MELE Grammy Experience: Part 1

From L to R: Keala Chock, Eric Lagrimas, Milani Maybin, Vanessa DeCascos, Glenn Molina, Noah Cronin, Joel Chasteen

Arriving in Los Angeles with practically no sleep, excitement filled us with energy and kept us moving through the day (after a healthy breakfast at Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles) which consisted of going to the historical Oceanway Studios and attending the Grammy Foundation event, Word Revolution: A Celebration of the Evolution of Hip-Hop.
We arrived about half an hour early to our scheduled tour with Oceanway, located on the Sunset Boulevard strip and entered into a world of platinum and gold plaques hanging on the walls. These plaques represented all the artists and albums the studio has worked with over the years – ranging from Michael Jackson and Prince to Dr. Dre and The Beach Boys.
Jessica Castle, the studio’s traffic manager, began the tour by showing us a couple of different studios – all scattered with microphones and equipment used by clients. A film score was in preperation to be recorded as we were getting our walk through and we even got a rare glance at Grammy award winning producer/engineer Jack Joseph Puig’s mixing room – which looked like something out of a science fiction movie.
Being in that professional environment really gave us a great sense of understanding of how much we need to learn but at the same time made us realize how capable we are of reaching those goals by being there in the first place. One key word of advice that was gained from the tour was that being able to adapt to clients personalities was key because this business is all about relationships.
Later in the evening we arrived at the Word Revolution concert, which was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre to celebrate the evolution of hip hop. The show started off with DJ Kid Capri opening up with a mix and taking the crowd on a journey from the old school to the new school while getting everyone out of their seats and setting the mood for the evening. Just as soon as everybody sat back down, they were right back on their feet as Naughty by Nature took the stage and performed their hits such as “Hip Hop Hooray” and “O.P.P.” This would set the vibe as other performances by Arrested Development, Musiq Soulchild, Paul Wall, MC Lyte, Phife of A Tribe Called Quest, and Chrisette Michelle would follow throughout the night. America’s Best Dance Crew winner, the Beat Freaks, did an electrifying break dancing performance as well.
Besides a few compelling speeches by Kristen Madsen, Sr. Vice President of the Grammy Foundation, and Neil Portnow, President and CEO of the Recording Academy and the Grammy foundation, that gave recognition to how hip hop changed American culture, it was hard to stay in your seats the entire night. As soon as you thought you could sit down after one performance, another legendary act would get you back on your feet and dancing. The night ended with a soulful and hardcore mix from the legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff on the turntables. We were nodding our heads all the way out the door.

Stay tuned for our Grammy awards backstage rehearsal experience – featuring Miranda Lambert, Rihanna, Drake, Bruno Mars, and interviews with head sound engineer of the Grammys, Doug Mountain, and senior director of MusiCares, Erica Krusen.

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