Nirmika Singh, the Executive Editor of Rolling Stone India, was at the Grammys this year as a guest of AR Rahman. We chat with her about the prestigious awards, the showcase of women power there and why it was an experience of a lifetime. Some excerpts from our conversation:

 You are at The Grammys – What’s the one thing that stands apart at this edition?

The one thing that stood apart this edition was that Grammys 2019 was all about the girls! The number of women artists that took home the award was astounding, some of them even breaking records, such as Cardi B, who did everyone proud and became the first woman to win the best rap album as a solo artist for “Invasion of Privacy.” And Kacey Musgraves and Brandi Carlile who won four awards each, not to mention the incredible standout performances by Lady Gaga, Camila Cabello, Janelle Monae, Diana Ross, among many others. Music’s biggest night was truly a celebration of women!

The one thing that stood apart this edition was that Grammys 2019 was all about the girls!

You are there as a guest of AR Rahman – what’s your experience like?

Absolutely incredible!

 Your perspective on the need for more and more Indian talent getting showcased overseas?

That India is a treasure trove of talent is no secret but there are many things that stop us from conquering bigger shores: infrastructure for nurturing talent, music schools, mentorships, scholarships and cultural exchange programs. Once such networks and avenues are consolidated and tightened, the sky is the limit!

Music’s biggest night was truly a celebration of women! – Nirmika Singh

 What do you read into many of the female stars missing the Grammys?

Well, it wasn’t just the women but many top artists decided not to show up for many reasons. Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino were really conspicuous by their absence and it was a pity.

Nirmika Singh Grammys
Nirmika Singh, was at the Grammys this year as a guest of AR Rahman

Would you say artists need the Grammys or Grammys need the artists?

Well, it’s a symbiotic relationship. Although many artists feel awards don’t mean much and it’s social media that really counts now, the truth is that nothing compares to the feeling of winning a Grammy. After all, it’s the holy grail of music. On the other side, since the TV viewership of Grammys has been declining over the past few years, these awards need the support of artists more than ever now. The Grammys can’t afford to be a lacklustre show.

The Dolly Parton piece – What was that like?

Absolutely unbelievable. As a die-hard fan of Dolly’s, it was overwhelming for me to first brush shoulders with her on the red carpet and later watch her sing “Jolene” as a duet with Miley Cyrus. At 73, Dolly continues to be a powerhouse on stage, inspiring generations of artists with her talent, charm and determination.

At 73, Dolly continues to be a powerhouse on stage, inspiring generations of artists with her talent, charm and determination.

As a journalist, poet and music lover, why is such an experience an experience of a lifetime?

As a music journalist, attending the Grammys is like a dream come true. Watching all your idols on stage was a great experience. It was overwhelming for me and I feel honoured and extremely privileged to have got this opportunity. It is indeed an experience of a lifetime, and more so because I got to experience the Grammys with some stellar people for company.

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