The Grammy Awards are usually a night of glitz and glamour, a key diamond-studded fixture on the music calendar.
This year, however, is a little different. The impact of the pandemic will be felt across the ceremony, which takes place this evening (March 14th).
Could this be a year for upsets? After all, there's been no bigger shock than COVID, and it would appropriate for the Grammys to open up their trophy cabinet to the left-field.
So, here's five potential upsets…
– – –
Album Of The Year – Dua Lipa – 'Future Nostalgia'
The biggie. The capo di tutti capo of the Grammy awards. The biggest of the Big Four categories, Album Of The Year finds Taylor Swift (who, let's be honest, will probably win here) doing battle against HAIM, Post Malone, and – implausibly – Black Pumas.
Wouldn't it be great to see Dua Lipa recognise, though? Second album 'Future Nostalgia' is a staggering pop record, one whose bold energy helped us get through Lockdown Two (and Lockdown Three, if we're honest).
Following her viral Rolling Stone cover, Dua's victory would cement her Stateside love affair – we'd love to see it happen.
– – –
Best Dance/Electronic Album – Arca – 'KiCk I'
The Grammys have never quite been sure what to do with electronic music. Despite the United States birthing house and techno, this category has often by the scene of huge misfires, excluding the largely Black, often LGBT+ innovators from the mainstream.
Disclosure and Kaytranada cross swords this year, but avant garde voice Arca could be able to cause an upset. 'KiCk I' is a terrific, bold, uncategorisable piece of work, the kind of shattering, genre-less creativity that these awards ceremonies should be platforming.
Will it happen? In truth, Arca is perhaps a little too left-field for the Grammy awards… but we live in hope.
– – –
Producer of the Year, Non-Classical – Flying Lotus
Producer of the Year tends to be an acknowledgment of commercial clout, hence Flying Lotus duelling alongside Billboard big-hitters such as Jack Antonoff in this category.
In terms of sheer creativity, however, FlyLo should be a shoe-in – from left-field hip-hop bumpers through to free jazz via his very own gross-out motion picture, Steve Ellison has kept up riveted for over a decade now.
Nominated for his role on Thundercat's none-more-funky 'It Is What It Is', Flying Lotus could yet get his moment in the spotlight.
– – –
Song Of The Year – Beyoncé – 'Black Parade'
Beyoncé is obviously the big winner in this category. Not only is she nominated for her own 'Black Parade', but Bey also appears on the phenomenal, internet-shattering 'Savage Remix'.
We're highlighting a side figure, here, though – JAY-Z is listed as co-writer on 'Black Parade' and should the song win it would represent 22-time winner Hove's first ever spot in the Big Four.
– – –
Best Rock Album – Fontaines D.C. 'A Hero's Death'
This year's shortlist for Best Rock Album is a mixed bag of bizarre treat. For one, the none-more-soulful Michael Kiwanuka makes an appearance with album 'KIWANUKA'. Brilliant? Absolutely. Rock? Absolutely not.
We'd love to see Fontaines D.C. waltz away with the Grammy – Irish music's ongoing creative surge is making international headlines, with phenomenal bands seeming to cross the Irish Sea on a near weekly basis.
Second album 'A Hero's Death' was a stirring, blunt, addictive listen, one that pushed their skewed poetry and post-punk songwriting to a new level, alongside some fantastic production from Dan Carey.
– – –
Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.