You win a Grammy and you’re automatically cool. Most of the time at least. Last week the most awaited yet possibly over-rated spectacle of the international music industry went down with much fan fare. For a change, I didn’t feel cheated because the evening belonged to the rebel teen with a cause (Lorde), the pro gay activists (Macklemore and Ryan Lewis) and the shiniest helmet wearing Dance Music pioneers (Daft Punk). It was a confirmation that 2013 was the year of the under-dog that went from underground.
Let’s face it. Indie is the new cool. Never-heard-of-before is the most awesome thing to happen since MP3s were discovered and then pirated. Pop music is not what it used to be. Not even what it was like 365 days ago. The pop princes and princesses have made way for gritty, rebellious crowd sellers that not only have beats and skill, but words. Words that can change and move mountains.
Thanks to 17-year-old teen Lorde, the term “teeny bopper” has a grand new meaning. The fact that she won ‘Song of the Year’ for Royals itself shows that kids want to protest without having to actually stage dharnas in the middle of capital cities. She’s got “awkward” written all over her. Big hair in a straightening obsessed society. Freckles in a mark removal crazy world. And courage to say she’s tired of getting told to throw her hands up in the air. I don’t know about you, but I wish I was a teen now more than ever.
Macklemore too went from being the guy that no one knew to the “funky white boy” who can play music that all colours, sizes and political views can enjoy and learn from. Not to mention, along with his pint-sized producer Ryan Lewis. Size really doesn’t matter!
But the show stealers were Daft Punk. It is amazing how Best album and Record of the Year went to the quietest kids in the big international music class. No really, they don’t speak at all.
These are not only people, heroes and heroines that defined a year in music, they defied a year in music. A year that would have otherwise belonged to glossy, musically air brushed and over paid “musicians”. This year, I was mentally whiplashed into accepting these new faces, sounds and love affairs with music. I don’t know about you, but for me, if 2013 is anything to go by, bring on the rest of 2014.
– Shagufta Ahmed (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Shagufta is an RJ and creative executive at Radio Indigo