The 54th Annual Grammy Awards Commentary

Well I’m still on a high from Grammy week! There were a series of events and parties, all leading up to the televised GRAMMYS ON CBS! Individual Chapters of the Recording Academy from a number of cities had their parties. There was the Grammy nominees party, the Music Cares party (where Sir Paul McCartney performed) VH1 and Planet LA, various Record Labels, Clive Davis’s party, P-Diddy at the Playboy mansion, and of course, the Official GRAMMY AFTER PARTY!!! Most of these served to celebrate and acknowledge the tremendous hard work and dedication we all put in. The others were just great ‘party like a rockstar’ parties!

Of course when the tragic news regarding Whitney Houston was heard , it spread like wildfire and many of us went out that night to parties with heavy hearts! We had just lost a cherished member of our musical family. This will always be known as the Grammy’s where Whitney left us. There was only one Whitney Houston, and she will surely be missed. She already is.

The official Grammy hotel, the Millennium Biltmore, was a buzz with energy all week. The hotel bar was packed every night after midnight with everyone returning from their various parties. The lobby was filled with artists coming and going, and breakfast was a chance for us all to catch with each other, recap our nights and make new friends.  The music community is a lot smaller then some might think. One engineer from Chicago that I was hanging with discovered that we had both worked on the same Kelly Price record years ago and we knew a bunch of the same people. I was happy to bring 2 great SkyeLab recording artists with me as my invited guests, and a few other producers brought their artists as well. We hope it inspires them!

To most individuals, the Grammys are the awards show you see on TV. But to us who work in the industry year in and year out, the Grammys are so much more then the dozen or so awards given out during the live telecast.  The pre telecast Grammys are where about 70 of the 78 or so awards are given out.  And each and every award is special and valuable to the nominee, and everyone who worked on that record with the artist (also considered a Grammy Nominee/Winner if they worked on the music).  This is where the music industry comes together and votes on the outstanding artistic and creative achievement in every facet of our industry.  These individuals all need to be acknowledged by their peers, and the Grammy Awards (Pre Telecast) is where it all happens.

But it’s sad that some nominees and winners weren’t present to accept the awards. The Pre Telecast is scheduled from12:30 pm-3:30 pm (LA time) Many of the artists are still getting ready with hair, makeup, interviews, rehearsals for the TV performances, etc.  The Televised Grammy’s start at 5 pm and the After Party starts at 8:30 pm and goes all night!  For many of us, it’s a 14 hour day.  Unfortunately, it’s a logistics problem the Recording Academy is trying to solve.

So yes, everyone knows Adele was the big winner and the Foo Fighters took a bunch home. But Skrillex went from virtually unknown a few years ago to winning 3 Grammys, Tony Bennet and Amy Winehouse won for best duet, and Amy’s dad made a very moving speech at the pre tels. Kanye West won for Best Rap Album,  and Corea, Clarke and White for Best Instrumental Jazz album. Producer of the year went to Paul Epworth (yeah, I’m jealous 🙂 and All About Bullies won for Best Childrens Album.  And the list goes on.

And while some nominees were not there at the pre tels, I’m happy to say that both the Foo Fighters and Tony Bennet were.  Mr. Tony Bennet is an old man with 16 Grammys whowas performing that evening and still had the respect to show up for the pre telecast. Dave Grohl took a moment to say how absolutely important the pre telecast Grammys are to all of us.  My hats off to you gentlemen, I wholeheartedly agree!

All in all it was a fabulous week, and though I’ve had 2 nominations in the past, (but no wins) I do plan on winning one day!!  The Grammy’s inspire me. I hope that all aspiring singers and songwriters will also take inspiration from it and work harder to be the absolute best they can be.  Everyone is an individual and every artist and songwriter has something unique and special to put across! So do it! Hone your craft, work hard, be bold and help contribute to our music community what only YOU can do, and create music that will be heard for generations to come!!!


Arty Skye is a multi-platinum, Grammy nominated producer/engineer as well as the founder of SkyeLab Music Group. He has worked with thousands of musicians and renowned artists such as Will Smith, Madonna, Santana, Alicia Keys, Wu-Tang, Kelly Price, and more.

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