Opinion | And the winner is not…

The Grammy Awards only cater to select genres, leave the rest in the dust

By on February 6, 2018

I’m going to give it to you straight: I do not like the Grammys. As a musician myself, someone who been studying music for years and as a fan of music in general, the Grammys are nothing but a popularity contest and says nothing about the actual quality of the music presented.

In addition, the Grammys only care about the genres that make the most in the mainstream and they don’t fairly represent all genres of music. Yes, the Grammys have awards for music from all over the spectrum, but why do they only televise awards that ultimately have many of the same nominees? Why do they not televise awards such as rock and metal awards–especially in years where bands like metal legends Metallica have come out with a new album?

How about Avenged Sevenfold—they’re my favorite band so yes, I’m a bit biased here—a big metal band that wasn’t nominated for a metal award, but a rock award. Despite getting the nomination for an award in a genre that wasn’t theirs, Avenged Sevenfold frontman M. Shadows expressed some excitement.

“I’ve said the Grammys messed up metal because it’s not on TV,” Shadows said according to Billboard. “What I’m saying is, when you’re in a metal category, it’s not televised and it doesn’t move the needle forward for metal artists. I wish they had more respect for the genre. So we’re actually really excited to be in the rock category.”

To further add to the lack of “respect for the genre,” Avenged Sevenfold ended up not attending the Grammys.

“Honored,” the band stated on their Twitter account during a Jan. 23rd Q&A session with fans. “Unfortunately (the Grammys) have taken ‘Best Rock Song’ off the telecast this year so we won’t be attending. Maybe next time.”

The people behind the Grammys don’t really know much about metal and rock music, honestly. Past metal Grammy winners from 1989 to the present were listed and the winner was either agreed with or changed to who they think should’ve won the award; in the 29 years that this list covers, 23 other winners were chosen, according to an article on loudwire.com.

I don’t usually watch award shows. The only award show that I have watched consistently is the Alternative Press Music Awards, which is so small that it has only been streamed on Twitch and has yet to receive TV time.

I don’t entirely like how the Grammys can become politicized like it was having Hillary Clinton read a portion of “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolf. I support using music to make statements, such as the one that Logic is making in “1-800-273-8255,” but what I don’t support is forcing things where they don’t belong. In this case making a political statement is taking away from the point of the Grammys, which is to recognize the work of these artists.

Another thing that bothers me is how little of a scope the Grammys have. Ever hear of Metalcore? Pop-Punk? Hardcore? I don’t think the Grammys have because all they do to highlight those genres is a lone award for “Best Alternative Music Album.” Meanwhile, it seems like the same artists are up for the top awards each year. It solidifies the vibe I get that winning a Grammy is based on popularity as opposed to the actually quality of the music.

It really is just a popularity contest. Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You,” is a good song, yes. But was it better than some of the other songs nominated for the “Best Pop Solo Performance?” I’m not so sure. I’m a fan of Sheeran, but there were several songs on his album alone that were better than “Shape of You.” For example, “Dive,” “Nancy Mulligan” and “Happier.”

I don’t like how it doesn’t really focus on the quality of the music and how it only chooses to televise what’s in the mainstream. No, alternative music isn’t the most popular genre, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t tons of fans who want their genre to grow and gain that recognition. The Grammys should be an award show to commemorate artists for the work they produce, not a popularity contest.

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