Amber Sweeney

Amber Sweeney is an accomplished soul-rock singer and songwriter from the Pacific Northwest

Hello From The Other Side...

In case you’re wondering, no. I did not get to meet Adele, or Beyonce, or anyone whose name quickly brings to mind songs that you are embarrassed to know the words to. I did see comedienne Tig Notaro while waiting in line to get into the Grammys, however. I may have even taken a sneaky pic. 

We did, however, continually run into folks like Kalani Pe’a and his crew, who were some of the sweetest most joy filled people. Every time we ran into Kalani we got leid. That joke will never get old. The flowers were fresh, and smelled so beautiful, that I decided to let Winston try and capture the essence of their fragrance for a couple of days. 

The nominees reception is a beautiful ceremony, where all the nominees are given medallions made by Tiffanys, and are invited, along with chapter board members, and other people of note within the industry to dress up, be celebrated, and to watch outstanding performances by Grammy U students who left all of us with jaw on the floor. These kids from all over the country were truly magnificent performers. I walked around with my friends and congratulated many of the people who were walking around with their medallions, and in the midst of doing so, I’m pretty sure rapper/actor Common walked right by me. Before leaving, my friend Sassy Black and I may have tried to find him so we could get a picture. It didn’t happen, but it was a worthwhile hunt. 

Once again it was time to party hop, and we called for Winston. Prior to this night’s event, Jessicca and I had packed up the van, and checked into an AirBnB a little closer to downtown. This meant that all the seats were down, so I had minutes to re-arrange everything we had left in the van so that we could put the seats up for the few passengers we had picked up. Jessicca and I were scrambling as fast as we could in our fancy gowns. I’m sure we had spectators. If we hadn’t been so focused, I probably would have joined one of our passengers, Sassy, for a quick picture with the incomparable LaLa Hathaway. Nonetheless, we got the seats up, passengers loaded, and were off to a fun and intimate dinner with some of the other PNWers.

Following our wonderful dinner, we made our way across the street to yet another gathering, but by the time we got their, things were winding down, and the exhaustion was setting in. So, Jessicca and I decided to get back to the AirBnB and rest as much as we could before another wonderful, but long day ahead of us. 

On the morning of the Grammys, Jessicca and I each took our time getting ready. We watched the pre-telecast online, celebrated a few victories for folks we knew, and new friends alike, and then made our way to the Staples Center. Suddenly, there we were, rushing to get to our seats in another fancy gown, and awaited the celebration of Music’s Biggest Night. The feeling was electric and charged in that room. And then, it began. “Hello, it’s me. I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet…” the crowd gave a loud cheer, and then fell silent as Adele sang the song that would later be awarded best song. It was beautiful. From where we were sitting, you could see the sets changing over behind the screens that would rise and fall, reveling the next act. It was unreal. So many sets, so many hands, so many people creating some of the most elaborate landscapes I had ever seen in mere minutes. The most impressive being Katy Perry’s set. I can’t even imagine how many times those performances were rehearsed. The people behind the scenes deserve some remarkable accolades if you ask me. Hiccups and all. 

Each performance had its own feel, its own statement, its own tone, but there was one thing that stood out to me above everything else - the music community is just that, a community. Being in that room reminded me of what it is that I love about being a part of this community. These are people who work incredibly hard to be a bridge for us to relate. The songs being sung are there to help us cope, help us let go, help us feel, and they are mighty no matter how well packaged they are - the songs that is. It was a great reminder to continue to write, continue to follow this call that I’ve answered, and continue making music, even when it seems that sometimes no one wants to listen. 

The rest of the night was full of emotion and connection to new friends, and I am still in shock that my friend and I got to go to the Grammys. There is so much more that the Recording Academy does that goes well beyond handing out trophies, but it was a beautiful experience to have. I look forward to taking that same stage some day, and I promise not to go up there in my underwear. 

As always, thanks for listening with your heart. 





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