Recording Academy at Austin City Limits 2017

October 7-9, 2017, the Recording Academy was backstage at Austin City Limits Music Festival to speak with some of the artist performing over the two back to back weekends. Check out our exclusive interviews from the festival.


Portugal. The Man

John Gourley and Eric Howk of Portugal. The Man sat down with the Recording Academy to reveal the intent behind naming their new album, Woodstock, and how the music and atmosphere of the 1969 music festival continue to influence and define popular culture today. "We tried to give a shout-out to Woodstock and what it meant to us," Gourley explains. "But also what it would be today."


Lukas Nelson

Lukas Nelson, son of country legend Willie Nelson and frontman of Lukas Nelson & The Promise Of The Real, sits down with the Recording Academy backstage at Austin City Limits 2017 to talk about the writing of his song “Find Yourself” for his band’s newest self-titled album. The song has since taken on “a life of its own” by way of a spectacular cover by Lady Gaga. “Lady Gaga, my friend, sang on it," Nelson says. "She kind of turned it into a universal relationship song. Having that female balance there, it was really nice, and she just kills it.”


Grace Vanderwaal

13 year-old singer and songwriting phenom Grace VanderWaal sat down with the Recording Academy backstage at Austin City Limits 2017 after a rousing set before a massive audience to discuss what she calls “the most exciting moment” since winning seasons 11 of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”: singing alongside her No. 1 musical hero, Jason Mraz. “I’ve grown up with his music, and he inspires me so much,” she gushes.


Vance Joy

Australian-born singer/songwriter Vance Joy (real name James Keogh) sat down with the Recording Academy at Austin City Limits 2017 to share the origin story of his newest single, the No. 1 charting “Lay It On Me.” “There was lyric that I really wanted to use, ‘everything starts at your skin,’” Keogh reveals. “[It’s] the lyric I’m most proud of in that song.”



Allison Cosner, Meegan Closner, and Natalie Closner Schepman — the three Portland-based sisters comprising the folk/indie trio Joseph, sat down with the Recording Academy backstage at Austin City Limits 2017 and revealed their thought process behind the song "All," from their new EP, Stay Awake, as well as the reason they chose to include a cover of Tears For Fears' "Everybody Wants To Rule The World." "It was one of those moments where you have a flash of lightning, and you already have a song in your lap,” explains Natalie regarding "All". "It was after having a conversation with my husband, where you're just talking about that moment, where you wake up, and you already feel the heaviness … we're holding all of this, but we carry on."



The guys in Midland know they’re in the midst of a moment they’ll only experience once: that sweet spot when a band’s star starts to rise and reality starts to resemble their dreams. Right now, they’re enjoying their growing fame, which began building with the release of their hit single, “Drinkin’ Problem,” and went into hyper-drive with the September 22 release of their debut album, On the Rocks, which entered Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart at No. 2.


Valerie June

Rising country/folk star Valerie June sat down with the Recording Academy backstage at Austin City Limits 2017to discuss two songs, "Astral Plane" and "Long Lonely Road," from her newest album, The Order Of Time. Both songs exemplify, and are informed by, June's personal physical and spiritual journeys.


Caitlyn Smith

Caitlyn Smith has built a successful career writing for some of music's biggest names. With her debut LP release looming close on the horizon, she sat down with the Recording Academy backstage at Austin City Limits 2017 to share the story behind "Starfire," the title track from her 2016 EP, and lead single for her forthcoming debut album. "It's really my theme song," she reveals.


Devin Dawson

Devin Dawson On His Close Call Writing "Dark Horse" Rising country star Devin Dawson sat down with the Recording Academy at Austin City Limits 2017 to reveal the story behind "Dark Horse" — the title track from his upcoming debut album that almost didn’t happen. "I feel like I'd tried to force it for so long, that I just kinda had to give up and let it come to me," Dawson admits. "And it finally came to me after the record was done."

Benefits of Membership

The Recording Academy is the preeminent organization for musicians, producers, engineers and other music professionals. Our mission is to advance artistic and technical excellence, work to ensure a vital and free creative environment, and act as an advocate on behalf of music and its makers.

Our members have access to live events all around the country, as well as 24/7 access to the GRAMMY Pro library of video and editorial content, which explores the industry and craft of music.

Learn More