Epic takes on the Grammys


Graphic illustration by Jasmine Rihal

The Epic votes on their favorite Grammys picks.

Jasmine Rihal and Myles Kim

Since their creation in 1959, the Grammys have aimed to recognize impressive work in the music industry. The 2022 Grammys, with a whopping 86 award categories, has gained additional attention due to stars like Olivia Rodrigo, Silk Sonic and Jon Batiste who have created musical sensations to entertain their audiences and win. Diversity and inclusion also were of importance during the awards, with performances ranging from the K-Pop group BTS to Ukrainian Performers and Queer Artists like Lil Nas X.  

Of the 86 potential award categories that highlight the best the music industry has to offer, there are three subcategories: Special Awards, the General Field and Genre-specific awards. Genre-specific awards are separated by Genre and usually comprise 2-4 individual awards. For example, the awards for Pop include Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, whereas Dance/Electronic only has two awards: Best Dance/Electronic Recording and Best Dance/Electronic Album. The General Field is also known as the big four are the four standard awards not restricted by genre or other criteria, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist. The Genre Specific and General field awards require some sort of nomination and only apply to musical achievements within the past year, however, Special awards are awarded for achievements made before than the year before, and require no such nomination.

The Epic has conducted a vote to see which artists they think deserved to win the categories that were presented at the 2022 Grammys. Here is the list:

19-year-old pop star Olivia Rodrigo first gained popularity starring on Disney Channel in the show “Bizaardvark” and has hinted at her musical abilities singing in shows like “High School Musical the Musical the Series”. However, the release of her single “Drivers License” in January 2021, put her on the map as a talented lyricist and broke Spotify records, thus boosting her career. Her album “Sour” later came out on May 21, 2021 and blended musical styles such as pop-rock and alternative pop, appealing to younger audiences with strong themes of teenage angst and romantic misadventure. In addition, some of her popularity can be attributed to the use of her songs in Tiktok trends. “Sour” is a pop album that has a wide range of fast-paced songs like, “good 4 u” as well as more slow songs like “traitor”, making it widely appealing. 

After the awards ceremony, when Rodrigo was posing for photos in the winner’s room, she accidentally dropped one of her trophies and broke it apart. Luckily, an assistant was able to put it back together.  Many, including Generation Z, see Rodrigo as the face of the future of Pop music with her heartfelt and relatable lyrics. Although 2022 was her first time participating in the Grammy awards, she was nominated in seven categories and was able to win three of them: Best Pop Solo Performance, Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Album. 

Silk Sonic,  an R&B duo consisting of Bruno Mars and Andreson Paak, came together just recently in 2017. However, the duo has shown to be a musical powerhouse and has taken the industry by storm, being nominated for four Grammys in 2022.  The duo executed a clean sweep, carrying home the titles of Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance. They won in all four categories thanks to their hit song, “Leave The Door Open”. Both “Leave the Door Open” and “Skate” was also included in their most recent album, “An evening with Silk Sonic”.

Their album and songs have a mixture of slow and laid-back R&B rhythms with a modern funk flare. Mars’s voice is omnipresent throughout and is a welcome addition to many of the tracks. 

Jazz and R&B singer Jon Batiste, the composer of the soundtrack of the hit Disney animated film “Soul”, working on tracks such as “It’s All Right”, also went home with numerous Grammys all for his album “We Are”. Batiste has been nominated at the Grammys thrice before but never won any awards until this year. For the 2022 Grammys, Jon Batiste was nominated for 11 categories —  the most out of any artist participating. However, Batiste won four of his nominations: Best American Roots Performance, Best Music Video, Best American Roots Song, Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media and Album of the Year. 

Batiste’s album “We Are” merges together a mixture of traditional African-American Jazz and soul, with a modern touch, in addition to tracks like “Boy Hood” and “WHATCHUTALKINABOUT” leaning more heavily into Hip-Hop. The first track, “We Are” has a preachy gospel-like vibe, with a choir that echos to create an environment similar to a large church hall. A light sample of Piano Jazz is sprinkled throughout the record in addition to thumping bass and pulsating drums, giving the album a unique identity of modern soul and Jazz music, all while retaining Batiste’s signature voice.

Batiste, Slik Sonic and Rodrigo all are relative newcomers to the music industry but have been able to establish themselves as titans, all of them taking home numerous deserved Grammy awards. Their success points to the continued popularity of Pop and Hip-Hop, which has dominated the industry for decades. Overall, this year’s Grammys was characterized by diversity, rising stars and the highlighting of lesser known artists.