Everybody's On! Roving Reporting at The GRAMMYs with HP

(Backstage at the GRAMMYs on Sunday with the HP dm1z.)

Titled "Everybody's On," HP launched a new global advertising campaign last week that emphasizes how passion inspires technology, and how technology fuels passion. Whatever it is that makes your heart race a little faster, whether that is gaming, music, fashion or design, HP brings you the tools to help you pursue your passion in exciting new ways. I'm also included in the "Everybody's On" campaign, sharing my passion for fresh new pop music. (Click here to see the "Everybody's On" hub.)

HP provided me with some cutting-edge new hardware to help me cover the GRAMMYs. As a roving reporter I have very specific requirements about the technology that I use to make sure I can roam around easily for a long period of time interacting with people on Facebook and Twitter, and writing blogs. The technology needs to be easy to use, light-weight and have plenty of battery life.

During my 8-hour live coverage of The GRAMMYs on Sunday and throughout GRAMMY Week, I used the brand-new HP dm1z laptop that was ideal for my roving reporting assignment. In fact, the cryptic name of the laptop really doesn't quite express what this little powerhouse delivers. It should be titled the HP Breeze or HP Feather to properly describe its features.The HP dm1z laptop is small, light-weight and yet very stirdy.  

You can easily tuck it in your backpack or messenger bag for a trip around town to always have instant computing power at hand. What I particularly liked about this laptop (that runs Windows 7 smoothly) is its chicklet keyboard that is very pleasant to tweet and type on.

I also did several Skype video interviews with Dutch pop station 3FM, and I used the HP dm1z laptop  to connect backstage at the Staples Center without a hitch. If you have the need for quick, mobile computing without the limitations of a tablet, HP dm1z laptop  is just the technology you need.

For the past few weeks, I've also been using an HP Envy 14 laptop that is a powerful and beautifully-designed, sleek laptop that comes with the Beats Audio technology and Windows 7. Beats Audio is a must-have technology for all you audiophiles out. Delivering a rich sound, Beats Audio truly makes a world of difference if you use your laptop to listen to music. 

February 14, 2011 in GRAMMY Awards 2011 | Permalink

Report from The GRAMMY Awards: Celebrating The Biggest Night In Music


My head is still buzzing from last night's 53rd GRAMMY Awards, an 8-hour long musical tour de force with fantastic winners, great music and some very memorable performances. I was GRAMMY's roving social media reporter covering dance and pop, tweeting from the pre-tel ceremony and backstage at the Staples Center for the big televised show.

This was my third year covering the awards for NARAS, and believe me, this never gets old. It is a magical night that celebrates some of the best and greatest in music. To be so intimately involved is a music fan's dream come true.

During the pre-telecast ceremony on Sunday afternoon most of GRAMMY's 108 categories were featured, including Dance, Pop and Electronica. The award for Best Dance Recording went to Rihanna's "Only Girl (In The World)," a stomping dancefloor groove written and produced by Stargate & Sandy Vee. A well-deserved win in a category that was chockful of talent, including ArjanWrites.com fave Robyn.

After receiving a double platinum plaque for selling 2 million copies of "In for The Kill" on Friday, La Roux took home the GRAMMY for Best Electronic Album - an enormous achievement for the British duo who were able to take crisp, Euro-styled electro-pop to the top of the mainstream U.S. charts.

Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga took home the GRAMMY for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance respectively, which is not much of a surprise given their massive success this past year.

After the Pre-Tel Ceremony, I walked over to Staples Center to get ready for the big show.

Performance highlights for me included the moving tribute to Aretha Franklin (Go Florence!), Mick Jagger's mighty moves (boy, he still has his mojo) and Janelle Monae's performance debut at the GRAMMY Awards. I remember seeing Janelle three years ago performing for a handful of people at Emory University and I knew that a star was born. Seeing is believing, and last night Monae made many, many new fans. (I saw her briefly at rehearsals on Friday and gave her a big hug. She was so excited to perform.)

I thoroughly enjoyed Eminem's performance with a fiery Rihanna, wide-shouldered Dr Dre (yes!) and Skylar Grey (remember that name, she co-wrote "Love The Way You Lie"). Em always brings so much intensity to his performance that is exhilarating to watch. Seeing him together with mentor Dr Dre was a special musical moment. But for me the highlight was Skylar Grey's performance of "I Need A Doctor" during that set. Wow. Incredibly impressive. This gig may have been a watershed moment for the Wisconsin singer.

Loved the special rendition of Cee Lo's "Forget You" with Gwyneth Palthrow and the Muppets. Cee Lo doesn't take himself too seriously and was just having a ball with it. Very refreshing.

I was surprised by some of the winners. Quite frankly, I thought the race was between Eminem, Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars, but in the end it was Lady Antebellum who took most GRAMMYs - five in total. Indie hipsters everywhere rejoiced when Arcade Fire grabbed the coveted Album of the Year GRAMMY. I saw them backstage and they were just as surprised as many fans and viewers. Nothing but happy for them.

Overall, I was happy to see the GRAMMY voters chose to award different genres in some of the top categories, spreading out the winners across the board. And while we celebrated the 53rd GRAMMYs last night, the race for the 54th GRAMMYs is already on. Many of the songs up in the charts now, may be nominated for next year's GRAMMYs. Can't wait to join the GRAMMY team again to cover all of the muscial goodness all over again (Thank you HP for keeping me connected flawlessly during the event.)

February 14, 2011 in GRAMMY Awards 2011 | Permalink

Photo: La Roux Wins GRAMMY for Best Electronic Album


Look at Elly's smile! That picture tells a thousand words. I'm so excited for the British pop duo who took the GRAMMY for Best Electronic Album yesterday during the pre-televised ceremony for "In For The Kill." On Friday, I spoke with the duo for Cherrytree TV just after they had received a plaque for selling 2 million copies of that album. Incredibly impressive and nothing less than a massive victory for electro-pop in the States. (Look for that video interview very soon.)

February 14, 2011 in GRAMMY Awards 2011 | Permalink

Video: Arjan Previews The GRAMMY Awards on CNN

I was back on CNN last night to preview the 53rd GRAMMY Awards and to give viewers a taste of some of the performances to look forward to tonight. Stay tuned to my Twitter feed for real-time updates throughout the day. I will be roaming around backstage at the Staples Center to give you all the scoop.

February 13, 2011 in GRAMMY Awards 2011 | Permalink

Breaking Down The GRAMMYs


That's a quick snap of me sitting backstage at the Staples Center tweeting, blogging and doing a few radio interviews via Skype a few minutes after the end of last night's GRAMMY Awards. Stage crews started breaking down the stage right after the show finished. I will have a wrap up of the year's biggest night in music in a bit. Thank you all for tuning in to my Twitter feed last night for all the updates. Loved all the feedback. (Quick shout to HP for keeping me connected flawlessly.)

February 13, 2011 in GRAMMY Awards 2011 | Permalink