I had no idea who Twenty One Pilots were before they took off their pants to accept a Grammy for the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance this year.
I was mostly just in awe of the one guy’s shock of yellow hair, the strange, though magnetic, song playing in the background and—of course—the pants thing.
Little did I know that it would turn out to be one of the most remarkable and inspiring speeches I’ve heard all awards season. I know that time has long passed, but for some reason I cannot get Twenty One Pilot’s speech and their curious pantslessness out of my mind.
I guess it is because they appeared so—human. Often when I look at stars like Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, or John Legend, they seem on a pedestal of super-human.
For many of us aspiring to accept our own Grammy, Oscar, or Pulitzer Prize someday, it can be extremely intimidating having to look up at Mount Olympus and the Gods when we begin our dreaming and art-making.
I remember seeing a meme the other day that said, “You have as many hours in the day as Beyoncé.” Naturally, I burst out laughing because, although it’s absolutely true, it doesn’t certainly seem like it!
However, the beauty of Twenty One Pilot’s speech is that even though they were going up to accept a Grammy, they just seem like two guys who could live down the road from us, practicing in their garage and eating day-old pizza.
Their entire speech is centred on the fact that they are just two normal people from Columbus, Ohio, who at one point couldn’t make ends meet—who at one point would sit in their rental home watching the Grammys in only their underwear. The fact that they literally embodied this vulnerable, relatable normality on international television is perhaps the best part of all.
My favourite quote arrives at the end when Tyler says: “Anyone, from anywhere, can do anything—and this is that.”
May this inspire you to reach for your wildest, highest potential, and fulfil your dreams.
Author: Anthea van den Bergh
Editor: Lieselle Davidson