Sam Smith, Eric Church, Weird Al, Pentatonix and Angelique Kidjo on the Grammys (with Videos)

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Smith Smith, Grammy Awards

Sam Smith with his trophies at the 2015 Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 9, 2015.

I have some final quotes I gathered at Grammy interviews that didn’t fit into any of my stories, so I thought I’d share them here, along with a couple of videos from the official Grammy after-party that followed the ceremony, with performances from Jessie J and Gloria Gaynor.

Read more from these artists and others.



Sam Smith (Best New Artist, Record of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album, Song of the Year)

Q: You thanked the man who broke your heart. Did you call him after you won the four Grammys?

No. I’ll be seeing him, and I’ll let him touch the Grammys once.

Eric Church (Nominated for four awards, including Best Country Album)

Eric Church

Eric Church performs at the 2015 Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 9, 2015.

Q: You’vegone beyond the country genre and are known as a pure guitarist. Do you feel like you could make whatever kind of music you wanted to and would still share that level of success?

I don’t know about the same level of success. I do believeI am not chained right now to any specific style or genre. That’s theultimate freedom as an artist and is frankly something I’m most proud of in our career. I have no clue where we go next and that is very exciting to me.

Q: What’s your favorite song to write? The acoustic ballad, the rowdy rocker?

The songwriting process for me actually comes more naturally than anything else I do. I’m always writing. Everywhere, all the time. Now getting all those snippets of songs to come together is part of the reason I go into seclusion before every record cycle. It takes time to figure out what the record should be amidst a large variety of songs and styles.

Q: Tell me about the visual package behind the performance of “Give Me Back My Hometown” on the Grammys. 

Too often in music, we are scared of social commentary. We feel it opens us up to criticisms about values and beliefs. I’m not scared of that. I actually think it is why music exists. To help us communicate where prejudices can’t. The visuals behind us will deal in a broader view about the social challenges our world faces.



Pentatonix (Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella)

Pentatonix, Grammy Awards

Pentatonix with their trophies at the 2015 Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 9, 2015.

Q: The Sing-Off started your careers, right?

Scott Hoying: It brought us together. But I would say the monumental moment that really brought us where we are, is YouTube because we have 7.5 million subscribers. That really gives us the platform to put out content.

Q: Do you still make the videos yourselves, or do you have a team now?

Hoying: We have a whole team. The arrangements and all the creative stuff we do ourselves, but then when it comes to executing awesome video or adjusting arrangement, we do have a team for that.

Q: You guys have a cameo in “Pitch Perfect 2.” Tell me a little bit more about your involvement.

Mitch Grassi: We’re a rival group to the Bellas, and we’re from Canada. We’re singing in it. It was awesome to be there. We’d never been on a major motion picture set before.

Q: How real is the competitiveness in college a cappella that is pictures in the “Pitch Perfect” films? (Hoying sang a cappella in college)

Hoying: It is very real. Obviously, the movie is very exaggerated and silly, but (the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella) is the real thing, and we took it very, very seriously. There’s quarterfinals and semifinals. They’re always a big deal every year. To win is like the best thing that could ever happen in our college years. The movie did capture a lot of that accurately.

Q: What is the most fun Grammy-related activity you’ve had in Los Angles (prior to winning the award)?

Hoying: We went to Clive’s party (Clive Davis hosts an annual MusicCares gala honoring a lifetime achievement for a musician) last night. He invited us himself. It was surreal. Everyone there was like a major celebrity. The CEO of Apple was there. Al Gore was there.

Grassi: Taylor Swift was there, Miley Cyrus.

Hoying: Every celebrity from everywhere. We got to sing. It was crazy. Taylor Swift walked right by us. I looked back, and she was just as tall as me.



Weird Al Yankovic (Best Comedy Album)

Weird Al Yankovic, Grammy Awards

Weird Al Yankovic with his trophy at the 2015 Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 9, 2015.

Q: I attended your S.F. Sketchfest tribute a couple nights ago, and one question came up about the Grammy Awards, and how your category was in the premier, or un-televised, ceremony. You joked about it then, but you seemed really excited when getting your award. Tell me a little about that. Does it matter?

It never gets old. Sometimes comedy is in the telecast, sometimes it’s in the pre-telecast or the premier ceremony. It’s as real for me, regardless. It’s great to be nominated, because that means I get to go to the show.  I get to hang out with my peers and have a fun time. Winning is just the icing on the cake. I certainly wasn’t expecting it this year. The category was insane: Patton Oswald, Sarah Silverman, Jim Gafney, I don’t know if that category has ever been that jam-packed with insanely funny people.

Angelique Kidjo (Best World Music Album)

Angelique Kidjo, Grammy Awards

Angelique Kidjo with her trophy at the 2015 Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 9, 2015.

Q: Would you be interested in crossing over into Western pop, like several other West African musicians in recent years?

For me it’s about inspiration. If I’m not inspired to do something, I can’t do it. You have to be very good. As a performing artist, you have to be able to sing that song til you die. And if you do a song that becomes successful, it can become hell on earth, and for me it’s heaven on earth. So if that happens, it has be natural. There has to someone who understands that. It’s about sharing and bringing a message, making people entertained and making people feel good about it. So for me, anything is possible. I’m now working with (producer) Philip Glass. … It’s a challenging thing that I put myself into. As a singer, it’s really hard. From my world, where I come from, to be singing those kinds of notes, that is not African music at all, but I find myself able to do that.

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