Second-guessing the Grammys: SCAD students vote for Album of the Year
By Manseen Logan, contributor
On Sunday, Feb. 15, Taylor Swift won the Album of the Year Grammy Award for her latest album, “1989.” Once again, she has made history. Swift’s first win in 2010 for her second album, “Fearless,” made her the youngest recording artist to win the Album of the Year award, and now she is the only female recording artist to earn two Album of the Year awards for her own albums (other female recording artists have won multiple Album of the Year awards as producers and featured artists).
Other Album of the Year nominees were The Weeknd’s “Beauty Behind the Madness,” Chris Stapleton’s “Traveller,” Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly” and Alabama Shakes’ “Sound & Color.” Nominees do not win based on album sales or commercial popularity. Instead, eligible members of the Recording Academy nominate and vote for the winners each year. This process creates a diverse collection of Album of the Year nominees, which introduces some music lovers to new artists and albums. Beck, Pharrell, Mumford & Sons and Adele have all taken the Album of the Year award home in the past.
Despite the Recording Academy’s open and honest voting process, there are always going to be a mixture of listeners that agree and disagree with the results. According to a poll in a SCAD Atlanta student Facebook group with more than 2,000 members, Swift’s “1989” album was the second choice for Album of the Year. “Taylor Swift sings a lot about love, but I don’t relate to her music,” said fourth-year fashion marketing student Kadesh Wyche. “I prefer Kendrick Lamar or The Weeknd’s album because I relate more to the content.”
Admittedly, Wyche did not watch the 58th Annual Grammy Awards — neither did 86% of the students who took the online survey. Also, like most of the SCAD students polled, Wyche was not familiar with all of the nominees. “To Pimp a Butterfly” was the most familiar and popular choice for Album of the Year with 58% of the SCAD student poll votes. “Kendrick Lamar has popular lyrics,” fourth-year visual effects student Mohamed Echkouna noted.
With 24 students from the SCAD Atlanta Facebook group responding to the survey, each Album of the Year nominee received at least one vote. The diverse student body clearly is not fixated on what is popular (like Taylor Swift) or who the recording professionals deem award-worthy. SCAD Atlanta students like what they like, regardless of which artists these awards shows choose to recognize.
Check out the full student poll results below.