We had a wonderful time basking in all of the pre-Grammy celebrations of Grammy Week at the Grammy Museum. The week was full of panelist discussions and private events. Artists, producers, writers, executives, and industry creatives came together to learn, connect and celebrate their peers and fellow accomplishments. We felt honored to be invited by the Recording Academy. As a GrammyU member who intends to become a life-long voting member of the Recording Academy, it was a full circle moment.
Backstage Pass: The Global Music Panel
We had the pleasure of listening to Zakes Bantwini (Artist, Songwriter, and Producer), Adam Byars (Music Executive), and Sibo (Talent Manager and Executive Producer) talk about their journey of navigating the African music industry and making a worldwide impact. It was inspiring to hear about how their paths crossed, and how they made individual decisions regarding their respective professions and became family. We were also almost brought to tears by Roots flutist Wouter Kellerman who made time stop during his performance; a dedication to the late great Nelson Mandela. It was moving to be introduced to the African tech sound and Durban Kwaito Music (DKM) as Zakes performed on the Grammy Museum stage. Sibo closed out the panel by saying that whether they win or not this year, they will be back again. We are beyond proud and excited to give a huge congratulations to Zakes, Wouter, and artist Nomcebo for their 2023 Grammy win!
Live Out L!ve Presents: Beyond the Mainstage- Black Professionals in Live Music:
The Live Out L!ve Presents: Black Professionals in Live Music panel was informative and enlightening. Candace Newman (CEO and Founder of Live Out L!ve), Marcus Johnson (Talent Buyer), Taji Hardwick (Festival Marketing Coordinator), Catherine Hooper (Manager, Partnership Activation), and Chantel Diaz (DEI Business Partner) came together to discuss their roles as executives in the live music space and their journey in becoming the people they are today. They were down to earth, relatable, and open as they discussed the trials and tribulations that came with their success. They were willing to stay afterward to offer words of wisdom, their contact information, and themselves as potential mentors. It was refreshing to see executives of color so open and willing to share information and teach. Candace made it clear that one of her biggest goals for the event was to bridge the gap and show younger aspiring people of color that those positions existed in the entertainment space. The room was filled with aspiring artists and supportive parents, established artists, and young creatives seeking to learn and build connections, and that is exactly what they did.
Careers in Music: Merck Mercuriadis, Nile Rodgers, and 2023 Six-Time Grammy - Nominated Singer/ Songwriter/ Producer THE-DREAM
The last day of Grammy week panel discussions was one for the books. Legends and changemakers Merck Mercuriadis, Nile Rodgers, and The Dream came together to discuss songwriting, producing and their journeys as artists. It was one of the most wisdom-filled panel discussions a young songwriter and artist could attend. The way they honestly discussed their work ethic, dedication to their craft, and their admiration for one another was inspiring and valuable. Through the Q&A section of the discussion, The Dream mentioned not being selfish with your talent and gifts -when focusing on what you want to put into the world, as an artist. They described how they're always creating, learning, and practicing their craft. That the love for your art has to be bigger than your fear or self-doubt. They discussed timing and honesty; knowing when something is meant for you or a better fit for another artist instead. Merck made sure to ask the questions and highlight the genius and talent of his friends. You could tell that the men on that stage had a huge amount of respect and love for one another and how they express their art. Both The Dream and Nile Rodgers discussed the excitement of being nominated for Beyonce's hit single "Cuff It." We were more than ecstatic to see them both accept the award on Beyonce's behalf for the hit song, on the Grammy stage.
We were also blessed to meet the legend Jimmy Jam, who was sitting in the audience, to support and watch the panel discussion.
The Recording Academy and the Revels Group joined forces to create Grammy House, for Grammy week. Grammy House was the exclusive Recording Academy pop-up event held at the historical Bourbon Room, in Hollywood. The event was filled with fun photo ops, signature drinks, and an immersive dedication to hip-hop throughout the years. Creatives, influencers, artists, managers, and executives came together to connect, party, and celebrate the biggest week in music. Special thank you and shout out to Ben Schecter of The Revels Group and Artist and Songwriter Derick Cobb.