The past couple years the Grammy’s to me have been lackluster. When you witness greatness and talent at it’s best, you’re supposed to admire the fact that their dreams have come true because you feel that they are deserving. That admiration along with the realization that someones dreams that they wished for their entire lives was coming true in front of your eyes, typically creates a sensation that gives us the chills. And the Grammy’s— for an artist, is the epitome of a dream coming true. The depth of what such an acknowledgement signifies to many of these artists is beyond comprehension. Because a true artist, for their entire life was ridiculed, mocked and deemed an outcast. In most instances they were judged and not in a way that they’d approve of. But, winning or even being nominated for a Grammy signifies that not only has your gift been acknowledged, but it was done so with critically acclaimed judgement by individuals who actually appreciated the very same attributes that were one day the reasoning behind such rejection. For a while, I would no longer get the chills when watching the Grammy’s and the reason for that was because everything that was being presented, the production as a whole just left me questioning whether or not the artists were deserving of the acknowledgement. 

But, last night that changed and it did so in incredible fashion that left me proud to not only be a listener of music but to have witnessed dreams come true. And what makes me happier was that this was orchestrated by the producers which means to me that they’re acknowledging it’s time to shake up and change the industry.

How was it orchestrated?

Dress code to emphasize the importance of classy attire. Justin Bieber received the snub. No Lil Wayne in sight. No overly produced, forced performance by Nicki Minaj. And please don’t take that as me hating— these individuals are talented in their own ways, but there is a difference between a performer and an artist.

An artist can be a performer. However, a performer cannot be an artist.

A performer is likely someone whose identity has been pieced together through corporatism. An artist is someone whose identity was pieced together through self expression, which instead of being shaped by executives in a shirt and tie was shaped through the feeling of being rejected and creating something that makes them feel good to compensate for such rejection. An artist relies on their craft to escape from the suppressing wraths of the world and enter a place of utopia. An artists final piece of work is the result of organic self expression, whereas a performers final piece of work in the result of catering to the decision makers— record execs. A performer relies heavily on the exposure from the press therefore take time to artificially produce story lines whereas an artist places entire emphasis on the importance of the quality of their work and allow that to do the talking for them. 

Creativity is not something that can be manipulated and when it is the final product is something that leaves us questioning the legitimacy of one’s talent and whether or not they are deserving of the successes that ensued. That’s when the fans stop listening and artists no longer put as much love into their work which further pushes the industry in the wrong direction by the standards being lowered.

Last night, their intent was blatant to create a higher standard and raise the bar for what is expected from an artist for them to be critically acclaimed and be deemed world class at their art. If you happened to tune in you were blown away by the talent that was on display. Not at one point did I find myself questioning whether or not an artist was deserving because what we witnessed was talent at a world class level and it’s likely if you are an aspiring artist and watched the Grammy’s last night you probably felt like shit afterwards. That’s ok. That means the standard was just successfully raised and if you are truthfully after greatness and believe you are capable— you will raise your level of play as well. Which means the industry as a whole benefits because everyone is being inspired by something that seems so much greater than themselves.

Last night I was left feeling that music is alive and quite possibly the most important aspect that I was able to draw was this:

On the industries grandest stage— by acknowledging the artists that they did and the performances that went down, signalled to me that they are encouraging artistry through self expression. Encouraging artistry through self expression will ultimately relieve record execs of some power by placing it where it belongs— the artist. 

This shift of power from the record execs to the artist was something that was ushered in by the internet which many industry executives to this day still fight against. 

So, to me, last night was proof that the industry is beginning to accept the realities of what the internet is doing, which hopefully means it will now begin to evolve more organically and the talent that deserves recognition— is going to get it.

We’ve just witnessed a culture shift and the only way the Grammy’s could have been any better would be if Flo Rida’s invitation was given to Macklemore.

Maybe next year.