If you watched the Grammys, you might not have known that some local musicians were not only in the audience but also up for awards.
Spokane native Brittany O'Neal, who performs under the name Sub Teal, was nominated for the Best Remixed Recording Grammy alongside EDM duo Gabriel & Dresden. O'Neal spoke to the Inlander from L.A. the day after the ceremony, and although she and her collaborators didn't take home the prize, it's still been a whirlwind experience.
"A lot of it is getting from place to place. It's quite hectic," O'Neal says of attending the Grammys. "And I'm in heels the whole time."
After releasing an ambient electronica album on Bandcamp in 2011, O'Neal and her partner Josh Gabriel — he's the "Gabriel" of Gabriel & Dresden — started writing together, and she provided vocals on Gabriel & Dresden's most recent album, also titled The Only Road.
The record's title track was remixed by electronic act Cosmic Gate last year, and it was that version that was nominated.
"We found out the track was up for a nomination the morning we were about to record the lead vocals for our next album," O'Neal says. "It was unreal. ... I didn't think that something like this would happen so soon in my creative career."
A co-owner of the Living Room Vintage boutique on East Sprague, O'Neal wore an all-vintage ensemble to the ceremony. Although the electronic music categories are announced prior to the live telecast, she and her fellow nominees were able to watch the ceremony from the audience.
"I've never seen so many powerful performers in one space," she says, pointing to the Dolly Parton tribute as a particular highlight. "For me it was unbelievable to see a lot of these artists that have managed to put their whole lives in front of the lights and stay true to themselves creatively.
"I'm grateful to be able to look behind the curtain."
O'Neal is back in the studio with Gabriel & Dresden, working on another album and plotting their first tour. And now that she's a Grammy nominee, O'Neal says she's confident she's on the right career path.
"As a creative person, you're constantly questioning yourself, and it's very easy to base whether what you're doing is right or wrong on how it's being received," she says. "You have to learn to let it go, to trust yourself and just do what you do and hope it finds people that resonate with it." ♦