Bangalore’s music lovers and artistes tell why the Grammys is such a headlining event and what they feel about this year’s winners
The shout-out by Jay Z, after receiving the Grammy for ‘Holy Grail’, where he tells his daughter Blue Ivy from stage that “Daddy got a gold sippy cup for you”, will go down in history as one of this year’s ceremony’s most memorable highlights.
The 56th Annual Grammy Awards was the stage for an immense amount of talent and theatrics bringing together almost every imaginable music star alive to the Staples Centre in Los Angeles. The event had its share of highs and lows with eccentric attire, mind-blowing headgear, scintillating performances, and star-studded collaborations and, to top it all, a mass marriage ceremony.
With the Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Best Dance/Electronica Album going to Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers, Song Of The Year going to ‘Royals’ by Lorde and Best New Artist and Best Rap Album going to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the Grammy stage was decorated by new age artistes at their very best.
Over the years, the Grammys has become the benchmark for every musician and singer to achieve. Metroplus talks to some of Bangalore’s music lovers and artistes and finds out their insights on music’s biggest night.
DJ Nikhil Chinapa says it’s an industry standard. “If you get onto that stage, you are either a legend or someone very special. It’s also a great show. For people from my generation, the Grammys were the only music event you could watch on Doordarshan back in the days when we had no MTV.”
This year the Grammys turned out to be a celebration of electronic music considering how many artistes in the genre were honoured. Reacting to this, Nikhil says music certainly seems to have found its groove over the past few years. “Electronic instruments are being used across all genres of music now.”
The DJ says the awards are certainly inspiration for many but are not an accurate reflection of pop culture. “I believe that whoever is judging the awards may not really be listening to what the youth today listen to. There is so much music coming out, it’s extremely difficult to stay in touch with all of it. In my generation, I grew up listening to heavy metal which was not represented at the Grammys for a long time. Similarly, electronic music has being around for years but is getting recognition only recently. Daft Punk certainly deserves the award.”
Arati Rao, singer-songwriter and owner of B Flat, says the Grammys is significant because the nominees are judged by professionals. “When you are judged by your peers and seniors in the industry, it’s a goal to achieve for excellence and an incentive to keep producing original music. It’s also recognition for the music you share.”
In her opinion, musicians should not aim for a Grammy. “They should strive for creative excellence and originality. If it is really good, it will be rewarded. Take Lorde for example. She’s just 17 but everything about ‘Royals’ is excellent. From the quality of her voice, maturity of her lyrics and simplicity of the arrangement - it appeals to all age groups and is sheer talent.”
Arati believes it’s the age of electronic music. “These are the instruments of today and we should not be close-minded about it. One of the earliest American Jazz instruments was the wooden saw. Hence, music generated from a computer is the thing of the day and people are going crazy over it. I’m not at all surprised that most of the categories were won by electronic artistes.”
RJ Michelle Patrao from Radio Indigo 91.9 says the Grammys is a big deal simply because it’s the Grammys. “That’s reason enough. It’s a platform that everyone recognises all over the world. Today, you can even be a Youtube sensation. But if you win a Grammy, you are sharing the limelight with the biggest stars from all over the world. You could be Lorde from New Zealand. Nobody knew about you until 2013 and you come and steal the show.”
Michelle feels the Grammys bring out some amazing collaborations. “I would never have expected Daft Punk and Stevie Wonder to perform on the same stage. Who could have seen Chicago with Robin Thicke, Paul McCartney with Ringo Starr and Madonna with Queen Latifah? Every year they seem to outdo themselves in their planning, and the collaborations.”
The RJ begs to differ from the electronic music haul. “You can’t rule out Adele and Lorde who are still holding their ground and making amazing music each year. Lorde’s Song Of The Year is not dance-based but is still pure gold.”