This year's Grammy nominations brought many upsets, including a notorious snub for Beliebers everywhere, but also many fresh faces. So who are these new nominees, and how'd they score the prestigious nod?
Of this year's many surprises and newcomers (Frank Ocean, The Lumineers, Alabama Shakes to name a few), by and large the nominees have some fantastic, well-produced records to back up their nominations. The same can't be said for Al Walser, the curious, mysterious addition to the Best Dance Recording category. Now, here's the thing. If you're not an avid follower of Electronic dance music, or if you've never heard of it in your life, you're still just as likely to have heard of Al Walser as the genre's most rabid fans. That's what makes this nomination such a shock.
So how did artists like Justin Bieber, with millions of adoring fans worldwide and countless records sold lose out on the nominations when this guy got one (for this song by the way)? The answer of course, is networking. See, Walser is a member of the Recording Academy (which you can join in exchange for money), and had access to their social networking site, which consists almost entirely of voting members. The final step was simply to spam them with his submission and wait. The Grammy voters, who much like your grandparents, have no real idea of what electronic dance music is, and were really just happy you called, rewarded his efforts with a nomination.
To be fair, not everyone is stunned by Walser's nomination. Namely, Walser himself. In an interview with MTV defending the selection, Walser stated that he's been a voting member for years, adding "there's nothing wrong with using the capabilities that you have, and just networking on an emotional level. And yes that can get you that far." And his nomination proves he's right. The nod should be a message to future nominees: if you want a Grammy, but aren't exactly the Adele of your generation, just pay the Recording Academy money to join their club and then hound them with your music. For years.
To see if Al wins, catch the 55th Annual Grammy Awards, live on CBS February 10th, 2013 at the Staples Center.