By Angel Haze
In our GRAMMYs As Told To series, Radio.com chatted with an artist about one of the Best New Artist nominees at the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Below, we feature the Brooklyn born rapper/singer Angel Haze talking about Bastille, who after having spent a few months touring with the British foursome has some strong opinions on why the band deserves some recognition.READ MORE: Neighbors 4 Neighbors, Miami Dolphins To Serve 500 Hot Meals To Miami-Dade Schools Families
I think Bastille deserves to win Best New Artist at the GRAMMYs this year because they brought something so new, so eclectic and original to music. And the fact that Dan [Smith] does most of the writing and the production himself, it’s even more amazing. Their live show makes you never want to listen to the record. You just want to travel with them forever and just watch them perform. It’s really, really rad.
What makes Bastille stand out to me—and I like a lot of the other nominees, just to be straight—but it’s something that’s just sonically new. Pompeii was huge because you wouldn’t expect it to be. It sounded different and it sounded fresh and they just brought something new. I think that’s what Best New Artist is about. It’s someone who brings something you haven’t heard before. That’s what Bastille does.
Dan has had a really long journey and I think he was fresh. There’s no other way to put it. He’s an amazing artist. He has an amazing take on things, it’s like poetry. It’s like actual Shakespearean sonnets being sung to you. I think it was just a matter of time ‘til he was recognized. Like they say, all good art comes to the surface when it’s meant to. And, it’ll be appreciated for what it is.
Bastille’s best quality as a group though, is the way they jam together live. We were on tour together for two months and every single night I danced the same way I did the first night. There was never a tired bone in those guys, they can go for ages. I took my little brother—who hates alternative music by the way, he likes Kendrick Lamar—I took him to the Bastille concert that they just did in L.A. at The Shrine and he’s like, “Whoa, I actually want to buy this album on iTunes now.” So, they can actually make believers.
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I had been touring for six months overseas and I came back to America and somehow caught this weird chest infection. I was super, super sick. Out of nowhere I got this email from Dan and he said he wanted me to try something on this track. I heard it and it was just the bones and in fifteen minutes I wrote the song. I sent it back to them and I said, ‘I know I sound s—-y on it because I’m super sick but I think it could be something cool.’ And Dan loved it. We actually never revisited it or even thought about re-recording or anything until we were on tour. When we were on the road we were recording in little rooms that the venues had. We finally recorded ‘Weapon’ at Alexandra Palace in London.
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It is weird that I sort of think of Bastille and Pink Floyd at the same time, like, how significant those two bands are. Pink Floyd is amazing to me, but [the comparison comes] mostly because I get the triangle stuck in my head and Dan does the triangle thing.
I feel like if Dan sticks to his guns and they keep writing the way that they do and they keep touring and blowing away everyone as they do, they’ll continue to amaze.
The 57th annual GRAMMY Awards will be broadcast on CBS on Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. ET.
As told to Jay Tilles
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