How K-Pop's (G)I-DLE Are Learning To Love Themselves: "There's No Rules In This World" | GRAMMY.com (2024)

How K-Pop's (G)I-DLE Are Learning To Love Themselves: "There's No Rules In This World" | GRAMMY.com (1)

(G)I-DLE

Photo courtesy of Cube Entertainment

interview

(G)I-DLE have long reveled in challenging expectations — of themselves and of what K-pop should sound like. The group's latest EP, 'I Love,' embraces their authenticity and uncertainty, with a blonde bombshell flair.

Tássia Assis

|GRAMMYs/Oct 25, 2022 - 07:55 pm

"Why you think that ‘bout nude?" purrs Soyeon, blonder than ever, over a piano rendition of "Habanera" — the popular aria from Georges Bizet’s 1875 opera Carmen. It’s the opening scene of the music video for (G)I-DLE’s latest single, "Nxde." Looking like Marilyn Monroe if she starred in Moulin Rouge!, the leader and main rapper of the group instigates further: "'Cause your view’s so rude / Think outside the box / Then you’ll like it."

It turns out that "Nxde," off (G)I-DLE’s latest EP, I Love (out Oct. 17), has nothing to do with taking your clothes off. It’s all part of Soyeon’s plan to bare (G)I-DLE’s true selves instead. "It’s not that we want it to be erotic, we just want to change [the public’s] perspective," Soyeon said in a May episode of MBC’s reality show "I Live Alone."

Breaking stereotypes has always been (G)I-DLE’s main drive. Formed in 2018 by Soyeon, Miyeon, Minnie, Yuqi, and Shuhua, the K-pop group established themselves as daring creatives and songwriters, involved in every aspect of their music. From Latin sultriness ("Señorita"), to trap-infused temptations ("Oh My God"), to rebellious pop rock (March’s "Tomboy," which topped the iTunes charts in 24 countries and is still in the Top 100 of South Korea’s biggest music charts), (G)I-DLE revel in challenging expectations.

In "Nxde," (G)I-DLE pay homage to Marilyn Monroe — not for her sex symbol status, but for the smart woman that so few acknowledge her to have been. Yes, they all went blonde (even Shuhua, who had never bleached her hair before) and the music video is brimming with references to her movies, but also to other artists such as Banksy, Walt Whitman (Marilyn’s favorite poet), and Madonna. Through their lyrics, they show that there’s always more than meets the eye, and that loving yourself for who you are is priceless.

That is also the main message of I Love, whose remaining five tracks tell — in reverse order — how (G)I-DLE went from suffering for the love of others to fully embracing self-love. The gloomy atmospheres of "Dark (X-File)" and "Sculpture" open the way for experimentation in the acoustic "Reset" and the minimalistic, tempo-shifting "Change," which finally lead to the brash guitars of "LOVE" and the theatricality of "Nxde."

GRAMMY.com caught up with (G)I-DLE over Zoom to learn more about their rise to the top, how they are still learning to love themselves, and what comes after I Love.

In your previous single, "Tomboy," you say that "stuff like love can't make a single scratch on my body." However, in I Love, you explore the opposite of that statement. Would you say that I Love tells the story of how (G)I-DLE became the women in "Tomboy"?

Soyeon: I don’t think that "Tomboy" and I Love are totally different. "Tomboy" is about how we won't get scarred by other people's love, and I Love is an album with the message that we want to focus more on loving ourselves, rather than being loved by others.

"Nxde" presents a witty subversion of what it means to be naked. Soyeon first suggested the concept, but for the other members, did you reflect on what "nude" actually means for you, too?

Miyeon: When the creative process begins, we share every stage of it. When we put out a new album or new music, we pretty much have the same mindset. So in terms of how we think of "Nxde" and the message there, we’re all on the same page.

Shuhua going blonde was a big move, and even the members thought that it wouldn't happen. As artists and as a group, how do you feel about getting out of your comfort zone to reach a greater goal? And how do you decide "this is something that I won't do"?

Shuhua: I just decided OK, it’s time to show fans our new appearance and it really suits that concept, so that’s why I decided to go blonde.

Your singles are very concept-driven, and you need to watch the music video and read the lyrics to get the full experience. What's the middle ground between concept and musicality for you? How do you deliver your message while making sure that people can still enjoy your music?

Soyeon: I think through and try really hard to keep the balance between popularity and sharing our thoughts into the music. If I feel like I’m missing something out, then I try to focus and fill in that with other parts of the music or the concept. At the end of the day, I want to make sure that we put out something that people would like. We try to keep it balanced by utilizing concept images and other elements of production as well.

Minnie: We try to express our message not in a heavy way, but easily [understandable] for the listeners.

This album dives into some personal themes for you and, as always, Soyeon, Minnie, and Yuqi also participated in the writing and composing of the songs. What are some things that you discovered about yourselves while preparing for this album?

Yuqi: During the recording of title track "Nxde," there's a part [I sing] that goes "How do I look?" and Soyeon asked me to just do whatever I wanted to do, in any style I wanted. So I did it, and it just came out like… Like a growl [laughs]. I didn’t see it coming, but Soyeon really liked it, so we put it in the song. That was actually an accident.

Me and Minnie as well have always produced our songs, and this time, "Dark (X-File)" was really a new style for me. Something like indie pop. It was my first time, but I think it’s a good try, and I will take advantage of this song to make better [ones] in the future.

Minnie: For me, during the music video shooting of "Nxde," I thought that this concept was very new and quite challenging, because I've never tried this style before. So I've been studying movements and gestures, I've been researching Marilyn Monroe, because it was inspired by her, and I think it came out very, very well. [It’s] very challenging, but not too hard for us to do and express.

You have mentioned in previous interviews that you want to break any stereotypes about you. However, as idols, there are certain rules that you have to follow. How do you work within those restrictions, while also pushing boundaries?

Soyeon: We don't try too hard to keep up with the restrictions because we're a K-pop group. We just express ourselves as much as possible and as much as we want.

Minnie: Like we said in "Tomboy," "just me, I-DLE." Just being honest to our fans.

Yuqi: We think that there are no rules in this society, in any parts or in any ways. We just want to tell people to do what they want, because there's no rules in this world.

During this media showcase for this album, you said that you need to love yourself first before you love others. Have you all reached that stage where you can say that you love yourselves?

Soyeon: We’re still in the process, but we wanted to deliver the message to people out there to start [doing that] too. We can’t confidently say that we fully love ourselves right now, but we’re exploring.

I think that music helps us to love ourselves more, and in the same way that seeing your work is inspiring for us listeners, I imagine it's inspiring for the artists as well.

Minnie: Yes. I hope our album will inspire a lot of people, especially in our generation, to be more confident and to start loving themselves more, because we are searching for that too. We’re learning — I am learning. [Minnie makes quotes with her hands in reference to their album titles, which always start with the pronoun "I"].

Maybe I Learn can be the title for the next album?

Yuqi: Oh! Good idea!

Minnie: Thank you for that! [Laughs].

In the video for b-side "Dark (X-File)," there is a phone screen with several concerning headlines about (G)I-DLE's future, such as "(G)I-DLE are on the edge" and "Are they being forgotten?" Are those some of your concerns as well?

Yuqi: We wanted to use that to tell people that everyone is getting judgments and everyone is getting those comments. It’s not because we are famous and because we are singers that [this doesn’t happen to us]. So we just wanted to tell people to not care about it. And about the question you asked, of course. Life is about ups and downs, but we just want to focus on ourselves. We kept doing this, and I think we will keep doing this. That’s our attitude.

You found incredible success with "Tomboy," and "Nxde" seems to be following the same steps. Do you ever feel pressured that you won't be able to surpass your previous achievements?

Soyeon: We would be lying if we [said we] didn't feel any pressure about it. But I don't think that our previous achievements are the farthest that we’ll ever get. We always have a new message that we want to deliver, and always have something new to talk about as we get older. We just want to continue doing that, and not get too tangled up thinking about heights and positions.

What's the biggest lesson that you learned since debut?

Minnie: Wow. [Laughs]. Pretty deep one.

Yuqi: OK, me first! There is a sentence I say to my fans and to myself: Always be proud of yourself. That's the message I want to say to the world. Don't care about the comments and judgments, you are you, you are doing a good job, so just focus on [that]. If you lose yourself, you lose the world, so be proud of yourself.

Soyeon: The biggest lesson I learned was don't get swinged by popularity. There's good popularity and bad popularity, and I shouldn’t be swayed too much by the potential of positive attention. But I also learned that I shouldn't be too frustrated or pressured by all the negatives that come with it. I realized that attention only lasts for a brief moment.

Minnie: I've learned that life is about changing, since after debut our lives changed a lot. You can see in the lyrics of [our b-side] "Change," where I wrote that "our life has ups and downs, it’s alright." It's just that simple. You have to learn how to deal with that situation and how to cope with new environments. My mom always says, "Now you're going up, but there's one day that you’ll have to go down." So one day, when you go down, just go as beautifully as you can.

Miyeon: Before [our] debut, I was afraid of challenges, but after I got to try out new concepts, new hairstyles, new makeup, I really enjoyed trying new things. Now that I have a lot of fans and people who encourage me, it really motivates me to meet new challenges.

Shuhua: I learned that I have to believe in myself when I perform on stage. I have to trust myself a lot, because the audience is there, but they are only there to see us and support us, so I need to have faith in what I do and in my performance.

Are you already planning the next album?

Yuqi: Always!

Minnie: I have something to say. I think Soyeon always has something in her head, and every time she’s, like, "Oh, this time maybe we should do this, maybe let’s try that," out of her million ideas. There’s a lot of things in her head.

Soyeon: Yes. The next album will be fun.

Is there anything I didn’t ask that you want to talk about?

Yuqi: First of all, thank you for inviting us for this interview, I think it’s everyone’s dream come true. We’re planning to do more activities, more TV programs and stages in the U.S., and maybe English songs? So please expect that, and stay tuned. (G)I-DLE is coming, (G)I-DLE is rising up, and the next album will be amazing too. [Laughs]

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How K-Pop's (G)I-DLE Are Learning To Love Themselves: "There's No Rules In This World" | GRAMMY.com (2)

(Top row) Joe Talbot of IDLES, Tyla, ITZY (Middle) Kali Uchis, Usher, Green Day (Bottom) Sheryl Crow, Dua Lipa, Jacob Collier

Photos: (Top) Matthew Baker/Getty Images; Steve Granitz/FilmMagic; JYP Entertainment (Middle) ANGELA WEISS via AFP/Getty Images; Scott Legato/Getty Images for iHeartRadio; Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Amazon Music (Bottom) Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic; Araya Doheny/FilmMagic; Mike Lewis Photography/Redferns

news

Record releases in 2024 run the gamut, from debut albums to highly-anticipated sophom*ore efforts and a slew of promising comebacks. Read on for GRAMMY.com's guide to albums coming out in 2024, including releases from (G)I-dle, Kali Uchis and Dua Lipa.

Tássia Assis

|GRAMMYs/Jan 2, 2024 - 05:39 pm

The beginning of a new year is always a hopeful time. We wonder what awaits next, hope for better things to come, and trace goals to improve our lives. And through all these moments, music follows us as the soundtrack to a movie.

2023 came with plenty of fantastic tunes, and 2024 is shaping up to be just as great. Right from the get-go in January, punk legends Green Day will release Saviors, while Kali Uchis will come forward with her second Spanish album, Orquídeas. Art-rock band The Smile will bring us Wall of Eyes, and K-pop girl groups (G)I-dle and ITZY are also slated for new releases.

In February, Alabama Shakes’s Brittany Howard and country darling Gabby Barrett will both release their sophom*ore LPs, What Now and Chapter & Verse, respectively. Later on, Usher will return to the stage with Coming Home, and J.Lo will finally drop This Is Me… Now, the sequel to 2002’s This Is Me… Then.

Starting March, we can expect Bleachers' eponymous new album, the debut LP of South African revelation Tyla, Lenny Kravitz’s Blue Electric Light, and more — maybe even Dua Lipa’s long-awaited third album?

As you gear up for the new year, below is a guide to 30 highly anticipated albums coming out in 2024 that will inspire you even more.

(G)I-dle - TBA

Release date: TBA

Although there’s barely any info out there, (G)I-dle’s label Cube Entertainment confirmed to news outlet Ilgan Sports that the K-pop quintet intends to release their second full album in January.

The new album follows a slate of 2022 releases: EPs I Love and I Feel, and their first studio album, I Never Die. Known for self-produced, challenging concepts, the group had a stellar 2023 with the success of "Queencard," which topped several Korean charts and was one of the year’s most influential K-pop songs.

ITZY - Born To Be

Release date: Jan. 8

K-pop girl group ITZY have been dropping teasers to their third studio album, Born To Be, like breadcrumbs. They first released an eponymous single on Dec. 18, which will then be followed by "Mr. Vampire" on Jan. 2, and finally by the lead track, "Untouchable," on Jan. 8.

With 10 tracks, Born To Be marks the first time ITZY will release solo songs by each member (including Lia, who is currently in a health-related hiatus), and the first time all members participated in writing and composition. To celebrate the release, the group will embark on a world tour, starting in Seoul on Feb. 24.

Kali Uchis - Orquídeas

Release date: Jan. 11

Less than a year after the release of Red Moon in Venus, Colombian American singer Kali Uchis is back — this time with Orquídeas, her second Spanish-language album (fourth in total), set to drop on Jan. 11.

"The orchid is the national flower of Colombia, and we have more species of orchid than anywhere on earth," Uchis said in a statement. "I always felt distinctly intrigued and magnetized by the flower. This album is inspired by the timeless, eerie, mystic, striking, graceful and sensual allure of the orchid. With this vast scope of fresh energy, I wish to redefine the way we look at Latinas in music."

To give a taste of how this redefinition will sound like, the singer has shared three singles so far: "Muñekita" with Dominican rapper El Alfa and JT from City Girls, "Te Mata," and "Labios Mordidos" with Karol G.

Kid Cudi - Insano

Release date: Jan. 12

Kid Cudi's new album has been teased for most of 2023, ending up postponed for January. "I’m sorry for the delay everybody, but I’m a perfectionist. And things gotta be right," the rapper shared on X in September. But as the new year approaches, it looks like Insano will finally see the light of the day.

Carrying a stacked lineup of guest appearances — including Travis Scott, Pharrell Williams and A$AP RockyInsano will have more than 40 songs "between the main album and deluxe(s)," according to the rapper. "I wanted to make something undeniable and change my entire live experience. This album was made for tour next year. Get ready," he added.

Until then, you can listen to singles "Porsche Topless," "At The Party" with Travis Scott and Pharrell and "Ill What I Bleed."

Ana Tijoux - VIDA

Release date: Jan. 18

Chilean-French singer Ana Tijoux is set to release VIDA, her first album in nine years, next month. The record is her sixth studio effort, and follows 2014’s Vengo.

With the announcement, the hip-hop musician also shared reggaeton fusion single "Niñx," which was "born as a manifesto to the child we all have inside of us," she explained in a press release. "That living being that is capable of dreaming and building infinite castles of humanity and love."

In October came second single "Tania," which pays homage to her late sister. Both songs were produced by longtime collaborator Andrés Celis. Recently, Tijoux announced that she will go on her first U.S. tour since 2018, as well as a string of dates across Europe and a performance at Lollapalooza Chile.

Green Day - Saviors

Release date: Jan 19

According to a statement, "Saviors is an invitation into Green Day’s brain, their collective spirit as a band, and an understanding of friendship, culture and legacy of the last 30 plus years." The album is their 14th studio release, and follows 2020’s Father Of All Motherf—ers.

As of its contents, the pop-punk trio promises to approach "power pop, punk, rock, indie triumph" and varied themes like "disease, war, inequality, influencers, yoga retreats, alt right, dating apps, masks," and more. "It's raw and emotional. Funny and disturbing. It’s a laugh at the pain, weep in the happiness kind of record," they shared further.

Set to embark on a stadium tour starting May 2024, Green Day dropped three singles off the album to amp up the excitement: "The American Dream Is Killing Me," "Look Ma, No Brains!" and "Dilemma."

Neck Deep - Neck Deep

Release date: Jan. 19

"We’re so stoked to announce our new self-made, self-titled record," Neck Deep vocalist Ben Barlow shared in a statement. "With a return to roots approach, we made this record ourselves at our warehouse in North Wales, with Seb [Barlow, bass] at the helm, and the rest of us over his shoulder, like it was at the start."

This is the Welsh pop-punks’ fifth album, and sees the quintet "knowing ourselves and knowing our ability," explains Barlow. "It’s unapologetically us. We’re professional songwriters now and we’ve really honed in on what we’re good at — but it’s also about having fun and enjoying writing these tracks. And there are those little sonic signatures in the mix that even I can’t really put my finger on that just make it Neck Deep."

Out of 10 tracks, the band shared "Heartbreak of the Century," "Take Me With You,""It Won't Be Like This Forever," and "We Need More Bricks" as singles. One week after the album release, they will kick off a U.S. tour that runs throughout February.

Sleater-Kinney - Little Rope

Release date: Jan. 19

How do you navigate grief? This is a question that rock duo Sleater-Kinney (formed by Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker) attempts to explore in Little Rope, their 11th studio album.

In August 2022, Brownstein lost both her mother and stepfather in a car accident while they were vacationing in Italy. In the following months, she turned to her guitar to process the pain. "I don’t think I’ve played guitar that much since my teens or early twenties," she said in a press release. "Literally moving my fingers across the fretboard for hours on end to remind myself I was still capable of basic motor skills, of movement, of existing."

And so Little Rope slowly took shape — a record that "careens headfirst into flaw, into brokenness, a meditation on what living in a world of perpetual crisis has done to us, and what we do to the world in return."

Philip Glass - Philip Glass Solo

Release date: Jan 26

Legendary pianist and composer Philip Glass will release a new piano album in January, called Philip Glass Solo. The collection is described in a statement as "an intimate portrait" of the 84-year-old musician, where he "takes a new look at some of his most enduring and beloved piano works."

Recorded during 2020-2021 in New York, when he spent days at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Glass adds in the same statement that this album is "a document on my current thinking about the music" and that "the listener may hear the quiet hum of New York in the background or feel the influence of time and memory that this space affords."

The album features seven of his best, most renowned oeuvres, like the "Metamorphosis" series, the 1978 organ piece for the Dalai Lama "Mad Rush," and a reworked version of "Truman Sleeps" from the 1998 film The Truman Show.

The Smile - Wall of Eyes

Release date: Jan. 26

Comprising Radiohead members Jonny Greenwood and Thom Yorke with drummer Tom Skinner, The Smile received critical acclaim with their 2022 debut LP, A Light For Attracting Attention. On Jan. 26, they'll release sophom*ore album Wall of Eyes.

Wall of Eyes was recorded in Oxford and at the Abbey Road Studios, and produced and mixed by Sam Petts-Davies. A first single,"Bending Hectic," was released in June featuring strings by the London Contemporary Orchestra, followed by the album’s title track in November. The trio will kick off an European tour in March 2024.

Brittany Howard - What Now

Release date: Feb 2

It’s been four years since the release of her soulful solo debut, Jaime, and Brittany Howard is finally ready to welcome us into her life’s new chapter. What Now is a 12-track collection recorded at the Sound Emporium and RCA Studio B in her hometown of Nashville.

The Alabama Shakes singer/songwriter also shared an eponymous lead single, which she described as "the truest and bluest of all the songs" in a statement. "It’s never my design to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I needed to say what was on my mind without editing myself. I like how it’s a song that makes you want to dance, but at the same time the lyrics are brutal."

In support of the album, Howard will embark on a U.S. tour with L'Rain and Becca Mancari starting February. She also shared second single "Red Flags" in November.

Gabby Barrett - Chapter & Verse

Release date: Feb 2

Chapter & Verse is the upcoming sophom*ore album by country star Gabby Barrett, due out Feb. 2. Written by Barrett and co-produced by Ross Copperman, the LP's 13 tracks document her journey as a singer, wife, and mother of (almost) three.

Barrett shared singles "Glory Days," "Cowboy Back," and most recently the ballad "Growin’ Up Raising You." On Instagram, she explained that the latter is "a very sensitive song for me," as it was written based on the experience of raising her firstborn, Baylah. "I’m only 23. I don’t have all the answers to everything. I have not got everything figured out. I am doing the best that I can while trying to raise other people to be the best people that they can be."

Zara Larsson - Venus

Release date: Feb. 9

According to a press release, Zara Larsson’s upcoming Venus is "a pop album fit for a goddess." It is said to find the Swedish singer "setting her own agenda – in part, by looking back on where she’s come from."

This is Larsson’s fourth studio album in total, and her third international one. In an interview with Billboard, she shared that Venus isn’t constricted to one single genre, and that "the real thread throughout the album is just my voice and me telling a story depending on what I’m feeling right now."

The album’s release is spearheaded by singles "Can't Tame Her," "End of Time" and "On My Love" with David Guetta. Larsson will also embark on a UK and European tour in February and March 2024.

Declan McKenna - What Happened to the Beach?

Release date: Feb 9

In his irreverent style, English singer Declan McKenna took it to Instagram to announce his upcoming work. "My third album What Happened To The Beach? is out 9th February," he wrote. My favorite third album yet. In my top three albums I’ve ever made of all time."

Following 2020’s Zeros, What Happened To The Beach? was primarily inspired by Unknown Mortal Orchestra and St. Vincent, and McKenna aimed to "distance himself from the soapboxing of his previous material," according to a press release. "Any time I tried to be too serious, the songs would get too heavy and the thing I was trying to get at, this idea of a release, was weighed down," McKenna said. "The songs sound a lot like the music I listen to."

To get a taste of his new style, McKenna shared singles "Sympathy" and "Nothing Works." In March 2024, he is set to tour the UK and Ireland.

Usher - Coming Home

Release date: Feb 11

Coinciding with his Super Bowl LVIII halftime show performance on Feb. 11, R&B star Usher will release his ninth studio album, Coming Home. This is his first solo effort since 2016’s Hard II Love, and marks his much-awaited return to the stages.

"We’ve put a lot of thought and creativity into this new album to tell a story that is open to interpretation and that will connect with people in different ways," Usher said in a statement. "I know this has been a long time coming for my fans and what I’ll say is that all good things come to those who wait. I hope you enjoy it once you hear it."

The project is set to feature 20 tracks, including single "Good Good" with 21 Savage and Summer Walker.

Blackberry Smoke - Be Right Here

Release date: Feb. 16

With Be Right Here, southern rock band Blackberry Smoke wants us to enjoy the present. The album was produced by GRAMMY winner Dave Cobb, and recorded at the historic RCA Studio A and at Cobb’s Georgia Mae studio in Savannah, Georgia.

"We always track live together, but this time we had all our amps and drums and everything in the same room," said frontman Charlie Starr in a statement. "It’s just as natural and as real as possible. The last album was very raw too, but with this one I remember different times I would say, ‘I think we should redo that,’ and Dave [Cobb] was like, ‘No, leave it that way. That way it’s magical.’"

Following 2021’s You Hear Georgia, Be Right Here is the band’s eighth studio album. In support of the release, they announced a lengthy 2024 tour across the US, U.K. and Europe.

serpentwithfeet - GRIP

Release date: Feb. 16

R&B musician Josiah Wise — best known as serpentwithfeet — is unafraid to experiment in music. For his upcoming third album, GRIP, he extends that investigation to the Black gay clubs he grew up in and the intimacies of physical touch.

According to a press release, "from the project’s start to its end, moments of sweat, indulgence, and tension can be felt through upbeat high-energy records as well as songs that find their home in the steamy bedroom moments."

Out Feb. 16, GRIP follows up on 2021’s Deacon and will feature 10 tracks, led by single "Damn Gloves" with Yanga YaYa and Ty Dolla $ign. The album also soundtracks Heart of Brick, serpent’s debut theater production which ran across the U.S. in the past months.

Idles - TANGK

Release date: Feb 16

British rock band Idles said in a press release that the meaning behind TANGK — their upcoming studio album — is an onomatopoeia for the "lashing way" they imagined their guitars sounding. Described as their most "ambitious and striking" work yet, the band’s fifth album is set to drop on Feb.16.

"TANGK. I needed love. So I made it. I gave love out to the world and it feels like magic. This is our album of gratitude and power. All love songs. All is love," said frontman Joe Talbot, reinforcing that TANGK is, first and foremost, an album focused on that feeling. The first taste of this project can be heard on the single "Dancer," which features LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and Nancy Whang.

Jennifer Lopez - This Is Me… Now

Release date: Feb. 16

Twenty years after the release of her iconic This Is Me… Then album — which featured hits like "Jenny from the Block" — J.Lo is back in the spotlight again. After rekindling with actor Ben Affleck in 2021, she announced the sequel to her 2002 release, This Is Me… Now, and stated in an interview with Vogue that the album represents a "culmination" of who she is.

A press release also describes This Is Me… Now as an "emotional, spiritual and psychological journey" across all that Lopez has been through in the past decades. Fans can also expect more details on the new-and-improved Bennifer, as many of the titles among its 13 tracks suggest, especially "Dear Ben Pt. II."

After months of teasing, the singer finally revealed the release date to be Feb. 16 — with first single "Can’t Get Enough" coming out Jan. 10.

Les Amazones d'Afrique - Musow Dance

Release date: Feb. 16

Formed in 2014 in Bamako, Mali, by three renowned music stars and social change activists (Mamani Keïta, Oumou Sangaré and Mariam Doumbia), the all-female supergroup Les Amazones d’Afrique has since expanded to include several artists across Africa and the diaspora.

Blending a myriad of music styles with a pledge for gender equality and ending ancestral violence, they received critical acclaim with 2017’s République Amazone and 2020’s Amazones Power, and aim even bigger for their upcoming third record, Musow Dance.

For that, a press release states that the group worked with producer Jacknife Lee (U2, Modest Mouse, Taylor Swift) to "embrace a powerful pop sound led by 808s and glitchy synths and drawing from contemporary hip-hop and trap influences," expanding their already rich sonic tapestry into something extraordinary.

Chromeo - Adult Contemporary

Release date: Feb. 16

2024 marks 20 years since Chromeo arrived in the music scene with the flashy, funky She’s in Control. To celebrate this milestone and to prove that they still have more to give, the Montreal duo will release their sixth studio album, Adult Contemporary, on February 16.

Compared to the works of Steely Dan in a press release, the album is said to explore "what it means to be funky in your 30s and 40s," and features 14 songs written and produced by the duo. "Adult Contemporary is a meditation on modern, mature relationships, which means: If we gotta sing about curling irons, so be it," said vocalist Dave 1.

Chromeo released four singles off the project so far: "Personal Effects," "(I Don't Need a) New Girl," "Replacements" with La Roux and "Words with You."

MGMT - Loss of Life

Release date: Feb. 23

MGMT have announced their first album in six years since 2018’s Little Dark Age. Loss of Life features 10 tracks, including their first-ever album feature with French singer Christine and the Queens.

In a statement, the Connecticut duo said that they are "very proud of this album and the fact that it was a relatively painless birth after a lengthy gestation period." Over on Instagram, they added that Loss of Life is "an album that brandishes the power of love in the face of inevitable human death and decay, and hopes to encourage collective comfort in remembering the universe’s inextinguishable yet often brutal desire to find balance and harmony. Or something." Singles "Mother Nature" and "Bubblegum Dog" are out now.

Allie X - Girl With No Face

Release date: Feb. 23

"It’s very hard to sum up a body of work you’ve spent thousands of hours on, but here’s an attempt," pop visionary Allie X said about her upcoming album, Girl With No Face, in a statement. "There is a death in this music, as well as the beginning of a rebirth. I needed to make something that came completely from me."

Entirely self-produced, Girl With No Face is preceded by "Black Eye" and an eponymous single, and is slated to release on Feb.23. According to the Canadian singer/songwriter, its 11 tracks are "angry, stubborn, honest, dry, melodramatic, fast, and indulgent."

Jacob Collier - Djesse Vol. 4

Release date: Feb. 29

Virtuoso Jacob Collier is also set to conclude his Djesse series in 2024 with the release of Djesse Vol. 4.The album follows 2021’s GRAMMY-nominated Djesse Vol. 3, and symbolizes the end of an era for the English artist.

"Five years ago, in the wake of a musical journey that had begun in solitude, I set out on an epic adventure with a big dream — a collaborative quadruple album," Collier said in a statement. "In many ways, Djesse Vol. 4 is an album that’s taken me 30 years to make. It is, to me, a celebration of humankind — the way that I see it and hear it, built with musicians from every corner of the world. To be culminating this collaborative experiment with a 100,000 voice audience-choir, a sound that permeates the heart of this album, feels like I’ve found the heart of it."

Even before release, Djesse Vol. 4 is already notable: 2022 standalone single "Never Gonna Be Alone," featuring Lizzy McAlpine and John Mayer, was nominated for a GRAMMY award for Best Arrangement, Instrumental and Vocals, and later revealed to be included in the tracklist. Other singles comprise "Wellll," "Little Blue" with Brandi Carlile, "Wherever I Go" with Lawrence and Michael McDonald and "Witness Me" with Shawn Mendes, Stormzy, and Kirk Franklin.

Bleachers - Bleachers

Release date: March 8

Jack Antonoff is one of the most important hands shaping the sound of current pop. His songwriting and producing skills crafted hits for a slew of artists, from Taylor Swift to Lana del Rey, and earned him eight GRAMMYs so far (he is also nominated for the 2024 GRAMMYs in the Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical category alongside D'Mile, Metro Boomin, Hit-Boy and Daniel Nigro). In addition to that, Antonoff also fronts rock band Bleachers, and is gearing up to release its eponymous fourth studio album.

Lead track "Modern Girl" and second offering "Alma Mater," featuring Lana del Rey, exemplify the press release description of the album as bittersweet "music for driving on the highway to, for crying to and for dancing to at weddings." Bleachers offers a "reassuringly touchable and concrete" sentiment, the release continued, to "exist in crazy times but remember what counts." Bleachers will tour the U.K. in March before heading to the U.S. with band Samia in May and June.

Tyla - Tyla

Release date: March 1

2023’s revelation Tyla is ready to dazzle the world even more with her eponymous debut LP. Coming out March 1, it will feature the viral hit and lead single "Water" — which is nominated for Best African Music Performance at the 2024 GRAMMYs alongside "Amapiano" by ASAKE & Olamide, Burna Boy's "City Boys," "UNAVAILABLE" from Davido feat. Musa Keys, and Arya Starr's "Rush" — as well as other tracks like "Truth or Dare," "Butterflies" and "On and On."

"I cannot wait for the world to experience an African Popstar," the singer shared on Instagram. "Everything that’s happening has surpassed anything I could have dreamt of. African music is going global and I’m so blessed to be one of the artists pushing the culture."

Tyla will be touring Europe and the U.S. in spring.

Lenny Kravitz - Blue Electric Light

Release date: March 15

In October, Lenny Kravitz kicked off his return to music with the Star Wars-inspired "TK421" and its NSFW music video — in which the singer appears naked from behind in several scenes. The single spearheads his twelfth studio album and first double LP, Blue Electric Light, set to release on March 15.

Blue Electric Light is Kravitz’s first effort since 2018’s Raise Vibration. He recorded the album’s 12 tracks entirely in the Bahamas, and played most of the instruments himself, in collaboration with Craig Ross. Kravitz has recently announced a European tour in support of the album, starting in June.

Sheryl Crow - Evolution

Release date: March 29

After saying she wouldn’t make another album following 2018’s Threads, Sheryl Crow changed her mind — on March 29, her twelfth studio LP, Evolution, will be out. "I said I’d never make another record, though there was no point to it," she said in a statement. "But this music comes from my soul. And I hope whoever hears this record can feel that."

Talking about the creative process of the album, the nine-time GRAMMY winner shared: "I started off sending one song to [producer] Mike [Elizondo], which turned into four, and it was going to be an EP. But the songs just kept flowing out of me, four songs turned into nine and it was pretty obvious this was an album." With the announcement, Crow also shared lead single "Alarm Clock."

Bring Me the Horizon - Post Human: Nex Gen

Release date: TBA

Post Human: Nex Gen was first announced in June 2023, leaving Bring Me the Horizon fans excited for the follow-up to the band’s 2020 EP, Post Human: Survival Horror. However, in August, frontman Oliver Sykes shared on Instagram that due to "unforeseen circ*mstances," the band was "unable to complete the record to the standard we’d be happy with," postponing its original Sept. 15 release.

A new release date hasn’t been confirmed, but Sykes affirms that it is "close." The album is preceded by singles "LosT," "AmEN!" featuring rapper Lil Uzi Vert and Daryl Palumbo of Glassjaw, and "DArkSide." On Dec. 22, the band also announced that they have split ways with keyboardist Jordan Fish, but that their upcoming UK and Ireland tour in January will continue as expected.

Dua Lipa - TBA

Release date: TBA

The stunning Future Nostalgia brightened early pandemic days of 2020, and since then the world can’t get enough of Dua Lipa. In 2023, the superstar reached new heights with Barbie movie soundtrack "Dance The Night," earning two GRAMMY nominations. In the Song Of The Year category, the track is up against Lana del Rey's "A&W," Swift's "Anti-Hero," "Butterfly" by Jon Batiste, Miley Cyrus' "Flowers," SZA's "Kill Bill," Billie Eilish's "What Was I Made For?" and "Vampire" by Olivia Rodrigo. In the Best Song Written for Visual Media category, competitors are "Barbie World," "I'm Just Ken" and "What Was I Made For?" from Barbie The Album, and "Lift Me Up" from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

But she has even more in store for 2024. With the release of "Houdini" in November, the English-Albanian singer ushered in a new chapter — her third album, title and due date yet to be announced, is well on its way.

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Kendrick Lamar

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

video

Upon winning the GRAMMY for Best Rap Album for 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' Kendrick Lamar thanked those that helped him get to the stage, and the artists that blazed the trail for him.

Carena Liptak

|GRAMMYs/Oct 13, 2023 - 06:01 pm

Updated Friday Oct. 13, 2023 to include info about Kendrick Lamar's most recent GRAMMY wins, as of the 2023 GRAMMYs.

A GRAMMY veteran these days, Kendrick Lamar has won 17 GRAMMYs and has received 47 GRAMMY nominations overall. A sizable chunk of his trophies came from the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards in 2016, when he walked away with five — including his first-ever win in the Best Rap Album category.

This installment of GRAMMY Rewind turns back the clock to 2016, revisiting Lamar's acceptance speech upon winning Best Rap Album for To Pimp A Butterfly. Though Lamar was alone on stage, he made it clear that he wouldn't be at the top of his game without the help of a broad support system.

"First off, all glory to God, that's for sure," he said, kicking off a speech that went on to thank his parents, who he described as his "those who gave me the responsibility of knowing, of accepting the good with the bad."

Looking for more GRAMMYs news?The 2024 GRAMMY nominations are here!

He also extended his love and gratitude to his fiancée, Whitney Alford, and shouted out his Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates. Lamar specifically praised Top Dawg's CEO, Anthony Tiffith, for finding and developing raw talent that might not otherwise get the chance to pursue their musical dreams.

"We'd never forget that: Taking these kids out of the projects, out of Compton, and putting them right here on this stage, to be the best that they can be," Lamar — a Compton native himself — continued, leading into an impassioned conclusion spotlighting some of the cornerstone rap albums that came before To Pimp a Butterfly.

"Hip-hop. Ice Cube. This is for hip-hop," he said. "This is for Snoop Dogg, Doggystyle. This is for Illmatic, this is for Nas. We will live forever. Believe that."

To Pimp a Butterfly singles "Alright" and "These Walls" earned Lamar three more GRAMMYs that night, the former winning Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song and the latter taking Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (the song features Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat). He also won Best Music Video for the remix of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood."

Lamar has since won Best Rap Album two more times, taking home the golden gramophone in 2018 for his blockbuster LP DAMN., and in 2023 for his bold fifth album, .

Watch Lamar's full acceptance speech above, and check back at GRAMMY.com every Friday for more GRAMMY Rewind episodes.

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Franc Moody

Photo:Rachel Kupfer

list

James Brown changed the sound of popular music when he found the power of the one and unleashed the funk with "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag." Today, funk lives on in many forms, including these exciting bands from across the world.

Ana Monroy Yglesias

|GRAMMYs/Nov 25, 2022 - 04:23 pm

It's rare that a genre can be traced back to a single artist or group, but for funk, that was James Brown. The Godfather of Soul coined the phrase and style of playing known as "on the one," where the first downbeat is emphasized, instead of the typical second and fourth beats in pop, soul and other styles. As David Cheal eloquently explains, playing on the one "left space for phrases and riffs, often syncopated around the beat, creating an intricate, interlocking grid which could go on and on." You know a funky bassline when you hear it; its fat chords beg your body to get up and groove.

Brown's 1965 classic, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," became one of the first funk hits, and has been endlessly sampled and covered over the years, along with his other groovy tracks. Of course, many other funk acts followed in the '60s, and the genre thrived in the '70s and '80s as the disco craze came and went, and the originators of hip-hop and house music created new music from funk and disco's strong, flexible bones built for dancing.

Legendary funk bassist Bootsy Collins learned the power of the one from playing in Brown's band, and brought it to George Clinton, who created P-funk, an expansive, Afrofuturistic, psychedelic exploration of funk with his various bands and projects, including Parliament-Funkadelic. Both Collins and Clinton remain active and funkin', and have offered their timeless grooves to collabs with younger artists, including Kali Uchis, Silk Sonic, and Omar Apollo; and Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, and Thundercat, respectively.

In the 1980s, electro-funk was born when artists like Afrika Bambaataa, Man Parrish, and Egyptian Lover began making futuristic beats with the Roland TR-808 drum machine — often with robotic vocals distorted through a talk box. A key distinguishing factor of electro-funk is a de-emphasis on vocals, with more phrases than choruses and verses. The sound influenced contemporaneous hip-hop, funk and electronica, along with acts around the globe, while current acts like Chromeo, DJ Stingray, and even Egyptian Lover himself keep electro-funk alive and well.

Today, funk lives in many places, with its heavy bass and syncopated grooves finding way into many nooks and crannies of music. There's nu-disco and boogie funk, nodding back to disco bands with soaring vocals and dance floor-designed instrumentation. G-funk continues to influence Los Angeles hip-hop, with innovative artists like Dam-Funk and Channel Tres bringing the funk and G-funk, into electro territory. Funk and disco-centered '70s revival is definitely having a moment, with acts like Ghost Funk Orchestra and Parcels, while its sparkly sprinklings can be heard in pop from Dua Lipa, Doja Cat, and, in full "Soul Train" character, Silk Sonic. There are also acts making dreamy, atmospheric music with a solid dose of funk, such as Khruangbin’s global sonic collage.

There are many bands that play heavily with funk, creating lush grooves designed to get you moving. Read on for a taste of five current modern funk and nu-disco artists making band-led uptempo funk built for the dance floor. Be sure to press play on the Spotify playlist above, and check out GRAMMY.com's playlist on Apple Music, Amazon Music and Pandora.

Say She She

Aptly self-described as "discodelic soul," Brooklyn-based seven-piece Say She She make dreamy, operatic funk, led by singer-songwriters Nya Gazelle Brown, Piya Malik and Sabrina Mileo Cunningham. Their '70s girl group-inspired vocal harmonies echo, sooth and enchant as they cover poignant topics with feminist flair.

While they’ve been active in the New York scene for a few years, they’ve gained wider acclaim for the irresistible music they began releasing this year, including their debut album, Prism. Their 2022 debut single "Forget Me Not" is an ode to ground-breaking New York art collective Guerilla Girls, and "Norma" is their protest anthem in response to the news that Roe vs. Wade could be (and was) overturned. The band name is a nod to funk legend Nile Rodgers, from the "Le freak, c'est chi" exclamation in Chic's legendary tune "Le Freak."

Moniquea

Moniquea's unique voice oozes confidence, yet invites you in to dance with her to the super funky boogie rhythms. The Pasadena, California artist was raised on funk music; her mom was in a cover band that would play classics like Aretha Franklin’s "Get It Right" and Gladys Knight’s"Love Overboard." Moniquea released her first boogie funk track at 20 and, in 2011, met local producer XL Middelton — a bonafide purveyor of funk. She's been a star artist on his MoFunk Records ever since, and they've collabed on countless tracks, channeling West Coast energy with a heavy dose of G-funk, sunny lyrics and upbeat, roller disco-ready rhythms.

Her latest release is an upbeat nod to classic West Coast funk, produced by Middleton, and follows her February 2022 groovy, collab-filled album, On Repeat.

Shiro Schwarz

Shiro Schwarz is a Mexico City-based duo, consisting of Pammela Rojas and Rafael Marfil, who helped establish a modern funk scene in the richly creative Mexican metropolis. On "Electrify" — originally released in 2016 on Fat Beats Records and reissued in 2021 by MoFunk — Shiro Schwarz's vocals playfully contrast each other, floating over an insistent, upbeat bassline and an '80s throwback electro-funk rhythm with synth flourishes.

Their music manages to be both nostalgic and futuristic — and impossible to sit still to. 2021 single "Be Kind" is sweet, mellow and groovy, perfect chic lounge funk. Shiro Schwarz’s latest track, the joyfully nostalgic "Hey DJ," is a collab with funkstress Saucy Lady and U-Key.

L'Impératrice

L'Impératrice (the empress in French) are a six-piece Parisian group serving an infectiously joyful blend of French pop, nu-disco, funk and psychedelia. Flore Benguigui's vocals are light and dreamy, yet commanding of your attention, while lyrics have a feminist touch.

During their energetic live sets, L'Impératrice members Charles de Boisseguin and Hagni Gwon (keys), David Gaugué (bass), Achille Trocellier (guitar), and Tom Daveau (drums) deliver extended instrumental jam sessions to expand and connect their music. Gaugué emphasizes the thick funky bass, and Benguigui jumps around the stage while sounding like an angel. L’Impératrice’s latest album, 2021’s Tako Tsubo, is a sunny, playful French disco journey.

Franc Moody

Franc Moody's bio fittingly describes their music as "a soul funk and cosmic disco sound." The London outfit was birthed by friends Ned Franc and Jon Moody in the early 2010s, when they were living together and throwing parties in North London's warehouse scene. In 2017, the group grew to six members, including singer and multi-instrumentalist Amber-Simone.

Their music feels at home with other electro-pop bands like fellow Londoners Jungle and Aussie act Parcels. While much of it is upbeat and euphoric, Franc Moody also dips into the more chilled, dreamy realm, such as the vibey, sultry title track from their recently released Into the Ether.

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Billy Idol

Photo: Steven Sebring

interview

"One foot in the past and one foot into the future," Billy Idol says, describing his decade-spanning career in rock. "We’ve got the best of all possible worlds because that has been the modus operandi of Billy Idol."

Bryan Reesman

|GRAMMYs/Nov 25, 2022 - 04:19 pm

Living Legends is a series that spotlights icons in music still going strong today. This week, GRAMMY.com spoke with Billy Idol about his latest EP, Cage, and continuing to rock through decades of changing tastes.

Billy Idol is a true rock 'n' roll survivor who has persevered through cultural shifts and personal struggles. While some may think of Idol solely for "Rebel Yell" and "White Wedding," the singer's musical influences span genres and many of his tunes are less turbo-charged than his '80s hits would belie.

Idol first made a splash in the latter half of the '70s with the British punk band Generation X. In the '80s, he went on to a solo career combining rock, pop, and punk into a distinct sound that transformed him and his musical partner, guitarist Steve Stevens, into icons. They have racked up multiple GRAMMY nominations, in addition to one gold, one double platinum, and four platinum albums thanks to hits like "Cradle Of Love," "Flesh For Fantasy," and "Eyes Without A Face."

But, unlike many legacy artists, Idol is anything but a relic. Billy continues to produce vital Idol music by collaborating with producers and songwriters — including Miley Cyrus — who share his forward-thinking vision. He will play a five-show Vegas residency in November, and filmmaker Jonas Akerlund is working on a documentary about Idol’s life.

His latest release is Cage, the second in a trilogy of annual four-song EPs. The title track is a classic Billy Idol banger expressing the desire to free himself from personal constraints and live a better life. Other tracks on Cage incorporate metallic riffing and funky R&B grooves.

Idol continues to reckon with his demons — they both grappled with addiction during the '80s — and the singer is open about those struggles on the record and the page. (Idol's 2014 memoir Dancing With Myself, details a 1990 motorcycle accident that nearly claimed a leg, and how becoming a father steered him to reject hard drugs. "Bitter Taste," from his last EP, The Roadside, reflects on surviving the accident.)

Although Idol and Stevens split in the late '80s — the skilled guitarist fronted Steve Stevens & The Atomic Playboys, and collaborated with Michael Jackson, Rick Ocasek, Vince Neil, and Harold Faltermeyer (on the GRAMMY-winning "Top Gun Anthem") — their common history and shared musical bond has been undeniable. The duo reunited in 2001 for an episode of "VH1 Storytellers" and have been back in the saddle for two decades. Their union remains one of the strongest collaborations in rock 'n roll history.

While there is recognizable personnel and a distinguishable sound throughout a lot of his work, Billy Idol has always pushed himself to try different things. Idol discusses his musical journey, his desire to constantly move forward, and the strong connection that he shares with Stevens.

Steve has said that you like to mix up a variety of styles, yet everyone assumes you're the "Rebel Yell"/"White Wedding" guy. But if they really listen to your catalog, it's vastly different.

Yeah, that's right. With someone like Steve Stevens, and then back in the day Keith Forsey producing... [Before that] Generation X actually did move around inside punk rock. We didn't stay doing just the Ramones two-minute music. We actually did a seven-minute song. [Laughs]. We did always mix things up.

Then when I got into my solo career, that was the fun of it. With someone like Steve, I knew what he could do. I could see whatever we needed to do, we could nail it. The world was my oyster musically.

"Cage" is a classic-sounding Billy Idol rocker, then "Running From The Ghost" is almost metal, like what the Devil's Playground album was like back in the mid-2000s. "Miss Nobody" comes out of nowhere with this pop/R&B flavor. What inspired that?

We really hadn't done anything like that since something like "Flesh For Fantasy" [which] had a bit of an R&B thing about it. Back in the early days of Billy Idol, "Hot In The City" and "Mony Mony" had girls [singing] on the backgrounds.

We always had a bit of R&B really, so it was actually fun to revisit that. We just hadn't done anything really quite like that for a long time. That was one of the reasons to work with someone like Sam Hollander [for the song "Rita Hayworth"] on The Roadside. We knew we could go [with him] into an R&B world, and he's a great songwriter and producer. That's the fun of music really, trying out these things and seeing if you can make them stick.

I listen to new music by veteran artists and debate that with some people. I'm sure you have those fans that want their nostalgia, and then there are some people who will embrace the newer stuff. Do you find it’s a challenge to reach people with new songs?

Obviously, what we're looking for is, how do we somehow have one foot in the past and one foot into the future? We’ve got the best of all possible worlds because that has been the modus operandi of Billy Idol.

You want to do things that are true to you, and you don't just want to try and do things that you're seeing there in the charts today. I think that we're achieving it with things like "Running From The Ghost" and "Cage" on this new EP. I think we’re managing to do both in a way.

**Obviously, "Running From The Ghost" is about addiction, all the stuff that you went through, and in "Cage" you’re talking about freeing yourself from a lot of personal shackles. Was there any one moment in your life that made you really thought I have to not let this weigh me down anymore?**

I mean, things like the motorcycle accident I had, that was a bit of a wake up call way back. It was 32 years ago. But there were things like that, years ago, that gradually made me think about what I was doing with my life. I didn't want to ruin it, really. I didn't want to throw it away, and it made [me] be less cavalier.

I had to say to myself, about the drugs and stuff, that I've been there and I've done it. There’s no point in carrying on doing it. You couldn't get any higher. You didn't want to throw your life away casually, and I was close to doing that. It took me a bit of time, but then gradually I was able to get control of myself to a certain extent [with] drugs and everything. And I think Steve's done the same thing. We're on a similar path really, which has been great because we're in the same boat in terms of lyrics and stuff.

So a lot of things like that were wake up calls. Even having grandchildren and just watching my daughter enlarging her family and everything; it just makes you really positive about things and want to show a positive side to how you're feeling, about where you're going. We've lived with the demons so long, we've found a way to live with them. We found a way to be at peace with our demons, in a way. Maybe not completely, but certainly to where we’re enjoying what we do and excited about it.

[When writing] "Running From The Ghost" it was easy to go, what was the ghost for us? At one point, we were very drug addicted in the '80s. And Steve in particular is super sober [now]. I mean, I still vape pot and stuff. I don’t know how he’s doing it, but it’s incredible. All I want to be able to do is have a couple of glasses of wine at a restaurant or something. I can do that now.

I think working with people that are super talented, you just feel confident. That is a big reason why you open up and express yourself more because you feel comfortable with what's around you.

Did you watch Danny Boyle's recent Sex Pistols mini-series?

I did, yes.

You had a couple of cameos; well, an actor who portrayed you did. How did you react to it? How accurate do you think it was in portraying that particular time period?

I love Jonesy’s book, I thought his book was incredible. It's probably one of the best bio books really. It was incredible and so open. I was looking forward to that a lot.

It was as if [the show] kind of stayed with Steve [Jones’ memoir] about halfway through, and then departed from it. [John] Lydon, for instance, was never someone I ever saw acting out; he's more like that today. I never saw him do something like jump up in the room and run around going crazy. The only time I saw him ever do that was when they signed the recording deal with Virgin in front of Buckingham Palace. Whereas Sid Vicious was always acting out; he was always doing something in a horrible way or shouting at someone. I don't remember John being like that. I remember him being much more introverted.

But then I watched interviews with some of the actors about coming to grips with the parts they were playing. And they were saying, we knew punk rock happened but just didn't know any of the details. So I thought well, there you go. If ["Pistol" is] informing a lot of people who wouldn't know anything about punk rock, maybe that's what's good about it.

Maybe down the road John Lydon will get the chance to do John's version of the Pistols story. Maybe someone will go a lot deeper into it and it won't be so surface. But maybe you needed this just to get people back in the flow.

We had punk and metal over here in the States, but it feels like England it was legitimately more dangerous. British society was much more rigid.

It never went [as] mega in America. It went big in England. It exploded when the Pistols did that interview with [TV host Bill] Grundy, that lorry truck driver put his boot through his own TV, and all the national papers had "the filth and the fury" [headlines].

We went from being unknown to being known overnight. We waited a year, Generation X. We even told them [record labels] no for nine months to a year. Every record company wanted their own punk rock group. So it went really mega in England, and it affected the whole country – the style, the fashions, everything. I mean, the Ramones were massive in England. Devo had a No. 1 song [in England] with "Satisfaction" in '77. Actually, Devo was as big as or bigger than the Pistols.

You were ahead of the pop-punk thing that happened in the late '90s, and a lot of it became tongue-in-cheek by then. It didn't have the same sense of rebelliousness as the original movement. It was more pop.

It had become a style. There was a famous book in England called Revolt Into Style — and that's what had happened, a revolt that turned into style which then they were able to duplicate in their own way. Even recently, Billie Joe [Armstrong] did his own version of "Gimme Some Truth," the Lennon song we covered way back in 1977.

When we initially were making [punk] music, it hadn't become accepted yet. It was still dangerous and turned into a style that people were used to. We were still breaking barriers.

You have a band called Generation Sex with Steve Jones and Paul Cook. I assume you all have an easier time playing Pistols and Gen X songs together now and not worrying about getting spit on like back in the '70s?

Yeah, definitely. When I got to America I told the group I was putting it together, "No one spits at the audience."

We had five years of being spat on [in the UK], and it was revolting. And they spat at you if they liked you. If they didn't like it they smashed your gear up. One night, I remember I saw blood on my T-shirt, and I think Joe Strummer got meningitis when spit went in his mouth.

You had to go through a lot to become successful, it wasn't like you just kind of got up there and did a couple of gigs. I don't think some young rock bands really get that today.

With punk going so mega in England, we definitely got a leg up. We still had a lot of work to get where we got to, and rightly so because you find out that you need to do that. A lot of groups in the old days would be together three to five years before they ever made a record, and that time is really important. In a way, what was great about punk rock for me was it was very much a learning period. I really learned a lot [about] recording music and being in a group and even writing songs.

Then when I came to America, it was a flow, really. I also really started to know what I wanted Billy Idol to be. It took me a little bit, but I kind of knew what I wanted Billy Idol to be. And even that took a while to let it marinate.

You and Miley Cyrus have developed a good working relationship in the last several years. How do you think her fans have responded to you, and your fans have responded to her?

I think they're into it. It's more the record company that she had didn't really get "Night Crawling"— it was one of the best songs on Plastic Hearts, and I don't think they understood that. They wanted to go with Dua Lipa, they wanted to go with the modern, young acts, and I don't think they realized that that song was resonating with her fans. Which is a shame really because, with Andrew Watt producing, it's a hit song.

But at the same time, I enjoyed doing it. It came out really good and it's very Billy Idol. In fact, I think it’s more Billy Idol than Miley Cyrus. I think it shows you where Andrew Watt was. He was excited about doing a Billy Idol track. She's fun to work with. She’s a really great person and she works at her singing — I watched her rehearsing for the Super Bowl performance she gave. She rehearsed all Saturday morning, all Saturday afternoon, and Sunday morning and it was that afternoon. I have to admire her fortitude. She really cares.

I remember when you went on "Viva La Bam"back in 2005 and decided to give Bam Margera’s Lamborghini a new sunroof by taking a power saw to it. Did he own that car? Was that a rental?

I think it was his car.

Did he get over it later on?

He loved it. [Laughs] He’s got a wacky sense of humor. He’s fantastic, actually. I’m really sorry to see what he's been going through just lately. He's going through a lot, and I wish him the best. He's a fantastic person, and it's a shame that he's struggling so much with his addictions. I know what it's like. It's not easy.

Musically, what is the synergy like with you guys during the past 10 years, doing Kings and Queens of the Underground and this new stuff? What is your working relationship like now in this more sober, older, mature version of you two as opposed to what it was like back in the '80s?

In lots of ways it’s not so different because we always wrote the songs together, we always talked about what we're going to do together. It was just that we were getting high at the same time.We're just not getting [that way now] but we're doing all the same things.

We're still talking about things, still [planning] things:What are we going to do next? How are we going to find new people to work with? We want to find new producers. Let's be a little bit more timely about putting stuff out.That part of our relationship is the same, you know what I mean? That never got affected. We just happened to be overloading in the '80s.

The relationship’s… matured and it's carrying on being fruitful, and I think that's pretty amazing. Really, most people don't get to this place. Usually, they hate each other by now. [Laughs] We also give each other space. We're not stopping each other doing things outside of what we’re working on together. All of that enables us to carry on working together. I love and admire him. I respect him. He's been fantastic. I mean, just standing there on stage with him is always a treat. And he’s got an immensely great sense of humor. I think that's another reason why we can hang together after all this time because we've got the sense of humor to enable us to go forward.

There's a lot of fan reaction videos online, and I noticed a lot of younger women like "Rebel Yell" because, unlike a lot of other '80s alpha male rock tunes, you're talking about satisfying your lover.

It was about my girlfriend at the time, Perri Lister. It was about how great I thought she was, how much I was in love with her, and how great women are, how powerful they are.

It was a bit of a feminist anthem in a weird way. It was all about how relationships can free you and add a lot to your life. It was a cry of love, nothing to do with the Civil War or anything like that. Perri was a big part of my life, a big part of being Billy Idol. I wanted to write about it. I'm glad that's the effect.

Is there something you hope people get out of the songs you've been doing over the last 10 years? Do you find yourself putting out a message that keeps repeating?

Well, I suppose, if anything, is that you can come to terms with your life, you can keep a hold of it. You can work your dreams into reality in a way and, look, a million years later, still be enjoying it.

The only reason I'm singing about getting out of the cage is because I kicked out of the cage years ago. I joined Generation X when I said to my parents, "I'm leaving university, and I'm joining a punk rock group." And they didn't even know what a punk rock group was. Years ago, I’d write things for myself that put me on this path, so that maybe in 2022 I could sing something like "Cage" and be owning this territory and really having a good time. This is the life I wanted.

The original UK punk movement challenged societal norms. Despite all the craziness going on throughout the world, it seems like a lot of modern rock bands are afraid to do what you guys were doing. Do you think we'll see a shift in that?

Yeah. Art usually reacts to things, so I would think eventually there will be a massive reaction to the pop music that’s taken over — the middle of the road music, and then this kind of right wing politics. There will be a massive reaction if there's not already one. I don’t know where it will come from exactly. You never know who's gonna do [it].

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