The Recording Academy, those behind the production of the Grammy Awards, have been doing some retooling recently as they attempt to update their awarding and voting process.
The Recording Academy released its annual alterations to the Grammy’s rules and regulations today (Jun. 14), and the new changes have created a great opportunity for songwriters. The new rules allow for a songwriter to receive an “Album of the Year” Grammy Award if they have contributed to writing 1 of every 3 songs on the album.
This is big news for songwriters because the highly coveted “Album of the Year” award did not include them in the group of award recipients. This was the case for every year since the beginning of the Grammy’s and it excluded a large group of creatives who were responsible for a lot of important aspects of an album.
Additionally, it has been revealed that the Grammy’s voting process will be changed to an online system, rather than the mail-in-ballot system that was previously mandatory. This will create more flexibility for the large amounts of artists who were not able to vote on the music because they constantly tour around the world with no fixed address. The online voting process will also allow streaming of the nominated music directly from the voting page.
The Recording Academy’s Vice President of Awards, Bill Friemuth, according to BuzzFeed News, said, “We hope that our nominations will better represent the entire community of music makers, especially if there’s a particular segment that we’ve been missing… There may be certain genres within our awards categories where the demographic that tends to participate in making that particular music might be more tech savvy in general or might have more of a mobile lifestyle than certain other genres, and we think this might appeal to those folks… We want people to be voting based on the quality of the music, not how many times they’ve streamed it or heard it on the radio… If a lot of really great artists and producers and engineers and songwriters in the world are choosing not to participate, then our awards are gonna reflect that… We’re doing everything we can to make the process as seamless and as fair and have as much integrity as possible.”
Despite these improvements, many still believe the Grammy’s need to do more. Shawn Holiday, a member of Recording Academy’s voting and an A&R for Sony/ATV and Columbia records, said “The youth — artists like Travis Scott, Future, Migos — they want nothing to do with the Grammy process because they feel like it’s old and outdated… I don’t think the Grammys are always in touch with the people who are really close to the culture and touching the music… And I can say that because I’m in those committees and I see the people that they bring.”