New musicians to dominate Grammys

By Alexander Vassiliadis

On Sunday night, millions across the United States will have their eyes glued to the television, waiting to see their favorite musicians receive one of the highest awards in the music business: the Grammy. 

Before getting into specifics, if someone were to ask me to describe this year’s Grammy awards with one word, that word would be “Pharrell.” With his name on two of this year’s nominees for Record of the Year and two for Album of the Year (he is included in seven nominations in total), Pharrell Williams has exhibited his specialized talent in not only producing but collaborating with other musicians as well. Pharrell has been featured on songs that, without his contribution, would lack a certain memorable and jazzy flair that makes audiences go back for more every time. 

With producing “Blurred Lines,” one of the most commercially successful tracks of 2013, Pharrell brought something new to the table with his dreamy-style pop.

Although some argue that Robin Thicke kept full control when creating the album, the track itself was the pure brilliance of Pharrell. His hip-rocking beats add a signature to the tracks which easily characterizes his style. His primary vocals on “Get Lucky” were a supplement to the funk sound that simply made the song whole. With “Get Lucky” and “Blurred Lines” being two very likely candidates for Record of the Year, I felt a small shout-out to Pharrell Williams was appropriate.  

Now, to move on to new artists that have made a bang with their entrance to the music business. It is only right for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis to take this one home, boys and girls. The success of producing a jazzy and aurally seductive track about thrift shopping is enough to qualify the group as Best New Artist. The combination of the song’s aggressive lyrics on same-sex marriage and Mary Lambert’s even stronger vocals make “Same Love” a strong candidate for Song of the Year. Overall, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have entered the music scene roaring, letting everyone know of their presence, and their road is looking up from here on out. 

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An artist that needs to be mentioned is the 17-year-old Lorde and her record “Royals.” As co-writer of her most-listened to hit track “Royals,” Lorde is definitely a worthy runner for Song of the Year due to her raw emotion-filled lyrics about her humble upbringing and her general lack of attraction toward the lavish-filled lives of successful musicians. 

In addition to all these new artists, we also see Kendrick Lamar’s “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City” up for Best Album of the Year and Lamar himself for Best New Artist. Although I don’t usually listen to traditional mainstream rap, like Nicki or Drake, there is nothing traditional about Lamar. With the combination of his soft vocals, bluesy-type slurred beats and various string samplings, his music comes off as nothing short of sultry. 

This year’s new artists have hit the scene leaving their listeners with a nothing-but-pleasant aftertaste. It is also apparent that tracks like “Get Lucky,” “Blurred Lines” and “Same Love” will remain as many listeners’ favorites because of either their musical or lyrical revolt. 

Alex is a freshman in LAS. He can be reached at [email protected].