Grimes and the Juno Awards

The Juno Awards mean jack shit outside Canada, and even within Canada. I bet large numbers of Canadians have heard of the Grammys but not even heard of the Junos (as in- never heard the name "Juno" or think it's a place in Alaska- certainly never heard of the list of nominees), and I can assure you that nobody outside Canada gives a shit or has heard of the Junos. With the global "Canadian invasion" of all popular music genres going on lately, the Junos are even more irrelevant because of their traditional tendency to award mediocre acts just for happening to be Canadian (nobody outside Canada listens to things like the Tea Party). Since Canadian music is at an all time peak lately, the best and/or the biggest selling Canadian acts actually ARE receiving global attention, Grammy recognition or, for the type of acts the Grammys ignore, huge critical acclaim.

In fact- my prediction about the Grammys is that next year (when she will actually be eligible for the Grammys- if not the Junos) Grimes will in fact be nominated for something, but the only problem is which category is rather unclear. Unfortunately it is unlikely that she gets one of the "best producer" noms at the Grammys (which tend to go to long-established producers) but as long as AA continues to not be a very mainstream sales success, but still to receive social media attention and critical acclaim, I predict her to be nominated in either "Best Alternative Album" or "Best Dance Album" and maybe one song to be nominated for "Best Pop Song" (Kill v. Maim or California if that is a single) or "Best Rock Song" (Flesh). A nom for best collab (not sure if they'd put it under pop, R&B or rap- or maybe dance) is also possible for Venus Fly. It is even possible that a song (California? Flesh? or even Realiti?) might be nominated for Song/Record of the Year randomly, the way they've done with artists like Bon Iver who also were on independent labels and didn't receive a lot of mainstream radio play, but had major support within the industry. Grimes has that too. She is of course, a riskier artist, and more youthful in her image, so she may be much less appealing to the Grammys than Bon Iver- and I mean, let's recall the Grammys have even overlooked Feist, who was commercially popular globally- it is very hard to actually predict the Grammys (nor is there a clear history of overlooking female artists at the Grammys). That said, this year's Grammy noms are not exactly excluding Canada. And my personal prediction is that The Weeknd is going to win Album of the Year- Kendrick and Taylor will split the votes (anyone who thinks the Grammys will allow Kendrick's album to win is crazy) and Weeknd, weird as it would've sounded a few years ago, is the middle of the road compromise candidate accessible to all (his album is only half great- half of it sucks, including In the Night, which is the type of shit the Grammys like) and being Canadian helps with that. my view of the Canadian music takeover is that it also has a lot to do with problems in the US right now- Canada is suddenly idealized by everyone, right or left, black or white, we can all project whatever our idealized image is onto Canada- imagining it to be free of all the problems affecting the US. this encourages many listeners to prefer Canadian artists who are good over American artists who are good- the problem in the past has always been, the Canadian artists just weren't as good, with a few exceptions, so it took too much effort (which non Canadians were unwilling to do) to fantasize that the Canadians were equal to US and UK artists in the same genres- but now the Canadian artists are better or at least equal in almost every genre- and even when merely equal, they are preferred by Americans and American media increasingly (and I'm sure in Britain as well, which faces even more problems than the US right now), because we idealize Canada- and this also helps them become popular globally, since the global image of Canada is basically that it's identical to the US and UK except without the social problems (even if this is untrue), and, admittedly, colder.

Now there are certain artists whose careers may be struggling so much they need Junos to get any exposure, or veteran acts with limited commercial airplay like Buffy Ste. Marie who can benefit, but considering that- at least as much as the Grammys- the Juno selections are widely seen as not being about artistic merit, it isn't helpful to fashionable artists like Grimes who are already respected for artistic merit. Can it bump their sales up (among the older or middle aged Canadians who might watch the Junos and have no other awareness of music) in the very short term, if they perform on TV for the ceremony? Probably. And I totally think her point about producers is important, because these awards like Oscars, Grammys, Emmys and maybe even Junos are taken more seriously in the technical categories. Like everyone kind of knows whoever wins Best Actor at the Oscars was probably just the one who did the best campaign, but we tend to trust whoever won for best sound editing maybe deserved it more. (Maybe that's not true either- but most people pay so little attention to technical things that these awards may be their only awareness about that at all.) Likewise the Grammys are slightly more trusted in the Best Producer categories than in the Album of the Year one. (This may be less true in recent years however, given the Grammys' traditional bias against hip hop and dance music and the global dominance of hip hop and dance producers as not only artistic titans but pop stars and celebrities too- Kanye has not won a lot of Grammys for Best producer either- being both an artist, pop star and a producer is not something awards get- there is a real incestuous thing going on in some categories like that, or at the Oscars, best original score- Jonny Greenwood has never been nominated for original score at the Oscars, they always find excuses not to, because he's coming from- to them- the "pop" world- so he's regarded with suspicion, as not REALLY a soundtrack composer, even when his scores were universally acclaimed and were part of a movie the Oscars loved in general- I can imagine Grimes may be overlooked because she both produces and performs- like Ye, she does not fit the traditional, limited idea of what a producer is).

Anyway, at the end of the day, isn't the Polaris Prize the Canadian award that really matters? That one is broadcast on TV too right? In fact if Buffy is being Juno nominated at all, it is thanks to her winning that. And I wouldn't predict Grimes to win for sure (they often like to reward underdog or lesser known acts, like, less mainstream than Grimes- Tanya Tagaq for example) but she is sure to be nominated for that one at least, and she CAN win... (not sure she would actually want to win that one though, because it might be seen as taking away from the even more indie acts like Tagaq etc).

/r/Grimes Thread