The music industry has been buzzing ever since Sunday’s GRAMMY Awards ceremony, and even big dogs like Tidal are getting in on the excitement. Social media managers, editors, curators, and more from the streaming service’s team took to Twitter Spaces on Monday night to discuss the ceremony, performances, and wins. Sounds fun, right? But if you missed it, we’ve got you! TREMG got to attend and we took notes on the most thought-provoking aspects of the conversation.
Guest Appearance From DJ Drama
DJ Drama is one of the most influential voices in modern hip-hop… quite literally. He’s best known for his work on mixtapes in the 2000s, and his legacy earned him a spot on Tyler, The Creator’s Call Me If You Get Lost project, which won the GRAMMY for Best Rap Album this year. The album draws inspiration from the mixtape era as a “DJ-helmed project,” giving DJ Drama moments to speak and bringing the ultimate nostalgia for old hip-hop.
“Everything [Tyler] does… he really is very particular and very hands-on creatively, especially when it comes to the music,” the DJ shared. Before DJ Drama got involved with the project, Tyler even tested what he would sound like on the album by experimenting with clips of his voice from his Gangsta Grillz mixtape series.
Guest Appearance From DJ Khalil
The next guest appearance came from none other than DJ Khalil, who has credits with artists like Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, and even Pink. But that night, listeners wanted to hear all about his work with GRAMMY winners Jon Batiste and Kanye West! Jon was one of the biggest winners of the night, taking home 5 awards including the coveted Album of the Year. Khalil met him years ago through Aloe Blacc, and Jon’s team reached out to him during the pandemic to help “clean up” his now-GRAMMY-winning WE ARE.
Kanye’s “Hurricane,” a collaboration with Lil Baby and The Weeknd, took home the prizes for Best Rap Song and Best Melodic Rap Performance. While fans know and love the track from his recent project Donda, Khalil shared that it was originally meant for his scrapped Yandhi album, which was expected in 2018. He admitted that the production team “just could never figure out what [Kanye] was doing,” and the song ultimately landed on Donda. Lil Baby chose to feature on the track and it went through a few different iterations until the last Donda listening party, which had The Weeknd added as a feature. That’s when Khalil knew the song was officially finished, and the rest is history!
The Album of the Year Surprise
In such a prominent category, you’d expect a household name like Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, Lil Nas X, Doja Cat, or Billie Eilish to take home the trophy, no? Even Jon Batiste was pretty surprised when his album WE ARE got announced as the winner, but it’s a worthy prize for a talented artist that not everyone had on their radar yet. Tidal social media manager Melanie Mercedes believed the move was partly to emphasize that some of the best works of the year didn’t get recognition from the wider public.
Tidal’s editor-in-chief Tony Gervino also pointed out that Jon appears on TV most nights as the musical director for Stephen Colbert, which gives him more attention without the threat of overexposure. Meanwhile, chief content officer Elliott Wilson called the win a “smart, cool ending of the show.”
The Best R&B Performance Tie
It’s pretty uncommon for the Recording Academy to issue a tie, but the competition between Silk Sonic’s “Leave the Door Open” and Jazmine Sullivan’s “Pick Up Your Feelings” was so stiff that both artists took home the prize. While much of the panel believed that only one act should have been chosen, creative project manager Patrick Merveille noted that the tie honored both traditional R&B by awarding Jazmine and also a more soul feel with Silk Sonic, calling it an “honoring of two branches that come together and make what rhythm and blues is.”
The Virgil Abloh Tribute
This year’s In Memoriam section included someone Melanie Mercedes describes as a “cultural pioneer”: the multi-talented Virgil Abloh, who served as the creative director of menswear for Louis Vuitton, as well as the founder of Off-White, a DJ, and an artist for album covers by acts like Pop Smoke and Kid Cudi. The GRAMMYs dubbed him as a “hip-hop fashion designer” during the tribute and some believe this was too simple of a descriptor for someone who excelled in so many different areas.
The panel debated on whether the description was too specific – should he have just been credited as a fashion designer? – or simply contextualizing his work. Tidal CCO Elliott Wilson noted that he fought for recognition as a hip-hop journalist while also wanting to be noted as a music journalist as a whole, and didn’t think the title was meant to box Virgil in as just one thing.
Guest Appearance From D’mile
One of the most successful songs on GRAMMY night was Silk Sonic’s “Leave the Door Open,” and we can partly thank songwriter D’mile for that. After already winning the prize for his work on H.E.R.’s “I Can’t Breathe” last year, his Song of the Year win with Silk Sonic made him the first songwriter to ever win SOTY two years in a row. He broke down some of the process behind “Leave the Door Open” during the Space – he started working on the song with Bruno Mars years ago, before Silk Sonic was even a thought in his mind.
D’mile was also a key part of what made Silk Sonic get together to begin with – five years after Anderson .Paak and Bruno wrote “Smoking Out the Window,” he helped them complete it and “that’s kind of what started the band.” Once they finished that track, they went back to “Leave the Door Open” and the retro direction – influenced by the music they all grew up listening to – became more clear and refined.
Predictions for 2023
With 2022 already shaping up to be a huge year for music, it made sense for the conversation to close with a discussion of who will take over next year’s GRAMMY ceremony. Elliott Wilson suggested that Kendrick Lamar could have a big comeback following the hype of his Super Bowl performance, while senior manager of hip-hop/R&B Juan Navarro pointed out fellow hip-hop crossover acts Drake and Doja Cat.
Music programming manager Tonya Nelson-Fisher agreed with the Doja Cat shoutout, also noting that one of Doja’s biggest influences, Nicki Minaj, should get recognition from the Academy. Global head of Latin Jesús Triviño Alarcón hopes that Karol G will “have a moment” and help uplift female voices on the Latin scene, while reggae/dancehall editor Reshma B wants H.E.R. to keep dominating the scene, sharing, “it’s great to see a female black woman doing something like that because ultimately rock and roll comes from Black music.”
It’d also be impossible to ignore Adele’s massive comeback, which editor and curator Jeff Benjamin said they’d be “remiss” not to mention. And, of course, the soundtrack of Disney’s Encanto could have a huge awards sweep.
Did you get to attend Tidal’s Post-GRAMMY Twitter Space? What were your favorite moments of the 2022 GRAMMY ceremony? Let us know in the comments below or link up with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!