Meet GRAMMY U's 2022-2023 Student Representatives
GRAMMY U representatives

Photos and Graphics Courtesy of GRAMMY U

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Meet GRAMMY U's 2022-2023 Student Representatives

GRAMMY U, the Recording Academy’s membership for college students pursuing music, has kicked off a new year. Meet the new class of GRAMMY U Reps who will organize everything from soundchecks with top artists, to masterclasses with leading professionals.

Recording Academy/Sep 9, 2022 - 12:51 am

Written by Emma Hampton, Carlie Anderson & Sophie Griffiths

GRAMMY U, the Recording Academy’s membership for college students pursuing music, has kicked off a new year and we are excited to welcome the 2022-23 GRAMMY U Representative class.

These 14 students are up-and-comers in the industry and are the heart and soul of every GRAMMY U curated experience presented throughout the year. Each Chapter has a GRAMMY U Representative works closely with their staff on local programs. Reps also work collaboratively with each other and the GRAMMY U national team, which includes two additional student Reps who focus on projects and membership, respectively.

GRAMMY U Representatives serve from one to three consecutive years and have the opportunity to organize everything from private soundchecks with top-tier touring artists, to masterclasses with leading industry professionals.

We asked this year’s Reps an assortment of questions about themselves personally and professionally. Get to know the 2022-2023 class of GRAMMY U Representatives below and stay connected with the future of the music industry.

JadeBacon

Jade Bacon | Los Angeles

Jade is in her second year at the USC Thornton School of Music as a jazz voice major. This is her first year as a GRAMMY U Representative.

If there were no limits, what one event would you plan for GRAMMY U and why?

Day in the Industry: An event where GRAMMY U members get to pick an influential professional in the field they are interested in and go with them through their day as they work on projects, meetings, or creative aspects.

If you could invent a new product or business concept, what would it be and why?

An app that made a playlist based on how you're feeling. Maybe it could be connected to your music streaming service so it has a good idea of your taste and you can fill out a short survey. The survey answers will determine the songs you get and then you have a playlist for the day. You could call it Play of the Day.

What do you think is the ideal location for a concert?

I love an intimate space and the relationship you can feel between the artists and fans. I think a small venue with space to dance and sing at the top of your lungs will always be the most enjoyable to me.

Connect with Jade:

Email: grammyu.la@recordingacademy.com  

IG: @jadembacon

HeatherHoward

Heather Howard | Nashville

Heather is a rising senior at Middle Tennessee State University with a major in music business. This is her first year as a GRAMMY U Representative.

Describe your favorite experience in the music industry so far.

My favorite experience in the music industry so far has to be when I got to work on digital marketing for the CMA Fest this summer and see different performances side stage that I never thought I'd be able to see while working.

Describe your vision for the future of the music industry.

My vision for the future of the music industry is that we create even more opportunities for the youth to get involved and to become aware about the possibilities a career in this industry can offer them. I want to see the industry sharing more knowledge and advice with one another and creating a pathway for everyone regardless of race, gender, etc. to succeed and reach new heights with help from the people they work closely with everyday.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone who is just starting out in the music industry?

Get to know everyone around you, get coffee with them, stay connected with them; you never know who you might be working with down the line or who you might need as a reference. Networking is key in this industry.

Connect with Heather:

Email: grammyu.nashville@recordingacademy.com 

IG: @officialheatherhoward

LaurenSteffens

Lauren Stephens | Texas Chapter

Lauren is a marketing major at the University of Texas at Austin. This is her first year as a GRAMMY U Representative.

If there were no limits, what one event would you plan for GRAMMY U and why?

Live music is my favorite thing in the world, so I would love to put on a mini festival of sorts for GRAMMY U! I'd probably sort the stages by genre and organize some Q&A's and meet-and-greets during that time as well. Since we have lots of creatives and writers in GRAMMY U, we could also have GRAMMY U members interviewing or photographing artists they love.

What is the best concert you have been to this year? What would be your dream concert?

5SOS put on an amazing show, and it was such a full circle moment getting to shoot one of their shows and see them at the same venue I saw them at in 2015! For my dream concert, I'd love to see Harry Styles for under $100 in an intimate venue — like the 2017 tour he did.

What is your ideal festival lineup?

The Maine, the Wombats, Inhaler, 5 Seconds of Summer (and have Luke Hemmings play some of his solo stuff!!), Harry Styles OR MCR.

Connect with Lauren:

Email: grammyu.texas@recordingacademy.com 

IG: @laurensstephens 

SophieGriffiths

Sophie Griffiths | Philadelphia Chapter

Sophie is a senior at Drexel University, majoring in music industry with a concentration in recording arts and production. She also has a minor in business administration, and in music theory and composition. This is her second year as a GRAMMY U Representative.

What is one piece of advice you’d give someone who is just starting out in the music industry?

I would say the most important things I've learned are to stay busy and stay connected. It is important to always be talking to and working with people in this industry to learn anything, as well as always working on your next project. Developing a portfolio for yourself becomes incredibly useful for finding clients, more people to collaborate with, and just cultivating and sharpening your skillset.

What is your dream job?

My dream job is to become a professional songwriter and vocal producer. I have always been a musician and songwriter, and after going into recording and learning about the skills, I see myself working one-on-one with artists to cultivate their creative visions.

What is your favorite movie soundtrack and what is your favorite song from that soundtrack?

My favorite soundtrack is by The Coup from Sorry To Bother You. The music is upbeat and wild and will always pump me up. If I were to choose any song off that soundtrack to listen to right now, it would have to be "We Need an Eruption."

Connect with Sophie:

Email: grammy.philly@recordingacademy.com 

IG: @soph.h.g 

JoannaSerrano

Joanna Serrano | San Francisco Chapter

Joanna is currently a senior at San Jose State University studying public relations. This is her first year as a GRAMMY U Representative.

If there were no limits, what one event would you plan for GRAMMY U and why?

I would love to hold a GRAMMY U showcase during GRAMMY week! The showcase would feature performances from both professionals as well as aspiring professionals who are members of the Recording Academy or GRAMMY U. This would be an amazing opportunity to witness iconic performances by acts we all know and love, while shining light on rising talents who are a part of GRAMMY U!

Describe your favorite experience in the music industry so far.

My favorite part of the music industry has been creating connections with individuals all over the world! It is amazing working with people who share the same passion and love for music. I have been blown away by the kindness I have witnessed across multiple aspects of the industry, both by horizontal and vertical connections!

Who is your favorite songwriter and what do you like about them?

My favorite songwriter is Luke Hemmings. He branched out from his pop-rock work with 5SOS and was able to create songs that emulate sadness but also inspiration. After over 10 years in the industry, we can hear and feel his growth through his art.

Connect with Joanna:

Email: grammyu.sf@recordingacademy.com 

IG: @joannaxserrano

AmirDuke

Amir Duke | Atlanta Chapter

Amir is a senior at Morehouse College with a major in economics. This is his first year as a GRAMMY U Representative.

Describe your vision for the future of the music industry

My vision of the music industry going forward is next level streaming and tech. We currently are watching the innovation of streams, likes, and shares with music through social media platforms such as TikTok, and Instagram. I also see labels and music tech merging into one huge platform in the next 5-10 years.

What is your dream job?

My dream job in the music industry is label relations at Amazon Music. Going forward in my career I see myself still being close to a label but having the ability to work heavily in this new age of the industry which is music tech.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone who is just starting out in the music industry?

One piece of advice I would give to someone just starting out in the music industry is to be consistent and dedicated. It’s not always easy making your way through the industry; However, if you’re dedicated to curating relationships and hard work you will thrive.

Connect with Amir:

Email: grammyu.atlanta@recordingacademy.com 

IG: @_amirduke

CarlieAnderson

Carlie Anderson | Florida Chapter

Carlie studies music industry and business law at the University of Miami. This is her second year as a GRAMMY U Representative.

Describe your favorite experience in the music industry so far.

My favorite experience in the music industry so far was having the opportunity to attend GRAMMY Week and the 64th GRAMMYs this past April and finally getting a chance to work with my fellow representatives in person!

If you could only listen to one album or one artist for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

If I could only listen to one album for the rest of my life it would have to be Sound and Color by the Alabama Shakes.

Connect with Carlie:

Email: grammyu.florida@recordingacademy.com 

IG: @carlieanderson

MaddieCaccavale

Maddie Caccavale | New York Chapter

Maddie is an arts & entertainment industries management major at Rider University. This is her first year as a GRAMMY U Representative.

Describe your vision for the future of the music industry

My vision for the future of the industry is definitely a bright one! I hope that live music continues to grow bigger than ever before since the pandemic hit and more up-and-coming artists have the chance to perform in front of more live audiences. I also hope that the industry continues to become more diverse and inclusive in all areas, and that creators will get full recognition and compensation for their work.

Describe your favorite experience in the music industry so far.

My favorite experience being in the music industry so far is getting the opportunity to become a member of communities like GRAMMY U, Women in Music, She is the Music, Amplify Her Voice and so many others! All of them have provided me with opportunities to learn, grow, and build community as I get my start in the music business!

If you could manage a tour for any artist, who would it be and why?

It would have to be Taylor Swift. She is one of the greatest artists and performers of our time. I have been lucky enough to see her live many times and have always walked out of all her shows in complete awe. I have been following her career ever since I was little and my love for her work has grown through the years. Taylor is truly one of my biggest inspirations and it would be a dream come true to have the opportunity to work with her one day!

Connect with Maddie:

Email: grammyu.ny@recordingacademy.com 

IG: @maddiecaccavale

RachaelMacQuarrie

Rachael MacQuarrie | Pacific Northwest Chapter

Rachael is studying music composition and recording arts at Western Washington University. This is her first year as a GRAMMY U Representative.

What do you think is the ideal location for a concert?

I think the ideal location for a concert is deep in the woodlands under the dappled green light of pine trees. At night we would adorn the trees with string lights, like a little fairy hideout! The Olympic Peninsula has many beautiful forests that would be amazing for something like this.

If you had a job not in the music industry, what would it be and why?

would work in physical education, more specifically, teaching Aikido. One of my first jobs was teaching Aikido, a Japanese martial art based in self-defense and peaceful resolution. In my life, I have found great joy, strength, mental fortitude, and recovery through movement. Helping others find that joy, the power of self-expression through movement, is one of the most gratifying feelings.

Describe your favorite personal playlist and tell us the title.

My favorite personal playlist is a mix of funk, hip-hop, and soul music that's upbeat with warm tones and a crisp rhythm section. Some featured artists include FKJ, Tom Misch, Vulfpeck, and the Phony Ppl. The title is "SHRIMP!" because shrimp are yummy and colorful little morsels, just like each song on the playlist!

Connect with Rachael:

Email: grammyu.pnw@recordingacademy.com 

IG: @raenandfire 

EmmaHampton

Emma Hampton | Memphis Chapter

Emma is a senior at the University of Memphis studying music business. This is her second year as GRAMMY U Representative.

Describe your favorite experience in the music industry so far.

I'd be crazy if I didn't say going to the GRAMMYs has been my favorite experience in the industry. It's also been one of my favorite experiences in my entire life. The whole week was unbelievable. We got to also go to the GRAMMYs NextUp, had a masterclass with Hannah Lux Davis, and got to volunteer at the Person of the Year gala. Those moments are irreplaceable, and I still can't believe I got those opportunities.

If you could score any type of film, what genre would it be?

I've always wanted to score at least one film. I love thinking of how I would score my favorite books if they were turned into films. I think I'd want to score a dramatic film, something with a lot of depth and soul to it.

Who is your favorite songwriter and what do you like about them?

My favorite songwriter right now (I literally have their songs on repeat 24/7) is Leith Ross. They’re one of those writers who makes me feel like they’re in my head. When I listen to their songs, I sometimes feel almost as if the song was written personally for me.

Connect with Emma:

Email: grammyu.memphis@recordingacademy.com 

IG: @echampton8

JonathanWeaver

Jonathan Weaver | Washington D.C. Chapter

Jonathan is a student at Howard University studying finance. This is his first year as a GRAMMY U Representative.

If there were no limits, what one event would you plan for GRAMMY U and why?

I would put on a festival to celebrate the Black and Brown queer community within the music industry because I feel that this demographic of people is under-appreciated in the industry.

If you could manage a tour for any artist, who would it be and why?

I would be interested in managing a tour for Normani because she is my favorite artist and an amazing performer.

Connect with Jonathan:

Email: grammyu.dc@recordingacademy.com 

IG: @jonathancarl111 

KeganGrace

Kegan Grace | Chicago Chapter

Kegan is a student at Northwestern University majoring in Statistics and Music. This is his first year as a GRAMMY U Representative.

What is your dream job?

My dream role is to be either a part of the live industry or work in artist management. Something like an agent or a business manager!

What other organizations are you involved in?

The Northwestern University Wildcat Marching Band and the student-run video and music production club Niteskool Productions. I’m also in a street drumming and dance group.

What are your top favorite songs right now?

"Cool With You" by Her’s, "Mortal Projections" by Djo, "The Adults are Talking" by The Strokes, and "Voliano" by Remi Wolf.

Connect with Kegan:

Email: grammyu.chicago@recordingacademy.com 

IG: @keeg.grace 

DanielRamos

Daniel Ramos | National Representative: Membership

Daniel is a senior at Berklee College of Music majoring in music business management. This is his first year as a GRAMMY U Representative.

Describe your vision for the future of the music industry.

My vision would involve giving more opportunities to new artists and really help promote the new wave of music. I would want to build a foundation where musicians feel like they want to be a part of the music industry and have their voices and concerns be heard. I would love to create a culture of inclusivity and purpose to the work that everyone does and to keep generating and cultivating success.

What is one song, album, or artist you would encourage readers to check out?

I am a very strong advocate for up-and-coming artists so I would definitely have everyone check out Vivienne Arthur’s album "Everything I Am."

What is your dream job?

It would be great to work as a music agent or entertainment lawyer. I am really passionate about negotiating contracts and transactional law so ideally, I would love to be in that profession.

Connect with Daniel:

Email: grammyu.membership@recordingacademy.com 

IG: @daniel.ramoss_ 

SamMerkin

Sam Merkin | National Representative: Projects

Sam is a senior at the University of Miami with a major in music business. This is his second year as a GRAMMY U Rep.

If there were no limits, what one event would you plan for GRAMMY U and why?

I would get Justin Bieber, The Kid Laroi, and Ariana Grande along with Scooter Braun to educate students on manager/artist relationships and the nooks and crannies of that bond. If the budget was really limitless, I'd probably host it on the moon. Why not?

What do you think will be your most listened to song for 2022? 

I wouldn't be surprised if my top streamed song for this year is "Coast" by Hailee Steinfeld. I tend to get tired of music really fast after listening to it a bunch, but that song has a vibe that I don't think will get old.

What is one song, album or artist you would encourage readers to check out?

I would encourage everyone to check out a song that I released this summer called "LEXI!"

Connect with Sam:

Email: grammyu.projects@recordingacademy.com 

IG: @samsammerk 

5 Highlights Of GRAMMY U's Spring 2022 Mentorship Program

The Recording Academy Announces Official GRAMMY Week 2021 Events

GRAMMY trophies at the 59th GRAMMY Awards in 2017

Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

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The Recording Academy Announces Official GRAMMY Week 2021 Events

The virtual events during GRAMMY Week 2021 aim to celebrate this year's nominees and the music that unites us

Recording Academy/Feb 26, 2021 - 02:00 am

The Recording Academy has announced the events lineup for GRAMMY Week 2021 ahead of the 63rd GRAMMY Awards broadcasting Sunday, March 14, on CBS at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. All events will be virtual this year to ensure the safety of our staff and guests and to make the events as accessible as possible to attendees. 

See the full GRAMMY Week 2021 lineup of confirmed events and additional details here and below:

MARCH 8

GRAMMY In The Schools Fest
This four-day virtual event, presented by MusicPower, will celebrate music and music education featuring performances by students and professionals along with engaging, educational panels by artists, educators and other music professionals and will conclude on March 11, 2021.

Free to the public for those who register in advance by clicking on this link

Women In The Mix
This event will recognize the contributions of women in music and amplify female voices across the industry. Highlighting producers, engineers, artists and executives, this program champions women who set the tone for their own communities and work to close gender gaps on and off the stage.

The virtual event will take place publicly on GRAMMY.com

MARCH 10

The Inaugural Black Music Collective GRAMMY Week Celebration
The historic event, presented by Mastercard, will feature an array of esteemed Black music creators and professionals known for amplifying Black voices in music and beyond.

The virtual event can be viewed on GRAMMY.com

MARCH 11

GRAMMY U Masterclass With Tayla Parx
Join us for a masterclass with GRAMMY nominee, Tayla Parx, as she discusses the craft of songwriting and being a multi-faceted artist. A singer, songwriter, actress, and entrepreneur, Tayla has penned tracks for Ariana Grande, Janelle Monáe and Anderson.Paak, in addition to her successful solo career as an artist. This program is in collaboration with the Recording Academy's Black Music Collective and Powered by Mastercard.

The virtual event can be viewed on the Recording Academy's Facebook channel.

Producers & Engineers Wing 20th Anniversary Celebration
This hour-long program will celebrate the 20-year milestone of the Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing with highlights from the past two decades and a look into the future. 

This is a private event.

MARCH 12

23rd Annual Entertainment Law Initiative
The event will honor the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA) — a nationally recognized leader in legal education and professional development within the United States for lawyers and professionals in the entertainment, sports and related industries — with the 2021 Entertainment Law Initiative Service Award.

This is a private event.

MusiCares Music On A Mission
This virtual fundraiser will honor the resilience of the music community, which has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will celebrate top moments in MusiCares' history, including legendary performances from the MusiCares' vaults and new performances from today's biggest stars.

Tickets are available to the public for $25 and are on sale now on MusiCares.org.

MARCH 14

63rd GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony
Get ready for Music's Biggest Night by starting with Music's Biggest Day. The Premiere Ceremony will present more than 70 GRAMMY winners and feature a variety of exciting performances across genres. 

Watch the live stream exclusively on GRAMMY.com.

63rd GRAMMY Awards
The 63rd GRAMMY Awards will broadcast live on the CBS Television Network, Sunday, March 14, at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.

2021 GRAMMYs Awards Show: Complete Nominees List

WATCH: Atlantic Records' Senior Engineer Ebonie Smith Walks Through The Recording Process, Shares Studio Advice In GRAMMY U Masterclass

Ebonie Smith

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WATCH: Atlantic Records' Senior Engineer Ebonie Smith Walks Through The Recording Process, Shares Studio Advice In GRAMMY U Masterclass

With the help of Memphis duo the PRVLG, made up of Christopher and Christian Underwood, a former GRAMMY U member, Ebonie Smith gives a behind-the-scenes look at the recording process

Membership/Jul 1, 2021 - 03:31 am

In her GRAMMY U Masterclass, sponsored by Mastercard, Ebonie Smith walked through some of the engineering dos and don’ts when recording in the studio. The senior producer and engineer at Atlantic Records in New York went through her considerations when recording, including choosing certain types of cymbals for drums and preparing a room for recording. She also spoke about mic selections and placements for capturing quality sound.

With the help of Memphis duo the PRVLG, made up of Christopher and Christian Underwood, a former GRAMMY U member, Smith gives a behind-the-scenes look at the recording process.

Watch the video above to learn studio recording tips and advice directly from Ebonie Smith.

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GRAMMY U's GRAMMY Report: Behind The Scenes With Producers & Artists At The Latin GRAMMYs & 64th GRAMMY Awards
Maria Toledo performing at the 2021 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year gala

Photo: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

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GRAMMY U's GRAMMY Report: Behind The Scenes With Producers & Artists At The Latin GRAMMYs & 64th GRAMMY Awards

Winners and nominees at the GRAMMY Awards and Latin GRAMMYs spoke with GRAMMY U Representative Alonda Lopez about their path to the golden gramophone.

Recording Academy/Jun 23, 2022 - 09:47 pm

This piece was written and reported by Alondra Lopez, a member of GRAMMY U's Los Angeles chapter, and Nicole Lewis, a member of GRAMMY U’s Nashville chapter, ahead of the 2021 GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY Awards.

I flew into Vegas for my first-ever visit on the night of November 17. The MGM Grand lobby was buzzing with excitement ahead of the 2021 Latin GRAMMYs as I headed up to my room. Shortly after settling in, I received a text from Los Angeles GRAMMY U Representative Alondra Lopez, asking if I would be available for a meeting the next morning with L.A. Chapter Executive Director Qiana Conley, and a few of the nominees for an interview. Without hesitation, I said I would be there and immediately got to bed, anxious for the big day ahead.

This would later lead to a longer project covering three 20th Latin GRAMMY-nominated creators including Daniel Galindo and Maria Toledo and three 64th GRAMMY Award nominees, Autumn Rowe, Jeff "Gitty" Gitleman, and Dale Becker. Little did I know at the time of the Latin GRAMMYs, that I would be right back at the MGM Grand in April for the 2022 GRAMMYs.

In the morning, the three of us sat down with GRAMMY nominated engineer Brian Lucey — whose vast credits include projects with the likes of Ryan Tedder and Michael Buble, as well as The Greatest Showman, In The Heights and more. The energy was high when Lucey sat down with us on the morning of the Latin GRAMMYs ahead of his win.

Not only is Lucey an extraordinary engineer, but he is also a teacher which was evident as he seamlessly explained complex technical and musical concepts over our casual lunch at the MGM Grand.

Lucey explained how he listens to music as an engineer — a practice of "whole body listening" which can be achieved through meditation or whatever helps you listen without bias. Listening to music as an engineer requires you to "get out of the way" so that you can. He goes on to explain that when working on music, it is important to have a larger frame of references to be able to understand what they are listening to in a macro sense. He continues to stress the importance of balance between physical, intellectual and emotional responses.

Engineer Daniel Galindo joined us over Zoom and recalled how, when he got the call about his Latin GRAMMY nomination for Juanes' Origen, he was worried it would be bad news. After feeling initially relieved when it was good news, he was also shocked as this was his first major award nomination. Engineering for Juanes also proved to be a full circle moment for Galindo, as he grew up listening to the Colombian singer/songwriter.

Flamenco artist Maria Toledo celebrated her fifth Latin GRAMMY nomination this past year for her EP El Rey. She has been singing and playing piano her entire life and is her own accompanist, a distinguishing factor for the artist/performer. Maria's hometown of Toledo, Spain has great influence on her music, which is why she chose to film her music video for "El Rey," in her beloved city at the Castillo de San Servando.

She explains that the coexistence of cultures in Toledo has played a large role in how she conducts her collaboration in her music and her great desire to achieve fusion in her sound. On her most recent project, Ranchera Flamenca, she collaborated with "mastermind" Mexican producer and writer, Chuco Rinco and his son Fabian who she claims gave the album "the Mexican touch we needed and on the other hand, with the production of Curro Carrasco and mine we have given that flamenco touch we were looking for."

When asked what advice she would give to her 18 year old self she said: "My advice is to be yourself and be clear at least what you don't want in your life. If you have security and firmness, you will always be able to do what is born in your heart.

"Constancy and passion will help you a lot on your way. I never wait, I always keep working and may life surprise me with what it has in store for me," she continued. "Here I continue to enjoy everything beautiful that music gives us every day. It is a gift to live, it is a gift to sing."

Autumn Rowe — who won the GRAMMY Award for Album Of The Year for her work on Jon Batiste's We Are — and I bonded over our roots in the Bronx. Autumn explained how monumental finding out about her nomination was as she has worked for this for her entire life.

Having attended a school in Manhattan for the talented and gifted, Autumn has always been a force to be reckoned with. At just 16 years old, she interned at Island Records, helping her discover that her passion in life was to create. The partnership with Batiste comes from years of friendship and collaboration, highlighting how important it is to build relationships in this industry.

Mastering engineer Dale Becker was nominated for his work on Doja Cat's "Planet Her," and spoke about "departing from the status quo" when it comes to trends in audio. In order to understand where trends in audio are heading, you must be actively consuming new music and creating relationships with other audio tastemakers.

He explains the dynamic nature of the music industry and said he is excited for the future and continuing to grow and learn. While "maintaining a finger on the pulse" is important, it's also crucial to not get stuck on the "newness." Becker considers balance, partnerships and work ethic to be the most valuable as a team member.

My final interview was with producer/writer/musician Jeff "Gitty" Gitelman, who called me on his way to Palm Springs for Coachella. The jazz prodigy shared his musical journey to his 2022 GRAMMY nominations for his work with H.E.R., who he's been working with for 12 years.

Gitty had his first big break playing guitar with Lauryn Hill and eventually landed a gig as Alicia Keys' touring guitar player. He and Keys began writing together, which led him to an epiphany that he was passionate about not just playing, but producing  and writing as well. He decided to leave touring life with Alicia to pursue a dream of his, starting his own rock band. After going through all of the trials and tribulations that one does in a major career pivot, he decided once again, to pivot, moving to Los Angeles and immediately booking a gig with the legendary Stevie Wonder.

Gitty spoke of the importance of mentorship and surrounding yourself with people who dare to dream. He says you must almost be "delusional with your dreams" to make them a reality, and stressed that confidence is a necessity in the industry. He explained that achieving confidence takes tremendous work, and having someone in your corner that sees your vision is instrumental. Throughout my time with Gitty, he demonstrated what we all hear and what we all seem to forget: that success is never linear.

Attending the awards and having the opportunity to interview thought leaders in the music industry are experiences that I will always remember. As a GRAMMY U representative, it was important for me to seek their advice for students who are just getting started in the industry and these nominees did not disappoint.

"Giving the next generation of music creators and professionals an opportunity to meet with, connect and from the very golden nominee and award winners they aspire to be, is one of the best highlights of the work we do at the Chapters with our beloved GRAMMY U membership," Qiana Conley says. 

GRAMMY U is currently accepting applications for Representatives. Learn more about the role and apply now.

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