GRAMMY Nominations Are In: For A Genre That Historically Has Been Instrumental, EDM Has Had A Lot To Say This Week!
This year, the Recording Academy's now-annual "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live! -- Countdown to Music's Biggest Night" was held at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. It was a night to demonstrate just how far EDM has come, a place where the genre is no longer viewed from the outside, but instead from top-40 billboard charts and national magazine covers. But before getting into the nominees, I can't imagine a better setting than this year's concert. LL Cool J returned as host to the millions of music fans tuning in with baited breath for the nominees to be announced. The undeniable surge of anticipation, surprise and excitement was cushioned with a rich and diverse collection of presenters (Arsenio Hall, Ed Sheeran, Kelly Rowland and Enrique Iglesias) and performances from some of the industry's leading artists (and nominees) of the year's biggest songs.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis took their hook-driven manifesto to the stage through the theatre's aisles with "Thrift Shop". Their slinky melodic verses are some of the most infectious, always building into an enormous chanting monster of a chorus that gets every audience on its feet. Forcing the oft-clashing worlds of country and RnB to make nice, Keith Urban and Miquel created a sublime sound with their performance of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" that honored both their unique roots and effervescent spirit. Robin Thicke, grouped with members of Earth, Wind & Fire and T.I., gave a shimmering rendition of "Blurred Lines" full of the funkiest of bass guitars, swooping strings and soul-infused percussion. But the three women of the night--Lorde, Taylor Swift, and Katy Perry--were not to be outdone, with electrifying and at times delicately-beautiful performances that formed the best GRAMMY showcase.
Now, to the EDM nominations. For those keeping score, Daft Punk continued what used to be viewed as EDM crossover into mainstream, but is simply now viewed as EDM's proper mainstream popularity. The group earned an Album of the Year nomination for 'Random Access Memories,' and their song "Get Lucky" is up for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. The ever-popular Calvin Harris was also nominated for Best Dance Recording for "Sweet Nothing" and Best Dance/Electronica Album for "18 Months." Veteran Kaskade is back in the GRAMMY race, nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Album, up against newcomers Pretty Lights & Disclosure. Disclosure isn't alone, however, with first time nominees Duke Dumont featuring A*M*E & MNEK and Zedd also trying to make a splash in the Best Dance Recording category. For Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical, the best result I could ask for come late January is a 5-way tie between Andy Caldwell, Alesso, Sultan & Ned Shepard, Photek, and Cedric Gervais.
Any nomination for any award brings questions and some controversy. “Hell hath no fury as an EDM fan scorned.” Isn’t that how the saying goes? But I'm confident any EDM fan would agree that there wasn't a blow to the genre and instead these are some serious household names in play! I'm looking forward to the cheering that will greet these nominees as they begin their GRAMMY performances and campaigns, and to the victor as he or she raises a trophy. For a genre that historically has been instrumental, EDM has had a lot to say this week, and the record album sales for the genre and its now-ubiquitous radio play mean that EDM has really made a fantastic stride in 2013. Stay tuned for more on each of these nominees, including in-depth reviews of their works, and interviews, to be posted leading up to Music's Biggest Night January 26th!