Thursday, March 25, 2021

The Grammys 2021: Wow, that was actually really good?

The Grammys, one of the biggest nights in the music industry, ditched its typical award show aesthetic and went for a more intimate approach; one that actually seemed to focus on the musicians and their music. With performances from the likes of Harry Styles, Haim and Black Pumas, the award show showcased a range of genres, highlighting the sheer breadth of talent this industry has to offer. Tributes were also paid to Little Richard, Kenny Rogers, John Prine and Gerry Marsden; legendary musicians who paved the way for today's artists and their music.

For me, Harry Styles was one of the main standouts of the night. Everything from his outfits to his performance were compelling and exciting. He, of course, won Best Pop Solo Performance for Watermelon Sugar, although he was up against some respectively amazing musicians. Fine Line, his latest album, shows an elevation in his style and it offers a mix of genres that work to suit every emotion. Building upon themes already explored in his first album, Styles’ journey toward a more authentic sense of identity is abundantly clear, with the artist evidently remaining true to himself in the process. I’m intrigued to see where he goes from here. By the sounds of things, his leather suit was an indicator of a possible rock album - but we’ll see. 

Beyonce was the artist to take home the most Grammys of the night winning: Best Music Video, Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance and Best R&B Performance, taking her total number of awards up to 28. Her song Black Parade was released on Juneteenth last year as a celebration of black power and resilience. Beyonce’s music looks to uplift and inspire all of those who feel marginalised by society. This feels especially important in today's social climate. Beyonce was also part of another great moment in Grammy history, owing to her collaboration with Best Rap Song winner Megan Thee Stallion - the first woman to take home this prodigious award. It is so inspiring to see such talented women winning these awards, especially in an industry that has been male dominated for so long.

Billie Eilish won two awards, Record of the Year and Best Song Written for Visual Media, taking her up to seven grammy wins in total. Eilish has quickly become an inspiration for young adults around the world, proving what you can achieve as a young woman in this industry. Her songs are written with such maturity that she has broken away from the image of a stereotypical teen idol, and created a world that is truly original to her. For that I applaud her.

The Strokes won Best Rock Album for The New Abnormal, one of my favourite releases of 2020. After a long seven years since the release of their last album, The New Abnormal reminds us of how great The Strokes really are. Being a band who seemingly do not strive to meet any expectations, their catchy guitar riffs, injected with doses of disco and synth, provided the audience with a comforting and typically Strokes’ sound. I, for one, really enjoy the direction they’re heading in and can’t wait to see where they go.

Overall, the Grammys was a successful night, showcasing all that the music industry has to offer. I do hope that they continue to work on their inclusivity and diversity - something I believe the industry as a whole need to work on. I also think award shows like this are needed to encourage young, aspiring musicians to take chances, as we are the ones who can strive for change.

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