Get to Know Black Pumas, Best New Artist Nominee at This Year's Grammys

Exclusive! 2020 Grammys Best New Artist nominee Black Pumas answer our getting-to-know-you questionnaire ahead of this year's ceremony on Sunday, Jan. 26.

By Billy Nilles Jan 21, 2020 11:00 AMTags
Black PumasFrank Hoensch/Redferns

Sometimes it takes a while for the Recording Academy to wake up to a deserving act, leading to nominations in the Best New Artist category that are, well, puzzling. 

Look no further than Lizzo or Tank and the Bangas, both of whom released their first albums all the way back in 2013. (Better late than never, we guess.)

But when it comes to Black Pumas, another of this year's nominees for the coveted trophy, they truly are new

The Austin, Tx.-based duo comprised of singer Eric Burton and guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada only formed in 2017, releasing their debut self-titled album on June 21, 2019 after a breakthrough performance at South by Southwest just months prior. And while the easy way of describing their sound would be "funk-soul," one listen to the LP reveals that it's a bit more complicated than that. The group also takes cues from Latin music and hip-hop to elevate themselves into a sound that's uniquely their own.

Not surprisingly, it caught the attention of the Academy and landed them a nomination at the 2020 Grammys, held on Sunday, Jan. 26 in Los Angeles, against the likes of the aforementioned pair of acts, as well as Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X, Rosalia, Maggie Rogers and Yola.

Grammys 2020: First-Time Nominees

Get to know Black Pumas a little better before their big night on Sunday with their answers to our exclusive Best New Artist Nominee Questionnaire!

Melissa Herwitt / E! Illustration

What was the first thing you did after learning about your nomination?

Adrian: We got a beer at a pub in London to celebrate and called our families.
Eric: The first thing we did was we had a huddle as a band, exchanged a few words and had a group hug.

What was the song or album that made you want to make music and why?

Eric: I grew up raise by my uncle who was recording a religious album called Jesus Love, and I remember being a young kid, visiting the studio with him and seeing the process for the first time.
Adrian: Watching Guns N' Roses live at the Ritz, and I remember watching them—I think I was 10 years old—and thinking, "Wow, I want to be like them."

What artist are you dying to collaborate with?

Adrian: Beck and Jay-Z
Eric: Kendrick Lamar

Excluding your own, what was the one song you couldn't stop listening to this year?

Eric: "Me and My Shadow" by Peggy Lee
Adrian: "Pais Nublado" by Helado Negro

Where will you put your Grammy if you win?

Eric: If we win, I'll put my Grammy at my mom's house.
Adrian: If we win, I'll put it in my studio.

Watch: Lizzo Leads 2020 Grammy Nominations With 8