Keri HilsonKeri Hilson might be nominated for the Grammy Awards' Best New Artist, but she has taken a long road as both an artist and behind the scenes force to be a "new" star. "People would not imagine, they think I just came onto the scene and we treat my project very much like a baby, but yeah, there are so many years of my story, that I would love people to understand it is a journey," Hilson told the BoomBox when she visited L.A. high school students at the University of Southern California campus as part of Grammy Career Day.

Hilson got to the Grammys by being open to learning, so when she sat on a panel at USC with Jimmy Jam, Anthony Hamilton, and others, it was as much an education for her as for the students. "Sometimes your method is very different from that of your neighbor and so I would listen to Anthony Hamilton or Jimmy Jam or Danja or Eric Galan, to their experiences and how they go about their process and that's a learning experience," she says. "I'm sitting up there like, 'Oh, maybe I can try that. That's something that would allow me to expand my horizons.' It's important that you are always learning, that you're never just stagnant and complacent."

But while she makes a point of continuing both her educations and that of students, frequently contributing to these educational days, "You've got to give back," she says, she's definitely getting in some play time this Grammy weekend. "I wonder who all is coming out. I'm always excited to see a Gaga performance, but everyone," she says.

Hilson has a little sense of humor when asked what pairing she'd like to see this year. "This year, I would say Kanye and Taylor Swift would've made a perfect collaboration, you would never expect that," she says. Uh, no. But it would be interesting.