With this year’s nominations for Best New Artist I was pleasantly surprised with Kelsea Ballerini’s nomination and the Chainsmokers, but was rather disappointed that Cam didn’t get nominated. I find the Chainsmoker’s nomination rather intriguing because they never actually released a full-length album…
Anyway, the nominees are:
Chance the Rapper
Who Should Win: The Chainsmokers
The Chainsmokers have come a long way since “#Selfie” with hit songs “Don’t Let Me Down (feat. Daya)” and “Closer (feat. Halsey).” Their work has been rather refreshing and 2016 was really their year, so I’d say they deserve the Grammy.
Who Will Win: I have no idea
I really don’t know who could win, they seem so even. If I had to choose, I’d guess the Chainsmokers, but for some reason I have a gut feeling Anderson .Paak may win…I’m not really good at guessing this category.
Who Should Win: “Stressed Out” by Twenty One Pilots
I would be totally fine with Beyoncé, Adele, or Twenty One Pilots winning Record of the Year, but as a fake Grammy voter I cast my ballot for “Stressed Out” because find the instrumentation of it great – the synthesis string work is a real ear-grabber, and the rapped verses and sung chorus really work.
Who Will Win: “Hello” by Adele
Again, I predict Adele will win all her nominations simply because she doesn’t typically lose. But, hey, “Hello” is an incredible record.
2016 was a great year for albums – we got new Adele music (finally!), Beyoncé brought us the glorious Lemonade, and so much more.
The nominees for Album of the Year:
25 – Adele
Lemonade – Beyoncé
Purpose – Justin Bieber
View – Drake
A Sailor’s Guide to Earth – Sturgill Simpson
Who Should Win: Lemonade by Beyoncé
It feels like every time Beyoncé drops an album, it becomes a critically acclaimed masterpiece, and she gets nominated for Album of the Year. This certainly was the case fore I Am…Sasha Fierce, Beyoncé, and now for Lemonade. And yet, she has never won. Indeed, after her loss in 2015 to Beck’s Morning Phase, a lot of people were upset (granted, Beck has been around in the indie rock scene for a while, so his win isn’t totally random). However, with Lemonade, Beyoncé steps up her game and provides a whole visual experience.
Who Will Win: Probably 25 by Adele
I would not be surprised if Beyonce did win, but I feel like the Grammy’s tend to favor Adele, which technically isn’t wrong – 25 did break records (it sold over 3 million copies in one week, has sold over 10 million copies to date, etc.), and it is a solid album that discusses Adele’s next chapter in her life.
Song of the Year is perhaps one of my favorite categories at the Grammys because they honor the songwriter. Far too often, songwriters are not credited fairly for their work, which doesn’t make sense as there would be no song if it weren’t for the songwriter.
This year, the nominees are:
Khalif Brown, Asheton Hogan, Beyoncé Knowles, and Michael L. Williams II for “Formation” by Beyoncé.
Adele Adkins and Greg Kurstin for “Hello” by Adele
Mike Posner for “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” by Mike Posner
Justin Bieber, Benjamin Levin, and Ed Sheeran for “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber
Lukas Forchhammer, Stefan Forrest, Morten Pilegaard, and Morten Ristorp for “7 Years” by Lukas Graham
Who Should Win: Mike Posner for “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” by Mike Posner
The original version of “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” is incredibly beautiful. It has the timeless sound to it, grabs at your heart, and you truly feel Posner’s pain. Out of all the nominees, Posner crafted a world that his listeners travel into, and leave feeling feeling his emptiness and loneliness. Yes, it’s not a fun experience, but it’s one that leaves me with goosebumps every time.
Who Will Win: Adele Adkins and Greg Kurstinfor “Hello” by Adele
It’s not that I think Adele doesn’t deserve to win the Grammy – “Hello” is indeed a gorgeous song – I simply think “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” captured Posner’s pain a bit better. However, out of these songs nominated, I believe “Hello” was the biggest of 2016. Adele dominated the charts, and she is indeed incredibly talented. She has a Grammy-winning streak – she’s won every Grammy she has won since she released 21 in 2011. So, it seems inevitable that she will win again.
It’s that time of year – we’re one month-ish away from the Grammys, so as usual, I thought I’d share my predictions of who should and who will win throughout the month. I like to pretend I’m a Grammy voter – which, I’ve been repeatedly told I don’t “qualify” for – and select who I would vote for. Obviously I can’t go through each category – there are eighty-four categories – so I’ll probably just hit the bigger categories. Grammy voters don’t vote for every category – they vote for the top four, and then I think they vote within their specified genre. Anyway…
We’re one month away from the 2017 Grammy nominations being announced, so I thought I’d share my predictions – it’s fun for me and sometimes I’m weirdly accurate. One year I correctly guessed all the nominees for Record of the Year and I was 90% accurate on the other main categories (not that I’m bragging).
I know I already written about my predictions for Best New Artist, but I think that was a bit premature – at the time I didn’t realize that some of the following artists could be nominated. So below is an updated list of artists (in no particular order) who I believe could/should get nominated (not that the people in the last shouldn’t be nominated, but I think these artists have greater odds of getting nominated).
Twenty One Pilots
Personally, I think Twenty One Pilots, Halsey, and Maren Morris have the greatest chance of being nominated considering each made huge waves in their respective genres. Twenty One Pilots had a huge year with their hits “Stressed Out,” “Ride,” and “Heathens,” it’s almost likely they’ll get nominated. Halsey’s break out with Badlands and her new take on alt-electronic-pop deserves a nod. Maren Morris’ Hero is one of the biggest country albums this year, and she recently was nominated for a lot of big CMA awards (i.e. she has critical acclaim).
Kelsea Ballerini likewise made similar splashes in country music like Morris, but I’m hesitant to think she’ll be nominated because her album The First Time was released outside the Grammy period. However, the Grammy’s have bended this rule before, so you never know.
Alessia Cara and Rachel Platten both had huge hits (“Here” and “Fight Song,” respectively) and likewise have chances of being nominated as both albums are within the Grammy period. I’m hesitant, however, because while I’d love to see both of them there, I have a gut feeling…
While the 2017 Grammy nomination period officially comes to a close September 30th, I’ve been thinking a lot about potential nominees, particularly Best New Artist. Now the rules state that the nominee has to release “the first recording which establishes the public identity of that artist” during the period, which would mean the album would be released October 1, 2015 – September 30, 2016. I don’t know how strictly they enforce this because, for instance, Ed Sheeran’s album + was released in America in June 2012, but he was nominated for the 2014 Best New Artist – the release date was within the 2013 Grammy period. Regardless, I thought I’d throw a list together. It’s fun for me.
Halsey really made waves this past year with her album Badlands, which showcased her unique take on electronica/alternative.
Twenty One Pilots are a shoo-in for the nomination and win. They blew up last summer with “Stressed Out” and have been dominating the charts this summer and breaking records.
Rachel Platten was pretty big last summer with her hit “Fight Song” and made some more waves with “Stand By You.” She’d be an underdog, but Platten has proven people wrong time and time again, so she could get nominated.
Charlie Puth burst on to the scene with his “See You Again” collaboration with Wiz Khalifa, but this past year he shaped pop music with his album Nine Track Mind.
Shawn Mendes rose to prominence in 2015 with his hit “Stitches,” and his album. Personally, I think it’d be a stretch for him to be nominated, although he does have an incredible voice.
Marren Morris made her debut in late 2015 with her hit “My Church” and is the country darling following in the steps of hitmakers like Sheryl Crow and Kacey Musgraves.
So…that’s what I got so far. I’ll probably add to it and create more lists, but it’ll be interesting to see who gets nominated in December!
So, I will admit that recently I’ve had “Good For You (feat. A$AP Rocky)” by Selena Gomez stuck in my head. I think it has some clever lyrics and interesting vocalizations. The more I listen to it, the more I pay attention to Gomez’s vocals, which has got me wondering why she wasn’t nominated for a Grammy for her vocal work.
Revival is Gomez’s second solo studio album, her fifth overall (she has three with her band Selena Gomez & the Scene) and features “Good For You.”
If you forget the fact that it’s Selena Gomez singing and listen to how she sings the song, it’s actually quite substantial for the 2014-2015 music period. She does this soft, murmured vocal that effectively grabs the listener in, in rather a haunting way. This is something that wasn’t done through the year, and it is a huge step outside of Gomez’s past work. While the song as a whole includes influences of hip-hop, R&B, and electric slow jam, it’s her vocals that really create the character and life of the song.
If Gomez sang the song solo (without the feature), I think she could’ve gotten nominated for the Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance. Maybe. Probably. If politics didn’t come into play. However, because she has A$AP Rocky featured on the track, it couldn’t qualify for the solo performance category. It could’ve, on the other hand, been nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, but it never stood a chance with this year’s nominees. When you have five nomination spots in a year of major collaborative hits (e.g. “Uptown Funk,” “See You Again,” “Bad Blood,” etc.), it was obviously going to lessen the odds of “Good For You” being nominated. This has to do with the fact that Gomez’s vocals and A$AP Rocky’s rap don’t meld as fluidly as Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar on “Bad Blood” or Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth on “See You Again.” Both those songs feature two artists from opposite musical worlds coming together to create a unified front. Meanwhile, Gomez and Rocky aren’t necessarily dependent on each other. I think a strong collaboration would require the song’s success to be due to the fact all parties involved hold equal weight in it and elevate the song. If we look back at “Bad Blood” – a song released to radio in both a solo and duo format (the song originally was a Swift-only song before Lamar remixed it and added his verses) – the song was transformed and elevated with the collaboration. Sure, the solo song is strong, but the version with Kendrick Lamar is a completely different animal and is elevated from the original. If you take Lamar out of “Bad Blood” it doesn’t stay the same. However, the Gomez-only and the Gomez-Rocky version of “Good For You” literally sound the same. You could take out the rap or put it in and it wouldn’t help or hurt the integrity of the song. That isn’t a slight against either artist, it’s just how the song is structured.
This is not my inner Swiftie shining through, I truly think Swift had the strongest albums of the 2015 season after listing to all nominees. In fact, Billboard reported it as being a “cultural juggernaut,” a term they did not use for any of the other nominees. The fact that it had such a powerful impact in pop culture and is such a sonically strong and cohesive album, it deserves the Grammy. The other nominees are certainly strong contenders, but none of them are “juggernauts” like 1989.
Who Will Win: 1989 – Taylor Swift
There is a chance 1989 will not win simply because Taylor Swift has already won Album of the Year. Only a handful of artists have won this top prize more than once. This seriously isn’t a reason not to vote for her, but politics do come in to play with Grammys…unfortunately. But, I can’t see the Grammys giving this to anyone else as 1989 had such a huge impact on music. Although, we were all surprised last year when Beck won for Morning Phase against Beyoncé’s self-titled album, which many considered the shoo-in.
Who Should Win: “Bad Blood” – Taylor Swift feat. Kendrick Lamar
While Florence Welch’s voice in “Ship to Wreck,” like anything she sings, is pure gold, and while “Uptown Funk” and “See You Again” were perhaps the anthems of 2015, “Bad Blood” has the most cohesive collaborative nature to it. The song emits the anger and frustration through Swift’s parts but it is even more enforced by Lamar’s sharp raps and attitude. Swift and Lamar come from two different worlds (the former from the country-pop, the latter from rap/hip hop), and yet they can cohesively make a song together. If you read the collaboration on paper before listening to it, it would look like a joke and like it shouldn’t work. But it fits like a glove.
Who Will Win: “See You Again” – Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth or “Uptown Funk” – Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars
If we vote based on which song is the biggest, it would be a tie between “See You Again” and “Uptown Funk” (although, I was reading in Billboard that “Uptown Funk” was the number one song of 2015 by a significant margin), so it’s close which one will win. I, again, think “See You Again” will win simply for the fact it’s an ode to the late Paul Walker…I also think it’s this reason why it will win the Golden Globe and get nominated and win the Academy Award. I’m not suggesting it’s not a good song or isn’t deserving of any recognition, it just has that aspect of it to make it shine a little brighter in a group of close nominees.
"Anything's possible if you've got enough nerve." – JK Rowling