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Mariano's 2018 GRAMMYs Experience

Mariano's 2018 GRAMMYs Experience

The GRAMMYs is basically like the Super Bowl, but for the gays. So, you can only imagine how excited I was to be part of the team helping launch a new campaign for Mastercard around the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Down on the 25th floor, the XBC Mastercard team spent a large part of 2017 crafting a brand movement centered on empowering people in their pursuit of passion and purpose – inspiring individuals to Start Something Priceless.

Ahead of the telecast, Mastercard partnered with SZA, the Grammy-nominated R&B singer, and six emerging artists to cover Willie Dixon’s “You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover” and created a music video about pushing past stereotypes & promoting representation in the music industry. You can watch the backstory film and the music video below.

My favorite snippet comes from SZA talking about the process of self-love: “Our life’s work is to force ourselves to be ourselves ... over and over again.” Side note: SZA is a literal queen. Please stream CTRL and listen to “Prom,” “20 Something” and her sleeper hit “The Weekend” if you haven’t had a chance to get into her yet. The album is a modern tale of overcoming self-doubt and the result of many a broken heart.

The week leading up to the GRAMMYs, The Mastercard House opened up its doors to cardholders with a line-up of exclusive panels & intimate concerts featuring members of Wu Tang, Portugal.The Man, Dua Lipa, St. Vincent, SZA & others. I got a chance to meet with Dua Lipa backstage where we mostly talked about boys – her advice? Rule #1: Don’t pick up the phone.

But, wait! There’s more. The week concluded with a trip to The GRAMMYs to help with securing real-time approvals from The Recording Academy in the social media war room. While I can’t share any images from backstage, I can tell you that Alessia Cara was really sweet, Miley Cyrus looked like a princess and I may have developed a crush on Bruno Mars that night. Alas, no Cardi B or Beyoncé sighting, but there’s always next year!

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