HU at the Grammys

President Fayneese Miller was her son’s plus-one at the 2020 Grammy Awards.

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Courtesy of Hamline University

President Fayneese Miller attended the 2020 Grammy Awards as her son David Biral's plus-one. Biral, who has been involved with music from a young age, was nominated for producing Lil Nas X's song "Panini."

Gloria Lee, Reporter

The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards was held in January, recognizing the best in music from the past year. It featured A-list musicians, knockout performances and memorable moments watched by millions of people.

This year, Hamline had an interesting connection to this exclusive event. President Fayneese Miller attended the Grammys with her son David Biral, who was nominated for producing Lil Nas X’s hit song “Panini.”

Biral was involved with music since he was three years old. He attended the Wheeler School for nursery school, where all students are required to take music and art. During one class, the music teacher played the xylophone and had each of the kids come up and play.

“My son […] played what she had played exactly as she had played it […and] she discovered he had a propensity for music,” Miller said. She heeded the teacher’s advice to get Biral into music lessons.

This quickly led to an interest in music production when Biral started going to a local digital recording in eighth grade. He also was part of a club called Higher Ground in high school, where he worked with bringing in professional musicians and artists that appealed to his generation to perform or teach.

While completing undergraduate studies at the Clive Davis Institute in NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Biral met Denzel Baptiste. They formed the two-man group Take a Daytrip, working on projects together and DJ-ing around NYC.

Since then, Biral and Baptiste have worked on producing multiple successful tracks, including “Mo Bamba” by Sheck Wes, “Legends” by Juice Wrld, “Panini” and “Rodeo” by Lil Nas X, and, their latest endeavor, producing “Speed Me Up,” the theme song of the new Sonic the Hedgehog movie.

“Music has been part of his existence since he was a toddler,” Miller said.

This past year, four works Biral was involved in were nominated for a Grammy, including Lil Nas’s EP “7” and the Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse soundtrack.

Miller thought her son was at first kidding when he asked her to be his Grammys date.

“Who wants to go to the Grammys with their mom?” Miller said. “The coolest part was being in my son’s element and taking a backseat to him. It was wonderful being there as a supporter and seeing a part of his world I have never seen before.”

At the Grammys, Miller was able to enter through the VIP entrance and hang in Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’ dressing room. Her favorite performances included Lizzo as well as Lil Nas X’s performance of a remix by Biral and Baptiste of “Rodeo” and “Old Town Road.”

“All the artists would come up and hug me and kiss me on the cheek and call me ‘mom’,” Miller said. “Everyone was incredibly nice to me. I did not see egos at all. They were just people who happened to be performers and stars.”

Biral posted on his social media photos of him and Miller at the Grammys. Prospective Hamline students commented “Your mom’s going to be my President” or “I just committed to Hamline.”