Ellie Goulding calls for transparency and questions what constitutes “value” when it comes to rewarding recognition in the music industry in her essay “The Beginning of a Conversation …” which was published Wednesday via Medium.
While the singer didn’t specifically mention the Grammys or the Recording Academy, her piece follows backlash from this year’s nominations by other artists including Halsey and The Weeknd. Goulding double sided LP, Brightest blue released over the summer, was excluded from nominations, as was The Weeknd After hours and Halsey’s Maniacal alongside songs from their respective albums. The Weeknd tweeted about his contempt: “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the transparency of the industry… ”, while Halsey called the Grammys process“ elusive ”and said“ it can often be about private behind-the-scenes performances, knowing the right people, doing campaign in the vineyard, with the right handshakes and “bribes”. “
During Goulding’s ten-year career, she was nominated for a Grammy in the Pop Solo Performance category for the 2016 “Love Me Like You Do” category.
In Goulding’s essay, she considers the external factors that can influence the rewards for their musical work and contrasts how other creative endeavors are recognized solely on their artistic merit. “I sit down and wonder when the industry stopped reflecting the impulses that drive us as musicians. I sit and wonder when factors like industry relations, internal politics and magazine covers started to pay off before the music itself, ”she writes. “I sit down and wonder how artists in other fields – fine art, dance, film – are identified and praised for their remarkable work, not because of their remarkable bodies or working relationships.
She expresses the joy she feels when her peers and friends are nominated, but also the disappointment when they are not recognized. “From my point of view, there is nothing greater than listening to a song or album that saved you, inspired you, evoked a deep emotion of a new kind… and then seeing it grab attention. and the price it deserves, ”she said. “At the same time, there is always an overwhelming and horrible feeling for my peers and friends who are not recognized, by the same system, for their work year after year despite the music that I and many others believe is founded – rupture.
“When this overwhelming feeling comes back every year, I turn to my loyal fans,” she continues. “Thanks to the love and continued support of these fans, along with a tremendous amount of luck, I have amassed what I consider to be outstanding work in this industry – in the form of multi-million dollar sales of albums, from several billion streams. and three platinum albums and hopefully many more. But – while it gives me so much to be positive about and, what is so important to me, a platform to make changes in this world – it still doesn’t qualify me, nor my peers with the same welcome. , for formal recognition of my industry. “
This leads to his last question to the music industry: “What makes an award worth?” This is not rhetoric; I would like to have an answer. I would like to know if what I have done throughout my career, and what so many other artists have done throughout theirs, receiving some level of critical reception, does not qualify for a sort of formal recognition, so what does that do?
She also wonders who makes the decisions to determine value. “There seems to be a greater lack of transparency in our industry’s nomination and voting process – maybe those who are familiar with the process can take advantage of it?”
She concludes by telling the music industry that “it’s time to have a broader discussion of where we’re going and how we recognize and reward those who are, frankly, the reason this industry exists in the first place. . ” Read Goulding’s full essay.