Grammys! Hurr Durr.

Huh, none too clever with the title. It’s all vague and such. Oh wellz.

I learned recently that, once the Kinetics audiobook is out, I can actually join as a voting member of the Recording Academy – The Grammys, in other words. (How I found out: Viola Davis won a Grammy for her audiobook narration of her memoir, getting EGOT status (Billy Porter ought to be next, he is also deserving), and thus I started looking)

Here’s what you need to become a member of the Recording Academy/The Grammys, so sayeth their site (under Voting Member):

  1. Two strong recommendations from music industry peers
  2. Proof of a primary career focus in music, including but not limited to:
    • Active marketing and promotions
    • Awards and honors
    • Established online presence. If pertinent to craft, current and historical touring dates/performances, fan base interaction, music videos, charts or streaming statistics, current releases available, etc.
    • Press such as interviews, highlights, reviews by relevant outlets
    • Professional support system (e.g., manager, booking agent, publicist, etc.)
  3. Twelve commercially distributed, verifiable credits in a single creative profession. At least one of those credits should be within the previous five years.
    • All tracks must be commercially available in the United States, either through recognized online music retailers/streaming services (defined as paid, full catalog, audio-only, on-demand streaming and/or limited download subscription services) or physical distribution retail stores.

Let me explain a credit: A single “credit” is a single track/song.

Let’s say there is an album (which is an entire body of work) and it has 12 songs on it. People make them and thus, those people have to be credited for making them (aka “their name has to be on the work since they made it”). Lets say one person made/sang the entire album. That one person has 12 songs/tracks on the album. Remember, each song they are credited in making/singing is a single credit. That album would satisfy the “12 credits” part of the entry rules and thar they go for that bit.

But! Let’s say there are two people on the album, Person A sang/made 6 songs, Person B sang/made 6 songs. 12 songs/tracks on the album in total but Person A and Person B can only get 6 credits each because they only did 6 songs and, remember, 1 song is a track and one track is a credit.

I hope that made sense.

I would technically be getting in based on my audiobooks because I do engineer, direct and produce them. I do all the “behind the curtain work” as well as one of the most important “crowd facing” part of the work – I wrote it. My narrator can also get in (Soraya Butler, my narrator for Dreamer and Kinetics, is already part of SAG-AFTRA) because she is the performer. That means we both get credits for my audiobook, as far as Grammys are concerned. It also means should I become a member of the Grammys, I can also submit my audiobooks for Grammy consideration, which I would like because I sincerely do appreciate Soraya’s acting and would like for it to be recognized on official measures. Each track/chapter of an audiobook counts as a credit. All my audiobooks so far would clear the “credits number” threshold easily, so I have No. 3 covered.

No. 1, I’m not too worried about because I have enough friends in the industry to ask sweetly for a recommendation. No. 2 is currently building but still what I have now does indeed count. No. 2 basically means “you are a serious artist/participant of the recording/music industry, not a daft Johnny Come Lately.” Producers, engineers, etc also can be included, even though they are the “behind the scenes”.

I have my feelz about the Grammys (this post is a glimmer of those feelz). It is indeed becoming on the way to being a trash/watered down award if they don’t turn the plane around quick on how they handle voting issues in the Grammys and the lack of diversity in the voting class of the Grammys. However, for me, it’s an official stamp of validation of my experiences in the music industry. In other words, it’s proof that I did work, I did participate, I did create. That and because I simply have another personal reason: I just wanna “sit with” my friends who are also voting members of the Grammys. I’m a person, I’m allowed to be complex *shrug*

What do I get if I join? I get to vote in the Grammys and to submit my audiobooks for official consideration (it falls under the category “Spoken Word”). The dues are $100 yearly and it costs about $40-65 to submit a body of work for consideration of winning a Grammy.

The Grammys awards the recorded performance and audio engineering of the work, not how well it was written or not. That falls under literary awards. I already wrote that I’m not too big on Nebulas and Hugos because of the issues I mentioned in my “feelz on awards” post. The Ignyte seems interesting but it looks more like “If you are a person of color who walked off with a Nebula or Hugo, you’re also going to get an Ignyte”. It’s a new award (3 years old at this point) but it makes me feel “the sky is the same everywhere you go”: It’s looking like another award that celebrates basically the same five or so people in the speculative field.

I have a history with the music industry because of my experiences and because of those experiences, I could have joined the Academy earlier … but I wanted to get in on my merits and my art and not because I got in from helping friends and their art. It just would make me feel weird if I did that. I rather go on my own merit and not risk my friendships.

I also wanna wear a pretty ball gown somewhere pretty while sitting with my friends. I cackle at the idea of sitting beside my guy friends in music and they fuss, “Your dress ate my legs … and my phone” from my over-flowing skirt. Lol.

Simple derpy pleasures? Yes. Still means something to me to be part of the Recording Academy, all in all. Probably mars my punk cred a little – which would come right back with all my other experiences in punk – but meh, like I said, I’m a person, I’m allowed to be complex.

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