Recently, Billboard published an article where they weighed in on potential Best New Artist nominees at the upcoming Grammys. The list was interesting and eclectic, but being quite opinionated, some of the choices didn’t tickle my fancy. Sure I’m a powerless music journalist/blogger who doesn’t have a say in the Grammy nods, but I have some ideas of who has a shot.
Sam Smith is the full package in my eyes. He has everything that the Grammy voters are looking for because he is well rounded. Why Smith might earn a nod/win over Iggy Azalea despite her numerous hits is because he has a more widespread appeal. Face it, we all know that hip-hop has its struggles when it comes to Grammys in larger categories. But ultimately, Smith may be that ‘once in a lifetime’ talent.
No matter what your opinion is of Iggy Azalea, she’s had a much bigger year than anyone anticipated. Her album sold only 52,000 copies the week it came out, but compared to many – namely Future’s Honest who beat her – it’s had more staying power thanks to big-time hits. Not only that, Iggy assisted Ariana Grande in a big-time hit, “Problem.” Should she get a nod – yes. Will she win – hard so say, but not likely against someone like Sam Smith.
One surprising omission from Billboard’s list was Ariana Grande. Sure, she’s on album number two, but it could be argued she’s gained more traction with her second album, My Everything. Actually, it’s not even arguable – she’s had big-time hits the second go-round. If there is a vocal talent to go against Sam Smith, it’s definitely Ariana Grande. But that second album/taking her for granted could work against a nod.
When I saw that Billboard had Childish Gambino in the mix, I said YAASSSS. Childish Gambino is another artist on his second album, but Because The Internet easily ranked as one of the better rap albums of recent times. A stunning Ariana Grande collaboration, “Break Your Heart Right Back,” doesn’t hurt either.
5 Seconds of Summer
Teen pop doesn’t do well in the best new artist category. 5 Seconds of Summer could earn a nod, but it would be shocking to see them win. Just ask Justin Bieber, who many thought was a shoe-in (I was on team Drake that year, but can’t knock my girl Esperanza Spalding). Don’t be surprised if the voters have “Amnesia” about the sales and those “American Apparel Underwear.” 5SOS are going to need the luckiest boxers ever.
Previously, I thought August Alsina had a shot a this category. Now, I’m not sold. Do I think he deserves to be here – yes. Does he have the resume of the rest of the nominees… um. Alsina is well known within R&B circles, but in pop circles with the big boys and girls, maybe not so much.
The surest bet on this list is Sam Smith. If he’s not there, something’s wrong.