Stars Align at Annual Grammy Dinner - Champagne Room
Hitting venue capacity, it was clear excitement was in the air as future stars aligned as the special rendition of Champagne Room commenced. Carefully selected industry members and guests enjoyed their cocktails and specialty foods with anticipation for the performers lined up. The lights flickered a few times, as the lights shone dimly, anticipation was apparent as the show was set to begin.
The clanking of dishes and the small talk of conversations diminished as the host introduced JP Saxe on stage was the first performer for the evening -- a soulful feeling swept over that was difficult to miss. In the midst of pouring his heart into his performance, Saxe expresses his gratefulness as he mentions “[Next2Shine] feels like family and I’m very grateful for that.” Saxe proved to be the kind of voice you really could enjoy in any atmosphere, his solo performance was only the start of what the evening had in store.
With her “stunning and soulful voice” singer/songwriter Alexzandra Owner sung, hitting high notes as if it were effortless, reminding the listener of a voice comparable to Adele or Jessie J. Owner was not shy in singing truthful lyrics about her past and present as she shared songs along the lines of “ever since I was a little girl” and “about a time when I found true love.” Owner’s soft and strong voice seemed to warm up the chilly LA evening. It was candidly amazing how little background music was required to support as her voice filled the room. For her third and final song, Owner ironically covers Adele. As she shared the essence of her music, the audience was either all smiles or eyes closed soothed, swaying away to her sweet melodies.
Hailing from Seattle, Tess Henley continued the evening as she approached her set to present her solo performance. Henley carried a true sound and energy that resonated from her keyboards, as she illuminated a refreshing performance we don’t have the pleasure of experiencing often. She provided a groovy tone but in a rare sense, playing two pianos simultaneously that was somewhat attention grabbing in a very fun and sincere way. As Henley introduces one of her songs, she presents a personal experience behind the writing that motivated a feeling of “it could of worked but it didn’t” as a notion most can relate to, again a true refreshing sense that she was looking to share with the evening’s audience. As most in the venue was mesmerized by the performance, it was no surprise to learn that the singer/songwriter has recently been featured on ABC’s late night show with Jimmy Kimmel. Henley shared her love by “thanks [Next2Shine] for introducing me to other artists and opportunities.”
Shortly after her set, the host mentions the hand that Next2Shine played in “the evolution of Henley, as they were introduced when she had no EP, to seeing the evolution of an EP being completed, to watching Henley on Jimmy Kimmel.” -- a proud and humbling moment indeed.
The evening continues, seeming as though it can’t get any grander, as the host introduces artist Miesa, who is accompanied on stage with a full band. Miesa sent a heartfelt sound that charged the room without any notion. Her performance was visually stunning as there was a present vibe between herself and the members of her band. Miesa carried an energy that was her own, as she was the only performance to really take use of the outstanding lights that were available which really livened the night for a brief moment during her performance, making it extremely memorable. A very colorful and vibrant performance by Miesa to say the very least.
Serving as a brief surprise, the audience was induced by an immaculate performance by V. Bozeman as she performed her hit single ‘What is Love’ for the lucky attendees. By the time you realized Bozeman melted your heart with her serenading sound - her set was complete. Accompanied only by a solo guitarist, Bozeman displayed a bubbly and confident persona as you heard her sincerities via a brief microphone check prior. V delivered her spine-chilling tune that debuted on Fox’s hit show ‘Empire’ as she was introduced to a national audience. Only performing one song – the host described the performance as somewhat of “a tease” but a superb one to say the least.
Closing out the night was Lyor Cohen’s and Kevin Liles latest signing to their 300 record label, Conrad. Native to Australia - Conrad radiated the essence of a humble guy as he enters right into his set with his keyboard after delivering a brief hello to the audience. Blonde hair, blushed cheeks and a half dimpled smile gave it all away as all attention within the spot was gravitated towards the stage. Smiles on faces soothed with Conrad’s range of tunes as he jumps from keyboard to microphone conveying a sound that was unique as it seemed to put a bit of inspiration into the night, shaking the walls with bass and soul, encouraging audience members to dance.
“If you’re sitting down and want to stand up and dance, that’s ok with me,” jokes Conrad in the final hour as members have already enjoyed their food and moved on to their cocktails, it was a pleasure to see not a conversation occurring during the set. To the audience’s grand approval, the final song played in the evening was Conrad’s brief one-of-a-kind cover of Elton John’s Benny & the Jets.
This special rendition of the Champagne Room in honor of the Grammy’s was truly a great night in music as it displayed not only the various talent that exist all over the world, but how they can all be so different yet still contain the perfect element of stars on the rise, each radiating their unique talents for this special event as we celebrate talent and music alike.