February 07, 2011 12:00 PM

>Catch the 53rd Annual GRAMMY AWARDS Sunday, Feb. 13, 8/7c on CBS

Britain’s Florence Welch, 24, whose alt-rock outfit is up for Best New Artist, chats about Drake, opening for U2 and singing barefoot

THE GRAMMY® GRAPEVINE

ON HER FAVE BEST NEW ARTIST NOMINEE

I’m a big Drake fan. We met at the VMAs. I was too nervous to say hi, but he asked if I wanted to hang out in the studio after. We got drunk with his friends. When he came to London recently, I sang at his show, then we had a fun night out. He’s a really nice guy.

ON HER GRAMMY DATE, LITERARY-EDITOR BOYFRIEND STUART HAMMOND

It’s nice to show him off. He knew me before this all started, so it’s not too overwhelming if you have that grounding. I get shy, but he’s so charming, so I can just go, “I’ll do the singing; you do the speaking.”

ON PERFORMING BAREFOOT

You can be more sprightly, jump around a bit more and twirl easily. It gives you more freedom to climb a lighting rig every now and again.

ON OPENING FOR U2 THIS SUMMER

It’s amazing. I haven’t met Bono yet. It’s after the second album is finished, so we’ll play new songs. U2 is so huge—supporting them is just crazy.

ON BEING A TECHNOPHOBE

I don’t know how to download music. I still have a Discman—one of those little kids’ ones that has a picture of the Little Mermaid on it. I’m getting dragged into the future kicking and screaming!

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