“My First Grammy Win” is a new series by Vision4Music spotlighting musicians’ experiences winning the coveted award from The Recording Academy.
Vision4Music would like to congratulate the talented Paul Avgerinos – a spiritual (and hard working) Artist, Composer and Producer from Redding, CT who won his first Grammy in the recent 58th Grammy Awards. His album “Grace” won Best New Age Album and we caught up with Paul to interview him about winning his first Grammy Award.
Vision4Music: Tell us about the journey to winning a Grammy, how long have you been going for that golden gramophone and have you ever come close before this year’s win?
Paul Avgerinos: As I said in my acceptance speech, I’ve been dreaming of winning a Grammy since it was first awarded in [the] New Age [category] to Andreas Vollenweider in 1987, almost 30 years ago. I was nominated the year before with my album called BHAKTI and have been part of several other nominated albums but this is my first win and very special to me.
V4M: How prepared were you when your name was called at the awards ceremony?
PA: I woke up that day with a very strong premonition of victory and started the day by crying for about 20 minutes, releasing a lot of strong pent up emotions so I would not cry during my speech. I had four general areas planned for coverage in my speech later on and I was very grateful to remember them all.
V4M: Your win was in the “New Age” category, how would you describe your music?
PA: For me, New Age is any music that has a Spiritual quality – healing, calming, uplifting, inspiring in a Dharmic way.
PA: This album is an honoring and an offering to my Sat Guru AMMA and the Divine presence of Grace that has the power to transform and heal. This Grace is active within and around us if we are open to perceiving it. Grace can be invited into your life and always responds when the time and circumstances are right.
V4M: What is your songwriting process like? (That’s a loaded question, but is there a common starting place for you and things that help you along the way in crafting what you’re trying to express?)
PA: I always start with the larger archetypal message and purpose – “Who will listen to this album?
What will they be doing while listening? How will this album serve them?” Once I have a clear idea of purpose and direction, I do channelling invocations and meditations to become an instrument of the Divine. As I go deeper and deeper into the forest of musical details, I always keep referring back to the archetypal guidelines established at the outset. This keeps me on mission and on target.
V4M: A Grammy Award is regarded as one of highest (if not the highest) accolades a musician in the United States can receive, what does winning a Grammy Award mean to you?
PA: It is truly gratifying and humbling to receive this accolade and approval from the academy members, who are the very best of the best in the music field. The Grammy Award is a confirmation that all my 30 years of hard work were worthwhile and that I am doing the work I was meant to do in this world.
V4M: What’s next for you?
PA: I am 11 tracks into my AMMA album of gratitude and devotion to our amazing Sat Guru Amma. Jen and I got Amma’s blessing to have a baby last Feb 20 in India and Jen’s due date WAS Feb 20 of this year ! 12 days after the Grammys, on Feb 27, our precious daughter Juliana Joy was born and the AMMA album is in gratitude for this miracle and for all the other tremendous blessings that Amma is bringing into our lives.
V4M:. What advice would you have for any songwriter and musician trying to get their songs heard and potentially win a Grammy Award someday?
PA: Hold fast to your dreams and inspirations but remember – it is 5% inspiration and 95% perspiration.
Take rejection in stride and keep working hard with 5 and 10 year career plans. It is always darkest right before the dawn and I’ve experienced this MANY times in my own career. Believe in yourself and work REALLY REALLY hard !
PA: My pleasure! this is a great time for young people coming up in the business. Streaming and social media make reaching your fans easier than ever especially with niche genres like New Age. Enjoy the ride !!!
Watch Paul’s emotional Grammy Award acceptance speech here: