University Student Sophia Byrd is part of an Grammy-nominated team of artists

By: Pari Apostolakos

Sophia Byrd in conversation with Good Morning Illini’s Pari Apostolakos about the once in-person musical turned virtual experience, Place, which garnered two Grammy nominations.

The story follows the gentrification of a Brooklyn neighborhood set in modern times.

“It was 75% a surprise,” Byrd said. “They’re some of the most talented people I’ve gotten to work with and Ted [land] and Saul [Williams] really created something beautiful,” she said.

Place touches on themes of racism and inequity in the United states.

Byrd started organizing protests at 16 years old in Chicago, so her history of activism runs deep.

“Ted used his privilege [as a white man] to share this message with a largely white audience, and I think that being able to look out on those faces as I’m singing this masterpiece made me realize that I am no longer interested in making art that doesn’t matter. I really think art that isn’t making change and creating a platform to seek out justice is not really worth doing,” she said.