February 17, 2017
The weekend leading up to the Grammy’s is an exciting time, here in L.A.!
There are so many special networking and musical events that take place and fortunately for me, I was able to partake in some of them this year.
It started with the Pre-Grammy Party hosted by Whole Planet Foundation, a charity event benefiting microlending around the world. The venue was beautiful, packed with elegantly-dressed people, and plenty of food and drink to try from the sponsors of the event.
Lucky for me, I came just in time to listen to the jazzy sounds of Grammy-nominated vocalist, Rene Marie! Her voice was reminiscent of old jazz favorites -Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald – a rare find in LA and something I’m often in search of.
(Remy Marie performing with her jazz band)
Later on, I was surprised to see the Katey Segal, who played Peggy Bundy in ‘Married with Children’ as the lead singer of a folk-rock band called The Reluctant Apostles. She has a very soulful voice -what talent! The evening was lovely and worth the evening commute.
The next night, I had to rally myself to get to a networking event right back in Hollywood. It was for the Southern California Music Industry Professionals, hosted by Tune Registry. I had been wanting to attend one of these events for several months and this time I committed to it, in spite of the raining weather and traffic. (My new motto should be: there is no gain without a long drive.)
(Color-coded sign-in sheet at the mixer -clever idea!)
It took place in a cozy bar called Bar Lubitsch, known for it’s cocktails, as well as the music room in the back, where many bands will play, including my brother-in-law’s, called American Bloomers.
The room was packed -not just with music professionals from LA, but also from San Diego, San Francisco, and even Tennessee! I was inspired by their dedication to travel the distance for this event and it served as a reminder to me to stay focused and driven.
This networking event led to another one, as a lyricist from Tennessee named Terrance, offered an extra ticket he had to attend a BMI event the next day, called “How We Wrote that Song.” It took place at this cool club and performance hall called 1 Oak on Sunset Blvd. While dance hits played and aspiring songwriters filled the venue, a panel was being set up on stage for famous songwriters of today – Dallas Davidson, Alex Da Kid, Laura from the Matrix, Manny Fresh, and Fat Joe. After their songs played, each of them described the conceptions of their songs and the special ingredients that made them hits! Laura and Dallas even sang a couple of songs they wrote and I noticed how different it was to hear it from the songwriters. One could tell that these songs were undeniably their own. The artists who popularized these songs didn’t have the same emotions behind them as the respective owners.
(A quick “celeb” selfie. Standing next to me is my new friend from Tennessee, Terrance.)
After this inspiring event, it was my turn to shine. I left Hollywood to Pasadena for a Pre-Grammy live event, where I performed a couple tunes. I started to run low on steam, as the week was long, I had been rear-ended before the BMI event, and there were some personal matters on my mind. But as they say “the show must go on” so on I went!
At Red Gate Records in Pasadena, many artists connected to Planet LA Records performed their songs. I used this as an opportunity to get a feel from the audience for my current Hip-Hop and R&B project. I performed an original tune written by yours truly called “What it Means to Be,” a 90’s R&B-style song with a modern vibe. My collaborator, Savvy-OS, composed the instrumentals. The song was well-received, as the crowd went from silent and attentive during the song to excited upon completion. I followed this one with an a cappella favorite, “Summertime.”
It and was a good night and a fulfilling weekend.
(Me during my performance at Red Gate Recorders.)
Those were all my pre-Grammy activities! It was great to be involved with these musical happenings. I felt inspired and better connected to people on a similar journey.
Until next post!