February 8, 2004
How to Become a Grammy Voter
People tend to think of the voters for big awards shows as an elite society of industry bigwigs, but it's actually surprisingly easy to become a Grammy voter. There are probably quite a few people frequenting this site who would qualify. Here, as listed on their website, are the requirements to become a voting member of NARAS:
Voting Members are professionals with creative or technical credits on six commercially released tracks (or their equivalent). These may include vocalists, conductors, songwriters, composers, engineers, producers, instrumentalists, arrangers, art directors, album notes writers, narrators and music video artists and technicians.
Note it doesn't say anything about your releases being on any sort of major label. This means there are probably tons of independent artists and producers who could qualify in the hip-hop community alone, enough to possibly have an impact on some votes.
You can bet the major labels are fully aware of how easy it is to get a vote, and they make sure as many of their employees as possible are signed up so they can vote for that label's artists. We need to get on the ball and start using our power to provide a balance, we might be able to sneak some new voices past the gatekeepers.
Hate on the grammys all you want, but they can bring a major boost in exposure for independent or lesser-known artists who don't have the means for a big promotional push.
I believe there is a fee to join, but uhh, look at all the cool stuff you get! (scroll to the "Academy All Access" part)
NOTE: For those who decide not to boycott, I will be keeping an open post as I watch the Grammys tonight, and probably adding my snarky comments after each commercial break. Come back and join me if you're around.