Though the Skrillex path to getting 5 Grammy nominations seems powered by building a huge, enthusiastic fanbase and making the underground accessible to the masses, Linda Chorney's path is quite different. This relatively unknown 52 year old singer/songwriter received a Grammy nomination in Americana with almost indiscernible record sales and mostly limited YouTube views. How did she do it? She networked on GRAMMY365.
Yet Chorney's latest DIY effort, "Emotional Jukebox," has received a Grammy nomination for Best Americana Album in contention with Ry Cooder, Emmylou Harris, Levon Helm and Lucinda Williams who are all quite famous. Though my money's on Levon Helm's "Ramble At The Ryman", in part because it has such a great backstory, Chorney's approach to getting a nomination is also a pretty good tale.
Linda Chorney joined the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences via GRAMMY365 as a voting member in early 2010. She submitted her album, Emotional Jukebox, for preliminary consideration in the Americana category. Then she and her husband, Scott Fadynich, who assists with her business, contacted around 6,000 Grammy voters via GRAMMY365's networking tools. 2,000 accepted her as a contact.
Apparently enough of them liked her music or just decided to cut her a break that she got nominated for Best Americana Album against major established stars, all with prior Grammy victories!
Though this approach was well within the guidelines for NARAS members, it must not be widely or successfully exploited cause it certainly caught the Americana establishment by surprise:
"Nobody in our field -- managers, booking agents, radio promoters -- knows who … this chick is."
"I'd never heard of her before. Nobody I talked to about it had ever heard of her before. … I don't really know what's going on."
Linda Chorney plays the part of the upstart quite well:
"I am Occupying the Grammys -- I am the 99%...I'm the middle-class that got a friggin' shot, and I got in there. And the irony of hearing that people are upset that the little nobody who hasn't sold a thousand copies of her little album managed to get in there -- somebody's upset about that? Really? You want to just take it all, and not share the wealth? It's so unbelievable."
With final Grammy voting coming up December 23, Chorney says she's "gonna do what I did on the first round." You go, girl!
Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith maintains his freelance writing hub at Flux Research and blogs at All World Dance and This Business of Blogging. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.