“We’re back!” Universal Music Group Chairman and CEO Lucien Grainge received a standing ovation as he hosted the UMG Grammy Week artist showcase for the first time in three years due to the pandemic. “A lot has happened in these three years, but today it’s all about music.”
UMG’s Pre-Grammy Artist Showcase at Milk Studios is always about emerging artists ranked by Universal Music Group in a given year, and their performances are a highly anticipated event each year. However, due to the pandemic, this year was his first since 2020, and the edition also included highlights from a series of documentary films the company plans to release.
In his opening remarks, Grainge yelled at the artists scheduled to perform and attendees including Elton John, Jon Baptiste, Sabrina Carpenter, Yo Gotti, Niall Horan, Fletcher, Ice Spice and Queen Naija. and Natalie Jane. “We all know the extraordinary power of music. It touches each one of us,” he said. “Whenever an artist uses their talents to make a positive difference in our community, the power of music increases in a socially conscious way. And the power of music is even greater when we support artists in their efforts to foster change.”
He then followed up with Billie Eilish and her mother’s efforts to tackle climate change and promote sustainability in her tours and the way she lives her life. We introduced a video highlighting UMG’s own efforts to limit things. Grainge then introduced her Eilish herself. Eilish came out and for her efforts she won UMG’s Amplifier Award.
“I do the best I can. I always feel like I can do more. I am impressed and excited,” Eilish said. I am receiving an award. “I really appreciate it. I feel really watched right now. I spend a lot of time feeling really insecure because a lot of people, especially people in business, don’t really care. And what I wanted to say to everyone in this room is that we can all do our part, a lot of people have money in their pockets. So I can use it for good rather than stupid things,” she added with a laugh. So I am happy to confirm that you are, and I really appreciate it.
The performance then kicked off before Kim Petras sang her song “brrr” and brought Sam Smith out to chart-topping collaboration “Unholy.” Verve Records artist Samara Joy, who was nominated for best new artist at this year’s Grammy Awards, came out to perform the beautifully jazzy “Sweet Pumpkin.” Her vocals took things to the next level with an onstage trio and GloRilla took the stage. A very energetic performance of her songs “Tomorrow” and “FNF”.
Elton John then emerged from the crowd to introduce Steven Sanchez, a young singer and guitarist signed to Republic Records. After thanking the staff at Universal (the label his group he’s been with his entire career), John explains how he benefited when he was a young artist, reaching out and encouraging him. I mentioned how much I appreciated the support I got from established artists who gave me. Next, I turned my attention to Sanchez, who compared him to Roy Orbison and Ricky Nelson. “I’m so excited to see this 20-year-old boy take the reins and write this great song. He’s going to be a big, big star,” John said. “I really think he’s the bee’s knee.”
Sanchez then performed two songs, “Evangeline” and “Until I Found You,” in a retro setting, adding that he wasn’t sure if he was allowed to speak on stage instead of just playing. I shouldn’t be there,’ he joked, thanking Elton before walking off to a big round of applause. Audiences gasped at her vocal performance on brand new unreleased track “Best Friend Breakup” and breakout hit “Fingers Crossed”. And Universal Music, his Latino signer Fayed, spent the afternoon on Latin with guitar-shaking performances of “Tengo Fe” and “Porfa,” “songs that changed my life during lockdown.” brought presence.
Def Jam signer Muni Long showcased her powerful vocals and impressive range on new, unreleased track “Made for Me.” This gorgeous ballad is slated for inclusion on her upcoming debut album. The sultry “Hrs and Hrs” that broke out from last year. And TDE/Capitol her artist Doechii wowed attendees with a breathtaking and tenacious dance set of “Convincing” and “Crazy” that packed raw energy into every moment of the performance.
Not only did the show include performances, but it was also an opportunity to preview three new documentaries that Universal will release in the coming months. i love to love you, a Donna Summer documentary directed by daughter Brooklyn Sudano and Roger Ross Williams, is set to arrive on HBO in May, and a Paul McCartney documentary directed by Morgan Neville is a post-Beatles 1970 Focused on his career in the 1990s. He had to reinvent himself with his solo work and his band Wings. fugitive And it will be released in 2024.
Batiste was also in attendance to speak about an upcoming documentary that follows his life over the past year. american symphony, it explores the emotional euphoria of last year’s big Grammy Awards, when he picked up his home album of the year, and the devastating downfall of his wife’s battle with cancer. about his next music project.
“Making things is hard. Being an artist is a vulnerable process, a vulnerable being. , it takes a lot to connect to humanity.” “It’s like being connected to a source that exists on a plane that we can’t see but that we can all feel. This table And I really believe that process is a messy process.You gotta scrap it a little bit.You gotta roll.You gotta figure it out. I wanted to make a film that captured that whole process — many unprecedented moments in my life this year, highs and lows, violent highs and very intense, almost tragic lows.
The showcase concluded with a surprise set for Shania Twain’s new album. queen of me It came out last week. The Canadian icon performed a honky-tonk “That Don’t Impress Me Much” abbreviated to “You’re Still the One,” tweaking the lyrics “OK, so you’re Lucian Grainge” to perfection I was allowed to. Pick up the “Honey I’m Home” acoustic guitar. Twain’s appearance capped off an afternoon of star-studded performances and showed that UMG has a fresh new crop of young stars with a bright future ahead of them.