At one of Grammy’s Week’s most highly anticipated events, Spotify’s Best New Artist Party, artists both familiar and fresh graced the red carpet before clamoring inside to hear the this year’s nominated acts for Best New Artist do their magic. We had the chance to catch up with a few of them before they headed into the party. Aly & AJ, Ren, Nova Miller, Dinah Jane, Zhavia Ward, MAX, and DAX all shared with us about their music and what this night meant to them.
Aly & AJ gushed about how excited they were to “celebrate a new decade of new music” and “see some live performances” particularly “Lizzo and Maggie Rodgers” – they were thrilled to “support the powerful women that are having an incredible moment in the music industry right now”. They told us about how the differences in the music industry has transformed the landscape, especially from when they “put [their] first album out as 13 and 15 year old kids” and streaming did not exist. About their new music, Aly & AJ said the freedom they have to “share their music in a much easier way” is “incredibly exciting”.
Ren, a 17-year-old up & coming singer/songwriter, got vulnerable with us about her upcoming album debuting in March. The album is about “being a teenager – the ups and downs… it touches on mental health, body image, things I struggle with now and growing up. I thought that I was really alone. I made it under a therapy view so people don’t feel alone anymore.” She felt “absolutely incredible” to be at the event, saying it was “something [she] could never have imagined in [her] life – seeing all these artists [she’s] admired all my life.” Ren loves how the music industry is changing and genres are being bent left and right. She’s inventing her own genre as she goes, which she described as “bubblegum rock.”
Nova Miller went for the “ABBA vibes” with her outfit and her music. She makes “retro 60s pop music” with her “guitar and piano.” Her new song, “Do it to Myself” is something she hopes to play at next year’s Best New Artist Party!
Dinah Jane, formerly of Fifth Harmony and now solo act, excitedly described to us her “cheeky new single” called “Missed a Spot” that’s coming out on Valentine’s Day. It’s really “different from what [she’s] been releasing.” For her upcoming tour, Dinah chose to donate $1 from each ticket to the Australian Wildfire relief effort because “Australia means a lot” to her because it was always her “dreamland growing up.” Since joining the industry, DInah says she’s grown and learned a great deal “by saying No” – she’s “always been a yes person” but has learned to “pick her opportunities” with more discernment to protect her mental health and avoid burnout.
As someone who’s “always dreamt of a career in singing,” Zhavia Ward said being here tonight with Spotify is “an amazing feeling.” She’s been “doing music her whole life” and loves focusing on “R&B, soulful” sounds with her voice. Tonight was really exciting for her because she finds it “really exciting to see artist experiment with creativity and just be themselves,” which is what this year’s Best New Artist category was all about.
MAX (Maxwell Schneider), a regular for this event. says tonight is “always the best” because he gets to see “all the homies”, people he hasn’t seen “in months or even years.” He was really excited for this year though, since it had “the most stacked lineup of artists there’s ever been” and that he’s “obsessed with every single act.” He was looking forward to “seeing Rosalia, Lizzo (who he’s opened for many times), and Billie.”
Finally, we caught up with DAX, a Canadian Rap Artist. He told us that it meant “a lot” to be here with Spotify because they’ve always supported his music. When asked about his art, DAX described how he’s “super big on energy transfer” and he wants people to “feel some type of way” and like he’s “right there singing and performing with them” when they listen to his music.