Indie Labels

Indie Artists & Labels Grab 50% Of Grammy Nominations

image from Independent music labels and artists received 273 of the 542 or just over 50% of the nominations for the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards, according to indie trade group A2IM. Independent releases are nominated in 88 of the 108 Grammy categories including top categories Album of the Year (The Suburbs on Merge) and Best New Artist (Mumford & Sons on Glassnote and Esperanza Spalding on HeadsUp).

Some categories were dominated by indies, including Best Pop Instrumental Album, Best Electronic/Dance Album, Best Latin Rock Album, and all of the Jazz, Classical, Reggae, Americana, Blues, Bluegrass, and Folk categories.

Indie label groups Concord and Naxos recieved 20 nominations each and artist owned indies Skaggs Family Records got 4 nominations. Rising indies also did well including Nacional Records (3 nominations), Mack Avenue (5 nominations), and HighNote/Savant (4 nominations).

Full list of Grammy nominations here.

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  1. I am not surprised by this. Indie Artist get to do their music their way and since they are so gifted, that makes it better and better still, everyone sounds great and no one sounds the same like the cookie cutter artist of Major Record Labels. WDGP only plays Independent Artists. The preserve the music.

  2. That is a good point! I wouldn’t really consider Taylor Swift “indie” as most indies are under the Majors umbrella.
    In my opinion, I think the shift of A&R scouting accounts a lot for these figures. Now there is less money the indie labels take over this duty, thus being the ones who find the best of music’s new breed!

  3. On the A2IM list were also:
    * Paul McCartney
    * Robert Plant
    * LeAnn Rimes
    Can they truly be considered “indie”?
    Short answer? No. As much as I would love to say that Paul McCartney is an indie artist and I’ll interview him for my next film, it just doesn’t add up. And Taylor Swift is certainly no Ani DiFranco.
    But that brings up the same question as we encountered in making “What is INDIE?”: where do you draw the line?
    At one extreme you have an artist who is unsigned, has no label, no distribution, and does not engage in fan-funding or seek money from investors, they do EVERYTHING on their own. At the other extreme, you have Taylor Swift, and not to mention all of the many shades of gray in between.
    So what’s the answer? I recently gave this a lot of thought for an interview right here on, and the answer I gave was the following:
    “If I were to define it myself, an indie artist is an unsigned artist, plain and simple. There are so many nuances, but if I had to define it quickly, that’s what I would say, although everyone has their own interpretation which is totally valid, as I documented in the film.”
    And that’s key, indie means different things to different people. If Paul McCartney or Robert Plant win a Grammy this year and in their acceptance speech they talk about how they are proud to be indie artists, then who am I to argue with them?
    Maybe being “indie” is more of a philosophy/attitude/state of mind rather than a strictly defined term that means only 1 thing.
    Dave Cool
    “What is INDIE? A Look into the World of Independent Musicians”
    Twitter: @dave_cool

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