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GRAMMY PREVIEW: BRITTANY HOWARD

Unveiled


What are your plans for Alabama Shakes, and how big a challenge is it to make music with the band and on your own, as well as forays with Bermuda Triangle and Thunderbitch?
As you can probably tell, I have pretty wide taste. I’ve been really fortunate to have these different outlets to get my music out. Right now, I’m focused on my solo project, Jaime, and my solo band. We were on tour in the U.K. right before the shutdown and were really hitting our stride musically. The last few shows were on fire! It’s been disappointing not to be able to tour and play this music for audiences throughout the world. But I’m staying positive and look forward to returning soon. There are no plans right now for Alabama Shakes. I’m putting everything I have into my solo project and Jaime.

You covered Funkadelic’s “You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks” back in April. What inspired that, and can we expect you to continue dipping into your influences moving forward?
We were trying to think of a funk song that the band would kill, and I landed on this one. It’s one of my favorite songs off my favorite Funkadelic album, Maggot Brain. We were having fun with some covers, like Nina Simone’s version of The Beatles’ “Revolution” and Prince’s “The Breakdown.” Right now, on livestreams, I’m doing a cover of Odetta’s “Hit or Miss.” I have this incredible band, and I picked covers that really showcase what they can do—and also songs that I connect with lyrically.

You’ve won four Grammys with The Shakes; how meaningful would it be to be nominated for Jaime, which is such an intensely personal album—and an even timelier one than you could’ve known when you were writing it?
I was so honored to receive nominations and win Grammys in the past. It’s always so special and makes my family so proud. There is no doubt that winning a Grammy this year would hold special meaning, as I put so much into this record, writing and producing it. I also feel like it is me unveiled, a true look inside of me.

You said in GQ, “I want to have children one day, and I want them to exist in a world where they don’t have to be afraid to be who they are.” What’s it been like to see the causes you’ve been crusading for in your life and in your songs become embraced by millions of people in America and around the world?
The message of this album is to be unequivocally yourself. It has been amazing to see so many people come together to stand up for what is right. We have to continue the work until real change happens. The time is now. And please everyone, vote in November. It is absolutely critical.

SURF’S UP
FOR HITS LIST
Good vibrations (3/5a)
NEAR TRUTHS: UNCORKED
Jay-Z's blingy mountain of cash keeps gaining altitude. (3/5a)
UMG PULLS IN NEARLY
$9B IN 2020
Value keeps rising ahead of IPO. (3/5a)
MILEY JOINS COLUMBIA
Like moving to the apartment next door. (3/4a)
GRAMMY CHEW: THE
PRE-GRAMMY BOUNCE
Let's hear it for ironic guitar-smashing. (3/5a)
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
A jazz chronicle of fighting the power.
GRAMMYS: WHERE TO FROM HERE?
After the snubs, the show.
ACQUITTED
In a phenomenal display of cowardice.
MOVING THE NEEDLE
When vaccination schedules and touring schedules meet.
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