Editorial

Will Beyoncé Be The Next Big EDM Superstar? The Grammys Seem To Think So

Beyonce Wins Dance/Electronic Album Grammy

So there is good news and bad news. The bad news is electronic dance music producers were (yet again) disregarded at the 65th annual Grammys, but the good news is we should expect to see Beyoncé headlining EDC this year!

On February 5th 2023, dance music lovers across the globe shared mixed reactions after Queen Bey won both of the Grammys in the Dance/Electronic music category. I know I was definitely let down when the pop, wait… R&B, wait… dance music superstar (??) won against producers Bonobo, Diplo, David Guetta, Kaytranada, RÜFÜS DU SOL, and ODESZA.

Our collective confusion surely stemmed from the fact that while the other artists nominated for these awards have been contributing to Dance/Electronic music their entire careers, Beyoncé hasn’t really actively taken part in the culture.

Renaissance won Best Dance/Electronic album, but Bey also won best R&B song this year for “Cuff It” which is from the same album… seems a bit confusing, no? I’d be curious to find out how that made sense when the Grammy voting members were making their decisions.

This is in no way hating on Beyoncé whatsoever. She has shown her appreciation and respect to the genre on multiple occasions, by including dance music legends like Honey Dijon in the album’s production and paying respect to the queer community in her acceptance speech for their vital role in pioneering the genre.

Additionally, Bey’s record-breaking win happened to be the first time the genre has been broadcasted on the Grammys telecast, as each year prior the dance/electronic awards were given during the pre-ceremony. It is widely agreed that this win has put the genre in a global spotlight, making a positive stride for electronic music at large.

Yet ultimately, the Grammy’s has been a sore subject for the electronic music fan base for years. While the genre has been evolving and growing since the dance/electronic music categories were instituted (the best dance recording category was created in 1998 and the best dance/electronic album category was instituted in 2005), we keep seeing the same names being nominated for Grammys year after year.

The Chemical Brothers have had five nominations and two wins for best recording, as well as six nominations and three wins for best album.

Following closely behind by Skrillex, who has had three nominations and three wins for best album, along with four nominations and three wins for best recording. A similar trend is seen among other artists such as Diplo, Daft Punk, Bonobo, and David Guetta.

It seems like the voting members of NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) are the music world’s version of the well-meaning but ultimately oblivious family member—the one who adds their two cents about your love life during a holiday dinner.

I am sure it’s a positive gesture to acknowledge dance/electronic music as a category, but isn’t it more damaging to poorly represent the genre as a whole?

Why are the artists getting the nominations only the artists everyone knows? These people voting in the Recording Academy are all members of the music industry, right? Why are their tastes so limited?

Are they just being bought off by major labels to give their artists the awards and thus burnish the label’s reputation? Cause pretty much anyone who goes to a rave has more knowledge of electronic music talent than what the Grammys are pushing.

Besides, if overall fame and influence is the main factor, what about artists like Excision who has built an international community around his music?

At the end of the day, it is not reasonable to think that a panel of 350 music “experts” can adequately judge the best music of the year without bias while taking into account the public’s opinion. The Grammy’s has always been made by the 1% for the 1%.

Maybe we should create our own awards ceremony specifically geared towards electronic music? Influenced by listeners’ votes? Maybe I’m onto something here…

Written by
Merinah Buller

Hi i'm Merinah! Electronic music has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. I was raised in a household that pumped techno daily, which is where my love for EDM began. Now, I am a lover of techno, house, DnB, bass music and everything in between. I hope to share that passion with all of you!

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