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, and what happened at the Grammy Awards in 2018.
Women Rule Music & Are Kicking It Into High-Gear
Industry leaders such as Lady Gaga, Pink, and Rihanna made major appearances at the Grammys, 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.
Musically, women are arguably doing far more interesting things than men in music, media, and entertainment overall. They are no doubt represented in a big way and rightfully so. Women continue to make some amazing records worthy of acknowledgment and praise in various genres.
Bruno Mars Is Music-Industry Gold & An Example Of Hard Work
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 very many feathers from a socio-political perspective, Bruno Mars has made himself the definitive example of hip-hop singing in contemporary music.
It takes time to build a catalogue of hits or to accumulate a series of records that are gold standard. Bruno Mars is an artist that can say he’s done it quite well and is still going.
The Grammys Still Don’t Care Very Much About Hip-Hop Music
The sad truth about a Grammy voting public 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 Grammy Awards still goes without, despite the fact that big data in music outright will show how prominent hip-hop is in the ears of listeners.
Though the Grammys have arguably gotten better at recognizing artists from non-white cultural backgrounds, it’s hard to say that hip-hop, urban, rap, and similar genres are made to feel at home amongst the corporations investing in and around the Grammys.
Pop Music Is Not Finding Its Audience As Well As Other Genres
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.
Where a lot more movement is happening in music appears to be amongst EDM DJs, dance music, hip-hop, and genres branching off of these movements.
Even the biggest names in pop are those that are continually taking from other genres rather than remaining strict with pop music songwriting and what’s now been sort of dated to traditional pop song forms. More prominent pieces of pop music are those tied to hip-hop and EDM.
You Have To Stand For Something And Be Real
There have always been problems with the music industry but one that fortunately feels dated is the discouragement of artists to take political opinions.
Check out any of the recent Grammy Awards for many examples of why politics in music is important.
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.
There is far more encouragement than ever to bring forth one’s own perspectives and opinions, and to share them.
There Is Way More Happening In Music Than What’s 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. If one considers the Grammys to be a primary representation of music, they are getting nowhere near a full glimpse of all the beauty in music that’s out there.
Remember to do some exploring and find the artists who are putting out the music that best inspires you.