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NPR interview highlights with 2022 Grammy nominees

MILES PARKS, HOST:

The Grammy Awards are happening tonight in Las Vegas. So to get ready, we thought we'd take a couple minutes and hear from some of the nominees who we've had on our airwaves lately.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I NEED YOU")

JON BATISTE: (Singing) When I was a little nappy head boy.

PARKS: First up is Jon Batiste. He's leading all artists with 11 nominations this year. He told Fresh Air's Terry Gross about his song "I Need You," which is up for best traditional R&B performance.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I NEED YOU")

BATISTE: (Singing) Come on. Come on. In this world with a lot of problems, all we need...

"I Need You" really starts with the bass line. You hear his bass line all throughout American music. (Playing piano). See? (Playing piano). And that bass line - it's the dance bass line. It has something in it that makes you want to get up and dance immediately, which is what we wanted this song to have, that spirit of dance and joy.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I NEED YOU")

BATISTE: (Singing) Oh, you make me thank you. Thank you for your love.

PARKS: Up next, Lil Nas X, with five nominations, including for his hit song, "Montero"...

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MONTERO (CALL ME BY YOUR NAME)")

LIL NAS X: (Singing) Call me when you want. Call me when you need. Call me in the morning. I'll be on my way.

PARKS: ...Which, as he told NPR Music's Stephen Thompson, he just knew would be a hit.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

LIL NAS X: From the moment this song was conceived, I was like, oh, my God. This song is going to be huge. Sometimes you just know. It just felt special, you know? And it definitely was. And it was different from anything else that I had done, anything else that I had heard before.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MONTERO (CALL ME BY YOUR NAME)")

LIL NAS X: (Singing) Tell me you love me in private. Call me by your name.

PARKS: And finally, let's hear from Jazmine Sullivan about her album "Heaux Tales." She has three nominations this year, including for R&B album of the year.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PICK UP YOUR FEELINGS")

JAZMINE SULLIVAN: (Singing) Don't forget to come and pick up your feelings.

PARKS: Sullivan talked to Michel Martin on this program about what was on her mind as she made this record.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

SULLIVAN: I just wanted to tell the untold stories of women. I feel like as women, society makes it seem like we have to be perfect and present ourselves a certain way. And we're so very layered and multi-dimensional. We have stories to tell, and they're all not great stories, but that's what makes us who we are.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PICK UP YOUR FEELINGS")

SULLIVAN: (Singing) Feelings, don't leave no pieces.

PARKS: Good luck to Jazmine Sullivan and to all the artists nominated for a Grammy tonight. Hopefully this Sunday's awards show will have a little less drama than last Sunday's.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PICK UP YOUR FEELINGS")

SULLIVAN: (Singing) I learned my lesson last time. And I ain't coming back now. This is what you had now. And I bet you I look better. Don't I? New phone. Who is this? Contact, don't exist. Need a ride? Call that. Gas way too expensive. No more benefits, pop-up visits. Hands tied... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.