Veteran pop singer-songwriter Autumn Rowe recalls how she “smiled all day” when the Recording Academy announced the addition of a songwriter, non-classical award in June. While producers have been honored with their own Producer of the Year category dating back to 1975, recognition for their full year’s work for songwriters had not yet been seen in the Grammys’ 65-year history—and it’s an important The music industry is happening on time.
“Songwriters are at a critical point where we’re working harder than ever and being given less and less importance when it comes to monetization,” says Rowe, winning Jon Battist, an album of the year, at the 2022 Grammys. Thank you for your contribution to. it is us, “While this award will soon be appreciated, it is also the right time to some extent – we need to rally behind everyone and advocate for the value we bring.”
The urgency of the category’s introduction is understood by both the Academy’s new songwriters and the President of the Musicians Wing, Evan Bogart, who helped lead the charge in drafting the proposal for the new award and ensuring it is passed – and the Academy’s CEO, Harvey. by Mason Jr. Who was also a successful lyricist earlier in his career. “It’s something I’ve been in the Academy for as long as I can remember – ‘acknowledging the craft of songwriting’ – [which is] Obviously part of the basis of our entire music ecosystem,” Mason says.
The Academy has long acknowledged songwriters through trophies for song-award categories, including Best Rock Song, Best Rap Song and, of course, All-Genre Song of the Year for Musicians. In 2018, songwriters from the nominated albums for Album of the Year were also added as honors if they contributed at least 33% of the project’s playing time, with an extension to the 2022 ceremony. so that each credited songwriter of the new material on the album could be included. ,
So far, Mason and Bogart (who are also Grammy-winning songwriters and CEO of independent publisher Seeker Music) say the songwriter community has welcomed the award with overwhelming enthusiasm and positivity. But it’s possible that some songwriters whose roles aren’t entirely (or even primarily) focused on their writing may have mixed feelings when reading the fine print of the award.
To qualify, writers must have “written at least five songs in which they are ‘only’ credited as songwriters or co-writers” – further explaining that “songs in which the songwriter is primarily or featured The performing artist was also credited as a producer. Or any other supporting role is not eligible to receive the minimum song limit for consideration.” (If writers have enough compositions to meet the threshold, they may submit an additional four songs for consideration in which they were credited as producers or performers.)
In other words, songwriters who perform the most compositions, such as Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Drake, will not be eligible for the award unless they have a minimum of five external contributions to other artists. Similarly, writers who often create most of their compositions – such as Jack Antonoff, Dan Negro or Lin-Manuel Miranda – may also be disqualified unless they have five songs for which they wrote, But didn’t build on it.
Bogart explains that the award was designed in such a way as to ensure that the honors remained focused on songwriting and to prevent big hybrid names from otherwise dominating the category. “We were able to strike the right balance and tone between people who are professional songwriters who wake up every day and think about creating songs for artists, not just a producer or artist to win it over. and create rewards,” he says. “We really wanted to honor the people that the songwriting community at large will look up to as the first songwriters.”
However, some writers are not sure that this is a realistic view of their role in the current industry. “It sounds like a pretty old-fashioned way of thinking,” says country songwriter-producer Shane McAnally, one of Nashville’s major hitmakers for more than a decade. “That to be recognized as a true lyricist, you must sit down with a pen and paper and a single instrument, somewhere without ‘writing’ a song technique or without artist influence. But the point is, now the songs There are no records like that.”
The award can also present a challenge to Grammy audiences, who may not be immediately familiar with the merits of the award and may end up incredulously on their favorite artist – or that artist’s most regular collaborators – who may be left out. Used to be. “The nominees would come up and there would be some obvious omission and people would go, ‘Why wasn’t Brandi Carlyle nominated?’ McAnally says. Mason says the Academy is aware of these concerns: “It’s something we’ll be working on with our Comes team and the awards team,” he says of making sure the awards show the right fit for the average viewer. message”.
Going forward, the Academy will be flexible about qualifications. “We want to serve people the way they feel right, not the way we feel right – and we are a membership organization,” Mason says. “If people feel like, ‘This needs to change,’ we’ll keep looking at it.”
Adds Rowe: “I don’t know who will be nominated for this first year of the award, but I can say I’m watching and rooting because it’s a win for all of us.”
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Reference from www.billboard.com