The Grammy Nominees for Best New Artist – A Review

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Coverage of the nominees for the many awards being offered this year at the Grammy’s has kept at a slow crawl. While many are hoping for Beyonce’s well-received Lemonade to receive the awards it deserves, others are cheering on the new artists for recognition and fame. The nominees for the Best New Artist include: Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris, The Chainsmokers, Chance The Rapper, and Anderson Paak.

Kelsea Ballerini
Kelsea Ballerini is a country-pop artist on the rise, and appears to appeal to a wide variety of fans in and even out of the genre. Much of her music is catchy, even repetitive (the pop aspect) and twangy (the country aspect), fitting for a romantic comedy soundtrack.
Some of her music videos feature a more indie and pop-inspired look while featuring unexpected country tracks, such as her songs “Yeah Boy” and “Peter Pan.” At first glance, they appear to be generic pop songs, but quickly become more country-centric with aspects of pop filled in.

Kelsea Ballerini – Yeah Boy

Maren Morris
In a similar genre to her fellow nominee Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris offers a more country-infused take on country-pop with songs like “My Church” and “I Wish I Was.” Many of her lyrics are appealing to the average country lover, seen throughout her album, Hero, but makes it more realistic with lyrics like, “I’m not the hero in the story…’Cause you’re looking for true love, And I’m not the one, But I wish, but I wish I was.” Like Ballerini, some of her songs’ music videos, such as “80s Mercedes,” appear to look more-pop inspired, rather than country, but rather than greeted with an unexpected surprise, she features more pop-inspired songs.

Maren Morris – 80s Mercedes

The Chainsmokers
As one of the more well-known artists, the Chainsmokers are a duo consisting of Drew Taggart and Alex Pall. As EDM/house DJs, they collaborate with many artists to create flowy, repetitive tracks that appeal to a younger generation.
Lately, they’ve received a lot of attention with their latest EP Collage, with their five tracks “Setting Fires,” “All We Know,” “Closer,” “Inside Out,” and “Don’t Let Me Down” garnering praise from audiences worldwide—even peaking top tens and a number one.

The Chainsmokers – Closer ft. Halsey

Most of their songs are easy to understand, with lyrics mostly on struggling relationships and loving. Taggart’s songwriting and the duo’s instrumentals combine to create songs that are easy to listen and sing along to, phrases like “we ain’t ever getting older,” are easily stuck in your head. Other lyrics such as, “So, baby, pull me closer, in the backseat of your Rover, that I know you can’t afford, bite that tattoo on your shoulder” being repeated can even add more meaning to the song itself. As talented artists, they’re definitely ones to check out, and are a great start into EDM and house music.

Chance The Rapper
Chance The Rapper, as homonymous with his name, is one of two hip-hop artists nominated for the award. His latest mixtape, Coloring Book, is a kind of Christian “gospel”/soulful hip hop combination—a kind of mixtape that, while relatable more to those that practice Christianity, manages to appeal to a wider audience due to its flowy artistry. Songs like, “All We Got,” “D.R.A.M. Sings Special,” “Smoke Break,” and, “Finish Line/Drown” are all catchy and atmospheric—easy to hum or “doot-doot-doot-doot” along to.

Chance The Rapper – Finish Line/Down

Even if soul and gospel themes in music aren’t the first you’d turn to, Chance’s Coloring Book and even earlier mixtape, Acid Rap, are worth a listen—his energy he brings into his music is worth it alone.

Anderson .Paak
The second hip-hop artist, Anderson .Paak, takes more R&B and funk to contribute to a different kind of soul music. His second studio album, Malibu, also nominated for Best Urban Contemporary Album, is an album that’s able to be atmospheric with meaningful, easy-flowing lyrics, such as “Couldn’t fake it if I wanted to, I had to wake up just to make it through, I got my patience and I’m making do,” from his song, “The Bird.” His songs even tend to establish more meanings with its samples, such as “Without Me”’s sample of Hiatus Kaiyote. In it, the sample serves to add in more meaning from a song describing Paak’s love for the girl to describing her from a song of a breakup, where Hiatus Kaiyote’s singer describes the person as, “Porcelain smolder and…[ state of the art], Buried deep in the soil, selfless or daft.”

Anderson Paak – Without You (feat. Rapsody)

Hiatus Kaiyote – Molasses

You can tune into the Grammy Awards ceremony—and hopefully some of the new artists— on February 12, 2017.

Cover Photo // Wiki Commons // With Permission