The 2019 Grammy Awards are just over two months away, on the 10th of February 2019, the Recording Academy announced the full list of nominees. on Friday the 7th of December 2018. And while some of the biggest artists today — like Lady Gaga, Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar, and Drake — earned multiple well-deserved acknowledgements, British acts didn’t fare so well.
The 2019 Grammy nominations have seen a strong showing for female and hip-hop artists, which suggest a renewed focus on diversity – but it’s a mediocre year for British acts. The 2019 Grammy nominations sees Jorja Smith and Dua Lipa, among a handful of others, flying the flag for Britain, with both women being nominated for best new artist.
Speaking to Billboard about her nominations, Lipa said: “It’s the biggest nomination you could get. So many artists I’ve looked up to my whole life have been nominated, it’s such a thrill to me. And being from Kosovo and seeing how much it means to people back home is crazy. It means a lot to me as well. I feel like I’m representing myself but also the U.K. and Kosovo too. It’s a very proud moment for me.
“I feel like the industry has been dominated by men for such a long time. To wake up and be nominated in the best new artist category, where every artist except for two [Luke Combs and Greta Van Fleet] is a woman, that’s a good feeling. I’m so proud of all the girls, because I do feel like we need to work a bit harder, and that’s not taking the merits away from any male artist — I know how demanding this job can be. I just feel really grateful to be nominated alongside so many talented women I admire, and some I even call my friends. All I want to do is do my job to the best of my ability. I’m so grateful for this opportunity, and I want to make sure people feel like they made the right choice for nominating me for these categories.”
Along with Jorja Smith and Dua Lipa, there is R&B newcomer Ella Mai, who has found greater success in the US than the UK. Rising star, Mai – who is also a nominee for the BBC Sound of 2019, received two nominations, song of the year and best R&B song, for her breakthrough single ‘Boo’d Up’.
Speaking to ABC Radio about the nominations, Mai said: “I’m just super, super grateful. The Grammys is something that, as any musician or artist, we look up to it from when we’re little and we dream of being nominated. So I’m just so grateful and I’ve had an amazing year, so this is like the cherry on top. I don’t think it’s actually hit me yet. It will. I know it will sometime soon. Probably before the day. But yeah, it’s crazy.”
Among the other nominees are Seal, who is nominated for best traditional pop vocal album with Standards (Deluxe); Artic Monkeys, for best rock performance with ‘Four Out of Five’ and best alternative music album with ‘Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino'; Bring Me The Horizon for best rock song with ‘Mantra’.
Jon Hopkins and SOPHIE were both nominated for best dance and electronic album, with ‘Singularity’ and ‘Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides’ respectively. Meanwhile Dua Lipa is also nominated for best dance record, for ‘Electricity’, along with Diplo and Mark Ronson’s Silk City side project.
Guardian music critic, Alexis Petridis said: “The most vibrant music that’s currently happening in the mainstream in Britain – the post-grime wave of UK rap – is obviously going to struggle to cross over to America. There’s a big linguistic and cultural barrier facing those artists, as well as a longstanding American aversion to hip-hop that isn’t homegrown.”
The 61st Grammy awards will take place at the Staples Centre, in Los Angeles, on the 10th of February 2019. Recordings released between 1 October 2018 and 30 September 2018 were eligible for consideration. You can watch the show on CBS, which starts at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.