Lefsetz Letter » Blog Archive » Grammy Nominations

How did the Grammys turn into the Oscars?

You know, an organization so intrinsically respectful of “art” that most people never consume.

Yes, the Oscars are famous for it. Blockbusters were never nominated, or they were part of an expanded roster in hoi polloi homage that never won. The insider favorite wins. To make matters worse, those films that won weren’t the huge commercial successes they had been. The average person just ignores the entire business. Ratings have been down to a small segment of the public, and everyone knows that the real action is on streaming TV.

The music industry has stopped producing broad-based stars, stars that appeal to everyone, or at least everyone has heard of, let alone heard of. Check out the list. If you recognize the names, you probably still haven’t heard the music and don’t care. You have tasted these products time and time again and found yourself dissatisfied, you are detached.

Not so much from the music, but rather new music from the usual suspects. Yes, for all the hoopla about TikTok and the internet casting new stars, it’s the main label dominating the main categories. As for small categories? It’s like handing out participation trophies at a youth soccer game. It may be important to the recipient, but they are unique.

Platforms have become more important than music.

Yes, people are fans of Spotify, not these so-called music giants, but they’re not. You fire up the service and listen, but will you listen to Grammy nominated content?

The music industry has produced international stars whose repertoire is not only known but part of the universe, a cultural touchstone. Now, those so-called big records are the size of Stonehenge in “Spinal Tap.” minute.

Part of this is due to the changing landscape post-Internet. Everything is niche.

But there are some streaming TV shows that reach more people than records. Streaming TV shows are so popular that they transcend age restrictions. Everyone is interested in “The Squid Game,” a national phenomenon. Ditto “Ted Lasso.” You’ve heard so much about them that you have to go see them. Need to check out new tracks? Why? You don’t feel the buzz, it never reaches you, and if you dig deeper, you’ll be disappointed.

Let’s take a look at the record of the year nominees.

The new Abba album is a hit in the UK, but nothing in the US How pointless? The nominated “Don’t Shut Me Down” has 58,238,622 streams on Spotify. That’s bupkes, there are a lot of acts you’ve never heard of that have that number.

Adele’s “Easy on Me” has over a billion streams, but honestly, Adele hasn’t done anything really noteworthy since 2015’s “25.” She’s been smoking, past accomplishments, and her new tracks aren’t memorable. But she’s a real star because…we don’t have any more real stars to hype.

“Break My Soul” from Beyonce’s vaunted comeback album? 234,921,732 streams. Beyoncé’s albums are stiff. I’d say even the media won’t. Check the streaming number. There were 3 triple-digit million cuts on Spotify and double digits for the rest. One is only 26,774,717.

“Good Morning Gorgeous” by Mary J. Blige? 13,242,565. That’s pathetic. It’s almost like it never happened.

Brandi Carlile’s “You and I on a Rock” with Lucius? It didn’t even break a million! 949,271. How many people have even heard of it? Don’t tell me about quality, the Grammy organization is covering all the bases here, and nominating pre-approved Carlisle shows it cares. about what?

Doja Cat’s “Woman” was a real hit. It has 1,086,180,293 streams on Spotify. But it’s a genre piece that most people have never heard of, and I tell you about the tempest in the teapot, that’s where the modern recording industry is headed.

As big an impact as Steve Lacy has had lately, you can feel the buzz, “Bad Habits” has only 394,065,181 streams.

“The Heart Part 5” by Kendrick Lamar? 49,660,586 streams. It wasn’t very popular, and Lamar was nominated for past work, as was everyone else in this category.

Lizzo is a star, she spans categories and demos. The only problem is she never released a track as great as her image. “About Damn Time” has only 481,330,487 streams.

But the real star of the category is Harry Styles, who has 10 nominations to theoretically woo everyone but no chance of winning, and whose “As It Was” has 1,543,881,676 streams. I’m not saying everyone has heard the song, but everyone has heard of Harry Styles, who is more universal, more appealing, better edited than Lizzo. Styles is the closest thing we have to an old-school ex-Internet star on this list. His music is unique, he doesn’t follow the trend, he has an identity, and record companies used to be able to do this often, but now it seems that the formula has been lost.

I won’t cover every track in every category, but there’s a good chance you haven’t heard them all. People believe that young people know them all, but that’s not true either! Young people live in the same world we do, inundated with input, and TikTok is more popular than any of these nominated records, as is Spotify.

And a backward Grammy organization can never be trendy. If anything, like your grandpa, it’s too late for a stylish cape. Yes, you may see mentions of TikTok on the show, but those in the know know that nominations should be on TikTok, think buzz! Not just among TikTok users, but among sleepwalking media that also live in the past. but not! Like most nominated music, the Grammys can’t push the envelope, they’re rooted in the past, in tradition, which is why they’re becoming less and less relevant. As for the show, it’s been remastered with a new producer to deliver a great musical performance, but you can always order the shows online after the fact if you’re interested.

This is a crisis. There is no excitement surrounding the music. The most exciting thing about TikTok is older tracks, whether decades old or just a few years old.

Do you want to talk about impactful hits? Then check out Glass Animals’ “Heat Wave.” Released more than two years ago, it spent 59 weeks at No. 1 and 91 weeks on the Hot 100, longer than “Blinding Lights.” It has 2,107,516,435 streams on Spotify. Very popular now. What drives it? Social media, it took a long time for the audience to pick up on it, which is a phenomenon on TikTok. It was never nominated for a Grammy, but if the performance was televised, the kids would care, and almost nothing but Harry Styles. That was the modern world, and those Grammy nominations were a thing of the past.

Yes, I tout TikTok time and time again, because that’s where people live today, and it’s running through all the demos, like a game. Who knows if TikTok will last forever, but it’s the devil right now. Why can’t the Grammys admit it? Why can’t the Grammys recognize the user-generated content that built these numbers?

This is the world we live in.

Not among the calcified circle bastards of complacent old men who think they rule the music world when they actually rule themselves, not more. Most people just don’t care. The Grammys, no, the record industry, didn’t give them a reason.

Major labels don’t innovate and test the limits of music, they just sign and promote in unique, proven genres. That wasn’t the case in the old days when music was big, whether it was classic rock or the MTV era. Being different is a badge of honor, and that’s why we’re interested. Me-too isn’t worth watching or listening to again.

I could give the Grammys some marketing tips but why bother, they never take them, they know better, and I honestly think it would be nice if the Grammys let themselves go out of business. To Mark Zuckerberg’s credit, at least he knows his old domains are dying, namely Facebook and Instagram, so he’s trying to innovate. Zuckerberg’s history of innovation is shallow, he’s usually found success through purchase, and it looks like his VR metaverse is either premature, ill-conceived, or both. Zuck was terrified, and even though Meta’s social network was a cash cow, his company’s stock took a huge hit. Anyone Scared at the Grammys? The major labels keep congratulating themselves, but if they’re in tech, young entrepreneurs are too busy disrupting them. Virtually all innovation in music comes from outside.

I actually think the Grammy nominations are so much fun that I don’t really care. But most people not only don’t watch the show, they don’t even encounter meaningless nominations. Please, how do you reach a young and active music audience? They don’t read traditional media and may not even have a cable subscription. It takes thought and innovation to reach them, but the brain-dead Grammy organization thinks it knows better. but it is not the truth. It’s ridiculous.

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