As the 2018 Grammy Awards have now come to a close, there are some big conclusions that industry insiders have drawn from the events that transpired both on- and off-air. In this summation of where we think music is headed for the remaining months of the year, we look back at the hip hop, house, EDM, dance, and pop music representation.
#1 – Women are kicking it into high gear
Industry leaders such as Lady Gaga, Pink and Rihanna made major appearances at this year’s Grammy’s, as to be expected. More than that, there were countless relative newcomers to the Grammy stage this time around, including Camila Cabello, Bebe Rexha, SZA, and Alessia Cara. Needless to say, the growing amount of women represented here continue to push forth more female representation in music.
#2 – Bruno Mars is music-industry gold
Those working within the music industry – including the professional engineers, songwriters, producers, and executives – poured in with their picks on who should win the evening’s top prizes. Bruno Mars came away with six awards overall including “Record of the Year”, “Album of the Year”, and “Song of the Year”. As someone who consistently delivers incredible musical performances and who doesn’t ruffle any feathers, Bruno Mars has made himself the definitive example of hip hop singing in contemporary music.
#3 – The Academy still doesn’t really care for hip hop
The sad truth about an Academy dominated by older white men at an executive level is that hip hop has gone underrepresented for far too long. Despite being nominated for eight awards, Jay-Z went home with none and on some of the evening’s biggest prizes, Kendrick Lamar was repeatedly shut out as well. Recognition for hip hop artists at the Academy Awards still goes without.
#4 – ‘Pop Music’ is not really finding its audience
Examining the representation of pop music at the award ceremony, it becomes clear how difficult the genre is having at reaching a new generation. Beyond releases from Ed Sheeran, the remaining nominations came from Lady Gaga, Kesha, Kelly Clarkson, Coldplay, Lana Del Rey, and Imagine Dragons on albums that did not particularly sell big numbers. For more pure pop artists, there’s clearly something that needs to change when there’s nobody new to the game here.
#5 – You gotta stand for something
The sharing of the immigrant experience from Camilo Cabello, the show-stopping performance given at the top of the hour from Kendrick Lamar, and the early appearance from U2 all set the tone for a night set on presenting some contemporary protest – even if, at times, it came off somewhat homogenized. More and more, we are seeing socio-political positions win fans instead of losing them. For artists with stories to share and stands to take, this news ain’t so bad.
#6 – There’s way more happening than what appears on the surface
The big takeaway from the Grammy Awards, as we’ve found to be the case for a long time now, is that there is way more happening in music beyond what’s being shown to mainstream America. The work of Lorde, Khalid, The Gorillaz, LCD Soundsystem, Father John Misty, and The Weeknd did not get the presentation other artists did on the show. Then, going beyond the nominees announced, there is evidently so much more going on in music. To any fan of music, watching the Grammys is only where the journey begins. Remember to do some exploring and find the artists who are putting out the content that best inspires you!