If The Pepsi Tremendous Bowl LVI Halftime Present Starring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent wins for excellent selection particular (stay) on the Artistic Arts Emmys on Saturday, Sept. 3, it will mark the primary time the halftime present has ever received a prime program Emmy.
Hamish Hamilton, who directed the present (and has directed each Tremendous Bowl halftime present since The Who headlined in 2010), and Adam Blackstone, who served as music director (as he did on two earlier halftime exhibits, starring Justin Timberlake and Jennifer Lopez & Shakira), are justifiably happy with the present.
“It was considered one of, if not the biggest Tremendous Bowl halftime exhibits ever,” says Hamilton, 56. “That [artist] lineup modified the world – they modified music, they modified politics, they modified the way in which that we costume, that they had a seismic affect in music tradition and past and never considered one of them had been on a Tremendous Bowl invoice earlier than, and impulsively they’re all on the identical Tremendous Bowl invoice, and by the way in which it’s [near] Compton, the place a few of this began, the place Dre began, actually that is his yard.
“And, in fact, you’ve bought the house workforce within the remaining. It was a hip-hop L.A. Tremendous Bowl once-in-a-lifetime second. It simply had all the things additional going for it, from that first shot of Dre in his studio in Compton.”
Hamilton is nominated for 2 Emmys this yr, a primary for the British-born director. He’s up for excellent directing for a spread particular for the halftime present and excellent selection particular (stay) as one of many producers of the Grammys. This brings Hamilton’s profession tally of Emmy nominations to eight.
Hamilton provides plenty of credit score to Jay-Z, who government produced the halftime present (and can also be an Emmy nominee, as are all of the principal performers). “It was his imaginative and prescient in the end,” Hamilton says. “When the invoice filtered all the way down to us, my first thought was ‘That is powerful. How is that vitality going to present itself?’”
This yr’s halftime present was in some methods a long-overdue recognition on the a part of the leisure institution that hip-hop is the music of a technology. “It was lengthy overdue, however it was virtually like the celebrities had been aligned,” says Hamilton – “the situation, the time, the lineup within the remaining.”
Blackstone, 40, is Emmy-nominated for excellent music course for his work on the halftime present. It’s his third nod – which suggests he has been nominated for all three of the exhibits on which he has served as musical director.
Blackstone thinks this yr’s halftime present had each common and particular attraction. “Our world goes by means of lots proper now,” he says. “Folks had been excited to see individuals have enjoyable. Folks had been excited to see individuals work together with each other. We can not [overlook] the truth that there was one thing cool about seeing hometown heroes be in L.A. and get to be celebrated as properly.
“I used to be very excited to be part of historical past that many youngsters, and particularly Black and brown youngsters, can see the potential of the place you’ll be able to go and the place you could be. I don’t suppose when Dre and Snoop had been rising up that they even thought there can be an [opportunity] for them to be on that grand stage. I attempt to be part of historical past to offer these desires and aspirations to younger youngsters, my kids included.”
When Blackstone is serving as musical director on a present, he tries to place himself within the viewers’s footwear. “I method my musical course with what would I wish to see at a live performance. What tune do I wish to hear? What catalog is probably the most highly effective within the restricted period of time we’re given?”
He enjoys the problem of Tremendous Bowls. “I stay up for [working with] these unbelievable artists every time. This one was much more particular to me as a result of I grew up listening to this music.”
He notes that this yr’s Tremendous Bowl halftime present is essentially completely different from most others, which are sometimes highlights from their tour set lists. “We’re not getting ready for a tour. You’ll by no means see that occur once more. This can be a one-off – and it occurs to be the largest one-off on this planet. We needed to execute it with precision. I hope it will get the flowers it deserves.”
Blackstone has labored with Hamilton on all three Tremendous Bowl halftime exhibits he has music-directed and likewise a Stand As much as Most cancers particular. “As laborious as I work on the music, with out it visually trying cool, generally it doesn’t matter. Hamish’s imaginative and prescient for a way he executes these pictures is second-to-none. So, it’s a complete workforce effort.
Hamilton notes that due to its brevity, the halftime present doesn’t all the time get the credit score it deserves. “It’s not simply the 12 minutes of directing,” he says. “It’s the yr of planning. … It’s a loopy train. It’s virtually a army train. It’s a stress administration train. It’s an absolute curler coaster.
“There may be completely enormous jeopardy. You might be microseconds away from an entire catastrophe. Additionally, you’re in the course of a large recreation as properly, so you’ll be able to’t be doing something to the turf. You’ll be able to’t be dropping something within the turf. Nothing can break. There are such a lot of issues that you just don’t must face on some other present that you’ll ever do. It’s completely distinctive and electrifying – however you can’t mess up. You’ve bought to be in your recreation and also you’ve bought to ship beneath excruciatingly troublesome circumstances. … I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
“The extent of expectation for this specific Tremendous Bowl was monumental. I’m happy with it. That’s going to stay on ceaselessly as an actual type of second in time.
“Probably the most unbelievable issues was the love – real household love that each one of these artists had for Dre. I can not let you know what number of instances I heard ‘We’re right here for Dre.’ In a really mild-mannered approach, he completely guided that present musically to a spot that was completely elegant. It was simply fantastic. Each artist left any type of ego on the door and was there for Dre and to create one thing that had a larger good and was there to make it possible for the primary hip-hop Tremendous Bowl in historical past was an absolute throw-down to the world – and it was. It was all the things that it needed to be. It was all the things that it wanted to be and it’ll stay on ceaselessly. It resonated within the hearts of so many individuals throughout not simply music, however tradition and politics.”
“In a approach, it was lengthy overdue, however it was virtually like the situation, the time, the lineup within the remaining – the celebrities are aligned.”
Hamilton on the Grammy Awards
Hamilton’s different Emmy nomination this yr is as a producer of the sixty fourth annual Grammy Awards, which is competing with the Tremendous Bowl halftime present for excellent selection particular (stay). It was Hamilton’s second Grammy present. He was additionally nominated for the primary one in the identical class. Hamilton additionally directed each exhibits. (He took over from Louis J. Horvitz because the director of the Grammy telecast in 2021.)
Hamilton says he had “blended emotions” when his first Grammys was through the pandemic. “COVID that first yr made it actually troublesome, however in the end made it improbable. The challenges and the parameters placed on us by COVID additionally afforded us unbelievable alternatives and as a director, I cherished it.
“I’ve achieved nearly each different music present on this planet. So if you get the decision from the Grammys …you wish to do it in a different way and also you wish to do it magically and also you wish to actually make a distinction. You undoubtedly wish to put your stamp and vitality on it – and I’m huge on vitality. So COVID at first terrified me since you’re in a room with no vitality. Then I [realized] that’s going to offer me an intimacy that no different director who had achieved the Grammys earlier than was given. So we had been huge on intimacy and the connection between the artists and artist group.
“[The 2022] Grammys was laborious. As a result of how do you prime [the 2021 pandemic show]? And also you’re again in a giant room [in this case, the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas]. I feel a giant room is troublesome for a director. [But] I feel that we completely nailed it. I feel plenty of the performances that we did are fairly cinematic.”
The present Grammys workforce is headed by three government producers – Raj Kapoor, Ben Winston and Jesse Collins, plus Hamilton as director. “The workforce on the Grammys – Raj and Ben and Jesse – is actually a tremendous workforce of individuals and I’m very comfortable and really proud that they put me on the ticket,” Hamilton says.
“All of us type of run rival manufacturing firms,” Hamilton notes. “We’re continuously pitching in opposition to one another for jobs, however all of us come collectively on the Grammys. There may be undoubtedly a respect and cohesion there. Everybody type of lays down their tribal rivalry. It’s virtually like an all-star recreation. The all-stars come collectively, and that’s new for the Grammys. It’s an unbelievable collaborative course of and really respectful and all people provides the house.”
“It’s a big endeavor to direct the Grammys. My involvement spans in all probability 9 months. So that you’re actually in there initially. There’s just one Grammys. It’s the largest and greatest multi-artist music present on this planet.”
Along with directing the Grammys twice, Hamilton has directed the Oscars 3 times and the Primetime Emmys 4 instances. He’s directing this yr’s Emmy telecast – his fifth – on Sept. 12, 9 days after the Artistic Arts Emmys, the place he’s a double nominee.
Blackstone’s Dream 12 months
Blackstone’s dream yr started with the Tremendous Bowl, included being music director on the Academy Awards in March, and can finish being music director on the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame in November. It’s Blackstone’s third time engaged on each the Oscars and the Rock Corridor ceremony, however his first time, in every case, having the highest job of music director.
Eminem, who was a part of the halftime present, might be inducted into the Rock Corridor, so Blackstone will each start and finish the yr with the hip-hop icon.
Blackstone may even launch his first album as an artist, Legacy, subsequent month on Empire Information. He co-wrote all of the songs and produced it as properly.
“I’d characterize it as progressive jazz – heavy on the big-band vibe. I’m a Maynard Ferguson/Rely Basie fanatic, but additionally me coming from Philadelphia and being tapped in with The Roots crew, Jill Scott, a few of it’s coming from pop and hip-hop. I’ve plenty of these influences as properly.”
Blackstone can also be featured on-air on the NBC collection That’s My Jam, starring Jimmy Fallon.
Since 2010, Blackstone has teamed along with his spouse Kaisha Blackstone within the firm Primary Black Leisure, which places bands collectively for prime musicians.
Blackstone counts Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Rickey Minor amongst his position fashions as music administrators. This yr, he’s competing with Minor for an Emmy. Minor is nominated for excellent music course for his work on the Kennedy Middle Honors. Minor received in that class 4 years in the past for his work on that very same program.
“That’s a pleasant, full-circle second,” Blackstone says, “the place individuals that you just look to this point develop into your friends.”