the album. Did they share any lessons or words of advice that helped during the recording process?

My main struggle was just the timing of everything, making sure that we loved the song. I wanted us all to love them. It reminded me of something that T
eedra Moses  told me a while ago about her music: "I don’t like people to listen to my stuff until it’s completely done," she said. "I’ve done everything that I need to and put everything into it. So, if I release that and you don’t like it, well, hey, I get it. But if you don’t like it because I didn’t get a chance to really love it myself, then that affects me."

I’m in a space now where I love these songs on Wanderlust — from the nuances to the things I want to pout when people hear it.

This album is made for your headphones, for your cars. It is really to immerse yourself like my
CoronaJournal, which is also recommended listening because you’ll get some laughs or ‘I know that’s right’ moments when you listen to it [laughs].

How would you describe Wanderlust to someone who’s just becoming familiar with your sound?

I’d say that Wanderlust is still in the realm of gangsta musical theater. There’s humor in it throughout and full of perspective and sonic adventures. The album takes you on a myriad of different genres from African funk to ‘80s video games, where I tap into my Sault bag — I love me some Cleo Sol — to New Orleans church vibes. 

The quality of the music on Wanderlust has beautifully evolved. I feel like I can still go back to albums like Sound Check and Dur& and sing these songs 20 years from then.

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There’s still things that are adult enough or age-appropriate enough for me to still be able to dig back into. Dur& has aged very well and on its two-year birthday; I love that people are still getting into it. Getting into songs like "Stuck," and I love that. 

Tyler, the Creator had recently said that one post about your art isn’t going to be enough. Every day is a new opportunity to introduce people to your work. And while I thought that Dur& was the masterpiece — and it was — Wanderlust came along and was like the Voodoo to its Brown Sugar.

It’s no secret that there’s a rise in there being more gender-fluid and inclusionary artists who are breaking through and impacting the charts. How does it impact you when people see you as a leader of this new wave? Do you view yourself as such?

I have to remind myself that I’ve been out here for about 15 years. My first YouTube video is about to be 15 come this December. [
Laughs] This means that it is now legally able to work. When I get approached by others or told that my music is being studied, I love it. To open people up to achieve agency to be themselves, to write the songs that they want to sing about is a powerful feeling. If Durand can say he’s in love with somebody’s grown ass man, then I can write my story about whatever because it is also important.

You never know the impact that you have on someone by just being yourself. Hopefully, by you being yourself, it can be seen as a positive thing. It is an asset to the space and not a liability. I’m grateful to …even have a moment where Lil Nas X and Normani are getting big eyes. I’m excited to see how much further being who I am can take me and what that can do for other people in their journey. 

How much of this music that I’ve put out is going to be the soundtrack to their lives, their adventures of self-discovery, and taking chances and believing in themselves? It’s an amazing and beautiful thing to think about because it’s such a tangible thing that I can feel [within].

It’s really showing that you’re laying the groundwork for others to follow. How do you deconstruct yourself to pull out these raw truths that make it into your lyrics?

I have to be in a space where either I’ve already worked through what it is that I’ve experienced and now I can tell the story, or I’m writing to work through it and get it out. 

I’ve mastered the art of being able to tell a story without really telling a story. It’s worded in a way where it is ambiguous enough to get a reaction, but depending on where you are in your life and what you’re going through, a person might interpret it in a completely different way than what the reality is for me and where it stems from.<em></em>

A few months back you drove the internet into a tizzy with your "Vocal Charm School" post, which namechecked some notable voices in the industry. When the spirit moved you to make the video, how did you respond to the reaction you got?

I was almost not going to post it because I felt like I needed to be focused on other things. But at the same time, I am a consumer, I’m a comedian, and this is funny [laughs]. I love to make people laugh and my whole thing was I don’t like to complain about something if I don’t at least have a solution to go with it. So, [for the R&B Verzuz,] if I see someone with shaky breath control or needs to work on their blending, I just put it out there that I’m willing to assist. [Laughs] That’s the thing: Hit me up, let’s work together, and we can get this moving in the right direction.

I was serious [in the post] when I said come to the show. I wanted them all to be there. They would’ve been taken care of and have a great seat. They would get a full comprehension of what it means to use your voice as an instrument. When you spend time with it, when you really take it serious, then the results are going to show. For a lot of us, if we did not have music or our voices, we would’ve pressed eject on this motherf—ker a long time ago.

After it was all said and done, has anyone taken you up on the chance to stay after altar call and workshop with you?

There were people who wanted to be in it, but as far as [those who were on
Verzuz], ain’t nobody responding [laughs]. It’s OK, I’m just gonna send them the DVD.

For those who missed your Step Into My Office tour, but are excited to delve into Wanderlust — sum up why this project is important to be placed into audiophiles’ rotation?

We are in dire need of some razzle dazzle in the music scene right now. Everybody is so sad. Everything is so dark. Don’t nobody know how to love. Their discernment is off. Mercury is in retrograde and I just want everyone to pop their shoulders effortlessly to this album. That’s why [on Wanderlust] there’s only three-and-a-half songs out of 12 songs that are below 80 bpm. Anything else that you hear is going to move the body, hell, even the slow stuff got some knocks to it [laughs].

I’m really interested in people dissecting "New Management," which was inspired by the end of Lil Nas X’s "Call Me By Your Name" video, and started out as a joke. But then as I’m writing the song, I made it into a song and started to dive into my childhood traumas, which led into realizing that everything I was taught to be afraid of was a fear tactic. Now, I’m able to live my life happily as a human being and revel in this opportunity to experience this beautiful thing called life. 

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