Grammy Camp. It’s been a week since I got home and am still at a loss of words to say about this wonderful experience. On Monday, the third day of camp, everyone looked at one another with the same dreaded look, “Its only day three and we still have a week to go. What have we gotten ourselves into?”… By the following Sunday night, we were looking at each other with a different understanding. The look was now full of gratefulness and sadness, a look that acknowledged the end of an amazing camp – but the beginning of our dreams and the start of the best friendships ever made.
I was one of eight students accepted to be part of the Music Business Track for Grammy Camp L.A. 2014. To apply, you simply go to grammyintheschools.com and begin the application process. For me, getting to go to this camp meant the world, which, of course would stress out anyone, but especially a person who was about to graduate from high school and just now figuring out how to make it big in the music industry. After a long day of trying to sound like I knew what I was doing, and filming a very basic video of why I should be chosen, I sent it all in hoping and praying I would get in. A few months later after work I was sitting on the deck at my cousin’s house as she was about to Skype her mother – and I got the text, I got in.
Fast forward to July 10, when I flew to Los Angeles, California with my mom – to be joined by my aunt and cousin. As they relaxed for the two days before camp, I became more and more anxious about it. I’d never been this far away from home for this long, especially knowing that my family would be leaving soon. The morning of July 12 flew by in a whirlwind, and before I knew it I was saying goodbye to my aunt, cousin, and my mom. I was now surrounded by the people I would be spending the next ten extraordinary days with learning my trade. I moved my way to the window seats and immediately met my first friend – she would be in the songwriting track. After everyone had been dropped off we all sat in Carson Television Center, the heart of Grammy Camp. We were all separated into either Jason’s Combo, Leslie’s Combo, Larry’s Combo, Matthew’s Combo, Audio Engineering, Video Production, Music Journalism, Electronic Music Production, Vocal Performance, or Music Business (all of the combos were instrumental including two guitarists, one bassist, one drummer, one keyboardist, and one hornist). Fourteen counselors supervising seventy-five kids, split into twelve groups led by twelve amazing instructors, coupled with numerous guest speakers – all lined up to talk to us.
Each day was run on little sleep, and interesting to say the worst cafeteria food, but it was all worth it. The day included mostly instructions with some panel discussions from music industry leaders. I can’t say what happened in every track, but for the Music Business Track we had some of the best guests, from funny non-mother-selling agents to one of the most powerful women in the music industry come and talk to us. The group panels had guest everywhere from charities to Colbie Caillat. Everyone brought new information to the table or some kind of advice as if just being in their present wasn’t enough.
Wednesday involved a double field trip day for Music Business. Our track got to take a tour of the Staples Center where we got to see everything! Locker rooms, suites, clubs, game center (where the announcers sit), the video room (where everything is recorded and put on television and also where the replays are seen), we even got to take pictures on the court. Here’s a fun fact – once the ice is put down, it stays there throughout hockey season; so when there’s a concert or basketball game there is ice under the floor they put over the ice in order to keep it cold. Later that day, everyone got one three buses to go have lunch at the Academy, the place where everything that goes on in the Grammy world is held. We were split into groups and talked with people that worked there and learned some of the behind the scenes. My group got to take home tickets from the 2014 Grammys. After that, we headed out on our special field trips. Bus one had the privilege to go to Revolt Studios and watch Revolt Live being filmed along with being filmed ourselves. After the show wrapped up, it was time for dinner and we split up again. My group headed to the Hard Rock Café, where we reveled in good music, good company, and even better food. Sadly after dinner it was time to head back to the USC campus.
After Wednesday, the real work began. We had three days until the showcase and all of the groups were busy working on their projects. Music Business would run the show, while half of the group was chosen to pitch an idea for an app. Music Journalism was busy writing the script and the rest of the camp was recording and competing for a spot in the showcase. Those three days passed in the blink of an eye and before anyone knew it, it was show time. I had the honor of stage managing the most incredible show I’ve ever seen with some of the most amazing young talent!
The after party was bitter sweet, even with the upbeat music the EMPs were playing. It was the end of camp. The next day we would all be going home, but not to our normal lives but new inspired lives. I loved camp and I love all the people that I met. We are the next generation in music and we’re ready to take our places. GRAMMY CAMP LA 2014!
(Savi Knight, Intern)