A Music Producer’s Guide To The GRAMMYs


So, you think your sexy-fire-lit song is deserving of a Grammy? Well, let’s put it to the test and see if it qualifies!

This article aims to to give you an idea about the whole submission and selection process when it comes to producers vying for GRAMMYs, so continue reading to find out if your song has the juice to succeed.


Eligibility is finicky, to say the least. The Academy has very strict guidelines, accepting entries online from its members and from registered media companies, such as record labels. Additionally, if you’re a producer, there’s a prerequisite that your recordings must be commercially released in the United States to be eligible for “Screening”. The guidelines state that the album must be available for sale through a “Broad Distributor” and not an “Artist Website,” which means anything that isn’t through a “Record Label” and is not on the iTunes store or on Amazon is essentially ineligible.

Time Frame

Time frame is also crucial, as the music producer must make the song commercially available within the stipulated time frame set by the National Academy Of Recording Artists and Sciences.
The time frame for 2016 was from October 1st, 2014 to September 30th, 2015. This gap explains why Taylor Swift won a GRAMMY for “Shake it Off” in 2015, even though the song was produced in 2013.

Entries that jump these hoops then move to the screening process.

Voting Process – Screening and Nomination

Entries that are deemed eligible and legal are then voted on by The Academy’s Voting Members. Lucky ones are then nominated for a GRAMMY in particular categories. This process is handled by the Screening Committee, who categorise your entry based on the genre. They say that for a song to be selected for a particular genre, it should be at least 51% of that type, which gives you the potential advantage of getting selected for multiple genres. However, this can also mean that your music is more mainstream and diluted as well.

The Screening Committee is made up of mostly industry experts, journalists, radio jockeys, DJs, label executives, and, of course, actual music creators. All of these members have to meet certain guidelines, of which there are 30 categories and 83 sub-categories, to be able to get into the process of Screening and Voting.

Assuming your music creation has been made available “commercially,” has met the deadlines, and passed through the censor board of music with flying colours, congratulations! This in itself is a mini GRAMMY for you!

However, you should know that there are many glaring imperfections in the whole process that could keep you from bringing home the hardware. This is mainly because:
– All voting members don’t have knowledge of all genres.
– The whole belief that being famous generally works in your favour (as per past evidence) is discouraging and against the free spirit of music.

The best solution would be if The Academy seeks to improve their breadth of music knowledge – especially when considering more obscure styles of music – and to not always just make the popular choice. You’re part of this panel for a reason, use your power wisely. It’s safe to say that we would likely be looking at some very different results if they made these changes.

You can stream some of the GRAMMY Nominations in the Electronic Music Genre below:

About the author

The Artist Summoner

The Artist Summoner

Curating feelings from music, and filling up the court room, one artist at a time.

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