It’s the end of the year, and that means one thing… OK, it means quite a few things. But in particular it means that Awards Season is almost upon us. The latest round of Grammy nominees are out, so let’s take a look at the “Best New Artists” in the music business.
After all, you might be one of them someday…
What The 2015 Grammy Noms Say About The Music Business Today
What makes Sam Smith’s background interesting is that how varied it is. He had experience in a youth gospel choir (which is certainly obvious from Stay With Me) but also spent time in jazz bands, as well as musical theater!
Lesson to learn: Keep expanding your range, and keep learning new styles. They’ll help you create a new “custom blend” for your audience.
2 – Iggy Azalea
Iggy Azalea is controversial and she was everywhere this year, including a high-profile homage to Bruce Lee and/or Quentin Tarantino. However, Iggy’s been at this awhile. Her first hit was a 2011 YouTube viral success known for, well, having an unprintable title among other things.
Lesson to learn: Don’t fear controversy. If it generates clicks, it’s probably good for your career.
3 – Bastille
Bastille is another “new” artist that’s been active for years. Personally, they’re also my own pick for best new act. The sound of Pompeii is like nothing else on the market. Trying to pick out all the genre influences would read like wine notes.
Lesson to learn: There’s an entire globe and a couple thousand years of music out there. ANY of it could be mixed into a totally new sound.
4 – HAIM
HAIM has a great gimmick: a three-sister band. Hey, it worked for Hanson, right? (ba-dum-ching) With an overall sound and soulful lead that harkens back to the best of the mid-80s, HAIM has a lot going for them. However, they wouldn’t be here without the festival circuit. They toured relentlessly, building a fan base the whole way.
Lesson to learn: Tour, tour, tour. Make those fans, and you’ll make it big.
5 – Brandy Clark
Clark is the only representative from country music this year, and also has the fewest existing hits/charts to her name. So she’s a long shot. However, what makes her career interesting is that she began specifically as a songwriter, and became known writing for LeAnn Rimes, Reba McEntire, Darius Rucker, and many others.
Lesson to learn: Collaborate! Writing a hit for someone else is a boost for your career too. (See also: Jessie J, who wrote Miley Cyrus’s massive “Party in the USA.”)
So, that’s our take. What do this year’s nominees tell you about the music business?