On Sunday, February 10th, 2019 I attended the Grammys for the first time ever! I attended with my manager Tom and we left on Friday, February 8th. The flight was smooth and we got a lot done in the 4+ hours it took to get there, including writing out a sample track list for my new album and possibly even coming up with a new title…stay tuned!
We finally got into LA late Friday afternoon and we went to pick up our rent –a-car. We tried Turo for the first time, where you basically rent another person’s car. We we’re able to rent a 2018 Dodge Challenger on their app for less than you could rent a small/midsize generic vehicle from one of the big rent-a-car companies so we figured we would mine as well do that and ride in style! Once we settled into our hotel, we grabbed some calzones at a place across the street (only cheese and veggies for me!) and then met up a couple of friends that live in the area out in Venice. We started out at a crowded swankier place (recommended by one of Tom’s friends lol), but decided to move to a more chill environment with a live band. We had a good time catching up with friends (during the bands breaks, they were good, but man were they loud) and then headed back to the hotel to rest up for Saturday.
Saturday we attended a pre-Grammy party at the Roxy Theatre called the Soiree hosted by Grammy Award winning producer Al Walser. We got the VIP treatment and I even got to walk the red carpet and get interviewed! Larry King was also honored at the event with a lifetime achievement award (he also sat right behind us randomly which was pretty cool) and we exchanged business cards with a lot of other people in the music industry. Tom also got Al’s card and is trying to set something up for me to perform at one of his future events. All in all it was a pretty cool night and we got to make some good connections!
Sunday was the BIG day! Although it wasn’t for a nomination it was still super cool to be in the building for the GRAMMYS! We pretty much just chilled all day for the most part and posted some pics from the Soiree event on social media just to keep people updated. When it was time to get ready you know we had to look our best! Tom brought a Chicago flag style bowtie and that ended up being a mess to figure out how to tie since neither of us have ever done it, but we eventually figured it out (about an hour later ha).
We were finally ready to leave and after getting some advice from a friend who had attended multiple times before we got dropped off at the JW Marriott across the street from the Staples Center and it was a sight to see. It was packed and everyone was dressed clean as ever! We got some insider info on how to get onto the red carpet, but I guess we didn’t have the proper credentials so ended up just going into the main entrance. Once inside we walked around the concourse to survey the scene and after about 5 minutes of walking around we ran into Questlove (for those of you who don’t know he is the drummer and joint frontman for the the Grammy Award-winning band The Roots who also are the in-house band for the Jimmy Fallon show). He was super dope and even waited the 10 seconds for Tom’s phone camera to take the pic because he had the timer on ha.
After our first celeb sighting we took a seat and met a couple of people originally from Chicago who noticed Tom’s bowtie. Chatted with them for a bit and I ran into another Chicagoan I used to hoop with, Gospel singer Chris Searcy, we caught up for a few and exchanged info and then it was time to head to our seats and let the festivities begin. We sat next to a producer and of course we exchanged cards (it’s all about networking) and waited for the show to begin. It was pretty cool being in the building seeing everything that went into the show especially during the commercial break seeing people scrambling around getting ready for the next act or award to be announced and counting down the time for everyone to be back in their seats. Alicia Keys did an amazing job hosting and some of the other highlights included seeing legends like Smoky Robinson, Buddy Guy, Dolly Parton and Diana Ross, H.E.R. winning her first Grammy, and the performances by Lady Gaga, Travis Scott and Shawn Mendes were dope as well!
After the show is the after party…after an amazing show, we hit the after party! The first thing we saw was a booth sponsored by the Google Pixel for the Pixel Dance-off where you got to dance with a simulation of Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino (congrats to him on all the awards!). That video got a lot of love on social media with already close to 1,800 views already…I guess people liked our moves lol. Once we got into the after party we had to move quick to find a seat as most people that got in early already saved them for others. For the remainder of the night we ate, made new friends who were sitting around us and enjoyed performances by TLC and En Vouge! All and all it was an amazing experience!
On Monday, our last day in LA, we set up meetings with a couple people in the music industry. Our first was with the Music Programming Coordinator of Radio Disney. We had a great meeting and discussed Good Day possibly being added into their rotation. Nothing is official yet, but I had a good feeling coming out of that one. The next meeting was with the EVP of ingrooves, we had met with him the last time we were in LA and he has been super helpful ever since! He had a lot of good things to say about the direction we are heading and a lot of good advice on how to get to where we want to go! We definitely thank and appreciate the time they both gave us! Later that night I did an open mic in downtown LA at a place called “The Lash” it was a smaller place, but had a dope vibe and some talented artists come out, although I was the only singer of the bunch so I threw some people off ha. After the open mic we went to talk more music with our friend Geoffro who is a Grammy Award winning producer himself. We had an awesome conversation and I definitely appreciate all the info and advice he gave me. Hopefully we will be working with him on some things real soon!
The next morning we headed back to Chicago and came back to the freezing temps, wind and snow we all love! Overall it was an awesome trip and I hope to build on all of the advice I received and the new connections I made while out there. The goal is also to be sitting in the nominee section very soon, that upper level stuff is for the birds ha.