Grammys 2015

music, music business, music industry

So we didn’t do too badly, 3 out of 6 correct predictions for us. We’re not as upset as Kanye about who we thought was going to win though!

It’s a shame that the main talking point after the show is Kanye’s verdict on the Album of The Year award going to Beck (he felt Beyoncé should have won it). At the end of the day, the Grammys, like any award show, is voted for by a bunch of people that belong to whichever association is holding the awards show. This makes it a popularity contest. No one is entitled to walk away with an award, sure it’s a great honor to win a Grammy and most musicians will tell you they’d love to have one, but it’s not the be all and end all. Musicians are rewarded by their fans showing up to concerts, consuming their music, following them on social media and buying products that they are paid to endorse. Being recognized by your peers goes way beyond any award could, can anyone honestly say Sam Smith had a better year than someone like Ed Sheeran? No! They both had great years in their own rights, it’s all relative, just because Ed didn’t win doesn’t mean he deserves less recognition. You could have the biggest song in the world for months and still not get recognized by the Grammys (look at artists like Nico & Vinz) and that’s ok, those artists are doing just fine. It’s so unfortunate that when you win a category and manage to beat out such huge stars as Beyoncé to an award that it gets overshadowed by someone else’s behavior. Beck has been around a long time and is a huge talent, if anything it could be argued that he deserves the global recognition a Grammy gives more than someone like Beyoncé because he isn’t as well known (we’re not arguing this ourselves, just making a point).

There are millions of musicians around the world that don’t get paid anywhere near enough to make a living that have the same amount, if not more, talent than the stars gathered in LA for the Grammys this weekend. It would be a good reminder for any artist getting upset about the result of an award show to think about those people who are hustling for their lives trying to make it but just don’t get the exposure. Crying over awards is not befitting of someone who has made millions upon millions of dollars by going on global tours and distributing their music worldwide. We love Kanye and the fresh approach he brings to music but c’mon dude, really?! We’d love the success he’s had, Grammy or no Grammy (though if anyone from the Grammy association is reading this, please don’t hesitate to vote for us should we ever be nominated, we’d love to win one!).

As for the show, if you didn’t watch it- you didn’t miss much. It all felt a little flat this year. A big highlight was the President’s PSA about domestic violence and sexual assault and the powerful speech from a former victim that preceded Katy Perry’s touching song on the subject. That’s what music is about, using its global reach to spread positive messages, not bitching about who won and who didn’t.

Til next year, thank you Grammys for giving us an evening to see old friends (either there or on TV) and performers that haven’t been in the limelight for a while. Congrats to all the winners and if we get our act together, maybe we’ll see you there in 2016.

-HS

HeatSeekerz Grammy Predictions

music, music business, music industry

The Grammys are upon us. Which means it’s another year passing by since 2009 where we’ve been saying we’ll go back and forget to get organized in time. The Grammys are prestigious, their relevancy are often brought into question, with some validation, but everyone wants to win a Grammy!

We thought we’d have a bit of fun and predict a few of the pop awards. It’s worth noting these aren’t who we want to see win but who we think will be voted for the most in each category.

We’ll check back in tomorrow and talk about the show and see how many predictions we got wrong!

Check out our predictions below:

Record Of The Year:-

Fancy-Iggy Azalea Featuring Charli XCX

Chandelier- Sia

Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)- Sam Smith

Shake It Off- Taylor Swift

All About That Bass- Meghan Trainor

HS Prediction- Stay With Me- Sam Smith

This one is a tough one but Sam Smith’s record stands out because it’s so different from the others. All 5 are huge records in their own right but Smith should walk away with this one. Quick shout out to our girl Charli XCX representing Sesac!

Album Of The Year:-

Morning Phase — Beck

Beyoncé — Beyoncé

X — Ed Sheeran

In The Lonely Hour — Sam Smith

Girl — Pharrell Williams

HS Prediction- X- Ed Sheeran

In terms of a whole body of work and Ed Sheeran’s second album is consistent throughout and a very unique album.

Song Of The Year:-

All About That Bass- Meghan Trainor

Chandelier- Sia

Shake It Off- Taylor Swift

Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)- Sam Smith

Take Me To Church- Hozier

HS Prediction:- Stay With Me- Sam Smith

This award differs from Record Of The Year because it is decided by the actual song, taking away the production and just focussing on the lyrics and the music. We have to go with Stay With Me again although All About That Bass might pip it due to its great message.

Best New Artist:-

Iggy Azalea

Bastille

Brandy Clark

Haim

Sam Smith

HS Prediction:- Sam Smith

This one will be close between Smith and Iggy. Both made a big impact on music this year but with so many nominations it’s hard to see Smith missing out on this award.

Best Pop Solo Performance:-

All Of Me (Live)- John Legend

Chandelier-Sia

Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)- Sam Smith

Shake It Off- Taylor Swift

Happy (Live)- Pharrell Williams

HS Prediction:- All of Me- John Legend

This one is another tough one but John’s single really stands out when it comes on the radio. We love Sia’s performance on Chandelier though. She can hit them high notes!

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:-

Fancy- Iggy Azalea Featuring Charli XCX

A Sky Full Of Stars- Coldplay

Say Something- A Great Big World With Christina Aguilera

Bang Bang- Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj

Dark Horse- Katy Perry Featuring Juicy J

HS Prediction- Fancy- Iggy Azalea feat Charli XCX

We figure Iggy will win this one after missing out on other nominations. We’d love to see Bang Bang get one too in this category.

-HS

Follow Up Friday- Sam Smith/Tom Petty

music, music business, music industry

On Monday we discussed how songwriters can accidentally use other people’s melodies without realizing, seemingly happening with Sam Smith’s hit “Stay With Me” sounding a little to similar to Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down”.

Today we came across a statement on the Smith/Petty situation from Tom Petty himself where he called the whole incident “a musical accident no more no less“. It was great to hear him talking of how easily the problem was resolved and that he had never considered taking it to court, as was initially suggested by reports. Petty echoed what we had mentioned in our piece about how easy it is to write a song with unintentionally borrowed melodies,

All my years of songwriting have shown me these things can happen.  Most times you catch it before it gets out the studio door but in this case it got by. Sam’s people were very understanding of our predicament and we easily came to an agreement.”

Again we commend both parties for putting the music first! For Petty’s full statement head over to Billboard.

Have a great weekend!

-HS

Music Monday- Sam Smith/Tom Petty

music, music business, music industry

It was announced today that Sam Smith has added Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne to the writing credits of his smash hit “Stay With Me” after Petty’s camp felt there was a similarity to Petty’s song “I Won’t Back Down”. Billboard

We give Smith & co huge props for doing this as they quite easily could have taken it to court and may have won. This move suggests that the music comes before riches for the British singer, a refreshing thing. He just wanted the song to be successful and after he acknowledged there were (unintended) similarities with Petty’s song, Smith and his representatives worked it all out behind the scenes and gave Petty and Lynne a 12.5% cut in the writers royalties (probably amounting to at least upper 6 figures).

Things like this happen all the time in songwriting, we’re always catching each other accidentally stealing melodies from others’ songs. Often it’ll be a song that’s not familiar to the offending writer, they may have heard it in passing and it stuck with them, sometimes for years, before manifesting in a ‘new’ melody. The typical thing would be to change a note or two, go up where the original melody goes down and you’re no longer infringing on any copyrighted material. It’s a bit of a gray area for musicians as there are only so many chord progressions or notes in a scale. Eventually, as a writer, you will accidentally ‘steal’ other people’s melodies and pass them off as your own. Sometimes it may hit you hours, days or months after perfecting a song that you’ve done it and you kick yourself for spending so much time on it only to have to change it or scrap it all together.

Other times a writer may deliberately choose to use someone else’s melody because it either inspired the rest of the song that now doesn’t sound the same without it, or because of the familiarity it brings. If a listener already knows a melody and likes it, they’ll be more drawn to the new song that incorporates it. You hear it all the time on radio, seemingly pointless uses of instrumental or vocal melodies get thrown into songs to make it catch a listener’s ear. Pitbull is a great example of this, melodies in his music are often borrowed (legally) to encourage fans from other demographics to become fans of his songs because of that initial familiar melody that they loved.

We feel for Sam Smith and the other writers as a song becomes your baby and now they have to share theirs with two other people. It’s highly unlikely that they were aware of the similarities in the songs but in all fairness the same copyright laws protecting Petty will also prevent others from using “Stay With Me” to make money without rewarding Smith.

It’s great to see musicians working this stuff out behind closed doors and out of the public domain, there is no need to tarnish a successful song by dragging it through court. Well played to all involved and music, this time, is the winner.