Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar’s performance at the Grammys last month was one of the event’s most discussed sets. The genesis of the elaborate collaboration has a modest backstory, however, according to Imagine Dragons producer Alex da Kid.
“We were rehearsing in a shitty little rehearsal room in [Las] Vegas,” Alex da Kid says during an interview with Billboard. “Kendrick was really good about coming out. We knew we wanted to do something big but we didn’t know the whole color thing. We were thinking of different things to do like, breaking instruments and stuff like that. At every rehearsal, the Grammys had a presence there so they were not in love with that. It wasn’t even a fully thought out idea. We were all in the room, like 10 TDE guys and 10 of us and we were like, ‘Why don’t we do this? Why don’t we fly?’ because Dan [Daniel Platzman, Imagine Dragons’ drummer] flies in some of the shows and plays the drums upside down. We kind of came up with this idea of being in white and then the color. When we started researching the idea, we found they didn’t make red [dye] so we had to get it specially made. It was a lot of work. At first, all the managers hated the idea. We didn’t know the logistics of it. We didn’t know if it was poisonous or anything so we had to research all that. There will be a video out soon with some of the rehearsals.”
Before Imagine Dragons collaborated with Kendrick Lamar, Alex Da Kid, who releases Imagine Dragons’ music through his KIDinaKORNER imprint, says he didn’t know that Kendrick Lamar was a fan of the group.
“No,” Alex Da Kid says. “I don’t think he knew until he saw the performance at the American Music Awards. That’s when he was really like, ‘I wanna do something with those guys.’ It was all Interscope so it was easy to put together.”
Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons’ “m.A.A.d city” and “Radioactive” performance at the 2014 Grammys can be viewed here.