DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — It’s the sound of love, family, and pride.
Nnenna and Pierce Freelon are not only mother and son, but also Grammy nominees.
“Durham is all over both of these projects. The musicians and the culture,” Pierce said.
“Music can be like a soundtrack for your life,” Nnenna later said.
For Nnena, this is her sixth Grammy nod. Her album, Time Traveler, is nominated for Best Vocal Jazz Album.
“To have my son nominated for a Grammy for his project in the children’s music space and to have my record nominated for a Grammy in the jazz vocal space. I can’t even explain how incredible this moment is. It’s quite rare,” she said.
She describes her album as a sonic love letter to her late husband, Phil.
“To be honest, I wasn’t even sure I had a voice. I wasn’t even sure I could do this, but I found that in telling this story of this great big love that we had, it just helped me grieve,” Nnenna said as she held back tears.
Meanwhile, Pierce’s album “Black to the Future” is nominated for Best Children’s Album.
He’s a husband, father and most recently served on Durham City Council.
“I’m a hip-hop head and I didn’t really hear any children’s music out in the market that really tapped that young Black millennial taste,” he explained.
“So, just like a 9th Wonder who digs through the crates who samples old soul and funk records. I’m sampling old VHS tapes and voice memos and recordings from my own family archives,” said Pierce.
Both Nnenna and Pierce plan to be in Los Angeles for the Grammys.
“As long as I’m there with my wonderful son, I’m good,” Nnenna said as she leaned in to embrace Pierce.
While they both have their fingers crossed, there’s no lack of confidence in bringing home the awards.
“Mama is a little more humble than I am. Listen, Bull City we are going to bring some gold back to Durham,” Pierce said with a big smile on his face.
The 64th annual Grammy Awards will air on CBS 17 on Jan. 31.