Chad Hugo is a musician first. He’s become famous for not wanting to be famous, preferring to let superstar friends such as longtime musical partner Pharrell Williams, or Jay-Z or Justin Timberlake, stand in the spotlight, while he stayed in the studio fine-tuning their tracks. Through a career as a producer, as well as member of his own band N*E*R*D. Hugo has always focused on always keeping his records vital and fresh. For years he did this using the same digital toolbox everyone used until he realized what was missing was the soulful authority achieved only when real musicians play in real time.
The dimension of human artistry real musicians can bring to a track is undeniable and can’t be attained in any other way. Grammy.com spoke to Hugo about that revelation, and other ideas which have informed his remarkable career. His story starts in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where music first enlivened his world. He was only 12 when he met Williams in the school marching band. They both were drummers, but Hugo was the Drum Major, the leader of the band, while his friend was behind him in the drumline. In time, as the world knows, Williams happily stepped into the frontman role as Hugo held it down in the back.
On February 9, 1964, The Beatles made history with their first American TV performance. A record-setting 73 million people tuned in to watch The Ed Sullivan Show that night, and rock was forever changed. To honor its 50th anniversary, CBS broadcasted The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles featuring Beatles tracks sung by a slew of all-star musicians and the two remaining Beatles.
Posted: February 2nd
The Pharrell Williams Grammy Re-Cap, Pharrell Battles Himself
Alright, so as we already know, Pharrell won Four Grammy Awards last week for ‘Record Of The Year‘ with ‘Get Lucky‘ Daft Punk and Nile Rodgers, ‘Album Of The Year‘ ‘Random Access Memories‘ with Daft Punk, ‘Best Pop Duo/Group Performance‘ for ‘Get Lucky‘ again with Daft Punk and Nile Rodgers, and ‘Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical‘, which is his 7th win at The Grammy Awards out of 24 Nominations which is pretty ‘Quincy Jones’ Awesome.
Pharrell Williams discusses the humbling experience of being a top winner at the 56th GRAMMYs in an interview with GRAMMY Live hosts Quddus, Louise Rowe and Brian Anthony Hernandez during the 56th GRAMMY Awards Wrap-Up Show.
“Everybody can do what I do,” he told National Public Radio recently. “There are so many kids who can do it way better. It’s an illusion that they keep selling you that you need to be in the music industry to make your music. It’s an illusion to think that you need to run around Hollywood to put a film out. “I’m living proof that, like, you can do whatever it is you want to do. Just believe it, and just do it. That’s the thing, to stop thinking about it and go do it.”
“That one thing — where he built his studio — gave us the access to meet him and therefore have an in in this, the world of the music industry,” Williams told NPR. “You fast-forward from that particular moment of when we got signed to now, you realize there was definitely a purpose. When I look over my shoulder, it almost looks like things were just sent my way.”
Pharrell & Daft Punk
It’s strange to consider that Williams, as he enters middle age, is a bigger pop star than ever. In an interview with the superproducer, Savannah Guthrie of NBC asked Williams about his future. “You’ve been nominated for Grammys nineteen times, won multiple times,” she asked. “Is there anything you’re still ambitious for now? Something you want to accomplish?” Williams didn’t have to think long. “Honestly, it’s … it’s more music,” he said.
Thicke will perform with Chicago while Metallica, who last performed at Grammys in 1991, will be joined by Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang. Katy Perry. Some big names in music have been announced as performers at the upcoming Grammy Awards. Katy Perry, Robin Thicke and Metallica will be among singers who are set to take the stage at the event on January 26. Perry will return to the awards show for the third year in a row. The 29-year-old singer is also vying for the top prizes in Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance categories for “Roar“, her hit single off latest album “Prism“.
Thicke, who is nominated for multiple awards including Record of the Year for his T.I. and Pharrell Williams-assisted single “Blurred Lines“, will appear on the stage with band Chicago. Meanwhile, Metallica‘s Grammy performance will mark their first since 1991. They will be joined by Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang. The musicians are joining Grammy’s stellar line-up which has so far included Imagine Dragons, Kendrick Lamar, Pink, Nate Ruess of Fun., Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, Blake Shelton, Willie Nelson, Daft Punk, Stevie Wonder and Lorde. In other Grammys-related news, the 20th anniversary edition of the Grammy Nominees album is due out on January 21 via the Recording Academy and Atlantic Records. “[The album] represents some of the great songs and talented artists that make up this year’s remarkable nominees, “ Recording Academy president Neil Portnow said. This year’s compilation series will feature 18 songs that include Taylor Swift’s “Begin Again”, Bruno Mars‘ “Locked Out Of Heaven“, Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”, Lorde’s “Royals” and Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive”.
Grammy Nominees Album (2014)
Daft Punk are set to make their return to the live stage with a performance at this month’s Grammy Awards, but now it has been revealed that their appearance will feature Nile Rodgers, Pharrell Williams and Stevie Wonder. Wow. Drummer Omar Hakim, who contributed percussion to Random Access Memories, confirmed on his website that he’d be performing with the French electro duo at the ceremony (so we know that it will involve live instruments). Hakim also confirmed that the appearance would feature Pharrell, Nile Rodgers, “and evidently Stevie Wonder“.
The dance duo have not performed live since 2008 – the year that they appeared at the Grammys to perform ‘Stronger‘ with Kanye West. Now, after claiming that they had ‘no plans’ to tour their smash-hit comeback album Random Access Memories live, it looks they’ll be taking to the stage next month. “We learned that because they had such a good experience with us when they appeared with Kanye in 2008, they were happy to discuss a performance on this year’s show,” said Grammy Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich in an interview with Rolling Stone. ”
“Conversations took place over a period of a couple of months, and finally they agreed to be a part of this year’s telecast. Details of the performance are still being worked out, but the idea of having the exclusive television performance by this iconic band is something we’re very, very excited about.” The Grammy Awards take place on 26 January 2014, where Daft Punk are nominated for four awards, including Album of the Year and Best Dance/Electronica Album for Random Access Memories and Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group performance for ‘Get Lucky‘.
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