HomeMusicGrammys CEO on Controversial Nominees Dave Chappelle, Louis C.K.: “Our Job Is...

Grammys CEO on Controversial Nominees Dave Chappelle, Louis C.K.: “Our Job Is to Evaluate the Art”

Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. has been nominated for 5 Grammys prior to now however he’s by no means gained the consideration.

That may change on the 2023 Grammy awards — kind of.

Mason jr. co-wrote Toni Braxton’s 2000 hit “He Wasn’t Man Enough,” which Burna Boy sampled for his newest hit “Last Last.” The music earned a nomination for greatest world music efficiency Tuesday.

“It’s honestly an honor,” Mason jr. tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Somebody had asked me, ‘Does that make you feel old (when) somebody samples your song?’ And I think just the opposite. It makes me feel really, really thankful and appreciative that somebody thought it was a good enough song to try and recycle, and they’ve done something original with it. I love Burna Boy. I love what he does. He’s so creative in the way that he’s used that song. To me it was really exciting and fresh.”

Mason jr. grew to become interim Academy CEO in January 2020 and earned the official title in May 2021. The songwriter-producer’s Grammy nominations embody nods for album of the 12 months for Justin Timberlake’s 2002 solo debut Justified, greatest R&B music for “He Wasn’t Man Enough,” greatest compilation soundtrack for Dreamgirls and Pitch Perfect 2 and greatest musical theater album for Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert.

In an interview with THR, the musician and music government talks about Burna Boy’s nomination, controversial figures like Dave Chappelle and Louis C.Okay. being up for awards and Drake’s nominations although he didn’t submit his newest album to the music present.

How does it really feel to see “Last Last” be acknowledged with a nomination since you’ve got an attachment to it?

A giant a part of music all through my profession has been collaboration and iteration, virtually taking one thing that’s occurred earlier than you had been impressed by that. You’re form of motivated to create one thing new. I feel this can be a very nice type of flattery, that they took that music and did with it what they did. Of course, I acquired my fingers crossed for that one.

You’ve been busy main the Academy, however have you ever had an opportunity to put in writing and produce music, or is that one thing that you simply’re leaving alone for a bit?

No, I’m nonetheless doing it. I work out of my studio just about every day as we do Academy enterprise. I am going in and create at night time and the night, so I’m nonetheless as much as my outdated methods. I undoubtedly don’t have as a lot time, however I attempt to keep within the studio. My youngsters are all grown up. I don’t have any pets. My spouse is very nice. She lets me work rather a lot, so I keep very, very busy.

Dave Chappelle and Louis C.Okay. are nominated and I’m certain some individuals will really feel a method about it. What are your ideas on controversial people being nominated for Grammys?

Well, we don’t management who the voters vote for. If the voters really feel like a creator deserves a nomination, they’re going to vote for them. The factor that we are able to management is ensuring that folks that attend our occasions really feel protected. If there’s somebody that’s been nominated that we don’t essentially agree with, we’re not going to take away a nomination.

We’re by no means going to be within the enterprise of deciding somebody’s ethical place or the place we consider them to be on the dimensions of morality. I feel our job is to judge the artwork and the standard of the artwork. We can make it possible for all of our areas are protected and folks don’t really feel threatened by anybody. But so far as the nominations or the awards, we actually let the voters make that call.

Drake was somebody who didn’t submit this 12 months, however he’s nominated 4 instances for his collaborations, so his presence is felt. What’s your response to that?

Well, it’s an excellent query. I feel I’m at all times happy to see anybody nominated as a result of I understand how darn arduous it’s. I’ve been nominated 5 instances. I haven’t gained, by the way in which, which I’m not pleased about, however I’ve been nominated, so I do know what these nominations imply and I understand how necessary and the way particular they’re. When I see anyone nominated, first off, I feel large congratulations.

When you begin speaking about who’s submitting and who’s not submitting, it’s not one thing we are able to actually management. I personally would like to see as many artists submit as attainable. I don’t care if you happen to’re new within the sport (or if) you’ve been within the sport (without end). I feel the Academy is a spot for all music individuals, whether or not you’re younger, outdated, male, feminine, you play banjo, you rap. I don’t care what it’s. This is a spot the place we honor and we respect music.

Do I wish to see each artist in it? Absolutely. I wish to have the power to acknowledge the most effective music of the 12 months, so anytime any individual doesn’t submit, it’s one thing that I pay shut consideration to. We, as an Academy, pay shut consideration to it and we wish to proceed to work to ensure this can be a place that folks wish to be part of.

ABBA surprised with a nomination for the 2022 present, and so they’re again once more. Were you shocked to see them nominated in two of the massive 4 classes?

I believed that was actually cool. I’m imagining that there’s in all probability a bunch of latest individuals which are going to get uncovered to their music. They’ve been doing nice music for therefore, so lengthy, and so they modified music — the way in which they write and carry out songs. To me, I feel it’s an excellent alternative to have the ability to honor them. They haven’t gotten loads of nominations prior to now, so for that, I’m actually pleased. I feel it’ll be cool to see them have an element on this 12 months’s present.

Diana Ross additionally scored her first nomination because the 1983 Grammys. She’s additionally by no means gained a Grammy. Is this a reminder to legacy acts to nonetheless submit their work for Grammys?

You don’t know what’s going to resonate with the voters, whether or not it’s an iconic artist like Diana or it’s an up-and-comer or any individual who’s on the very peak of their profession. The members and the voters have been requested and tasked to take heed to the music and consider it on its benefit. You’re not making an attempt to do sentimental votes. You’re not purported to have an agenda. You’re not supposed to take a look at who’s widespread, who was widespread, who’s going to be widespread. It’s in regards to the music. When you see the nomination, it’s actually one thing that makes you notice the voters are honoring her, and that’s what makes the Grammys particular. It’s not about all the opposite stuff. It’s about your friends recognizing what you probably did this 12 months, and that’s what I feel is so cool in regards to the Grammys.

In the primary classes, six of 10 songs up for report and music of the 12 months are by solo feminine artists, and 5 of the ten album of the 12 months nominees are solo feminine artists. Five solo feminine acts, together with three teams, are up for greatest new artist. What’s it prefer to see girls dominate in these high classes this 12 months?

It’s actually satisfying as a result of we’ve achieved loads of work round that and making an attempt to make it possible for we’re bringing extra girls into the group. We had a objective of two,500 new girls by 2025. We’re virtually at that objective. In reality, we’re at 77 % proper now. To see that work is paying dividends, to me it is rather satisfying. There’s nonetheless extra work to do there and seeing the outcomes makes us wish to work tougher and proceed a few of the initiatives that we’ve set off on already.



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