The Grammys generally have a pretty impossible job trying to nominate the best in music each year. Often times the narrative is about how much they fuck it up, and this is justified, but sometimes they get it pretty right. The dance categories have been traditionally pretty bad, with it dominated in the early years by pop stars who just racked up more nominations and wins for their overflowing trophy cabinets. Then things started to shift in the mid-2000s and really in the 2010s during the EDM boom towards producers and DJs. Then Al Walser was nominated in 2013, causing a backlash the Academy wasn't used to for a secondary category and it forced the Academy to avoid such an embarrassment again. They have done so this year with a crop of nominations that captured where dance music generally was this year.
The nominees for Best Dance Album included some of our favorites with Jon Hopkins, TOKiMONSTA and SOPHIE, as well as Justice and Sofi Tukker. The singles also do a good job as well with Fisher’s ubiquitous “Losing It,” Virtual Self “Ghost Voices” and Silk City’s hit with Dua Lipa “Electricity” all getting nods.
While everyone is rooting for their favorites -- I could see a few changes as well --there are a few important things to note. The judging period is from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018. Also an artist has to actually submit their work to the Grammy committee on time. Then they can lobby behind the scenes for a nomination, which is especially how the remix process works.
Overall however, the Grammys did well and seem to show over the past few years a greater awareness of what is actually happening in electronic music. Three women were nominated for best album. POC are absent, but that isn’t a surprise with the Grammys and electronic music in general. But overall, the Grammys have come a long way and seem to be getting a pretty good idea of where dance music is and where it is heading. See the full list of the 2019 Grammys here.
Best Dance Album:
Jon Hopkins - Singularity
Justice - Woman Worldwide
Sofi Tukker - Treehouse
SOPHIE - Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides
TOKiMONSTA - Lune Rouge
Best Dance Single:
Above & Beyond - Northern Soul
Disclosure - Ultimatum
Fisher - Losing It
Silk City & Dua Lipa - Electricity
Virtual Self - Ghost Voices
Best Remixed Recording:
“Audio (CID Remix)” — CID, remixer (LSD)
“How Long (EDX’s Dubai Skyline Remix)” — Maurizio Colella, remixer (Charlie Puth)
“Only Road (Cosmic Gate Remix”) — Stefan Bossems & Claus Terhoeven, remixers (Gabriel & Dresden Featuring Sub Teal)
“Stargazing (Kaskade Remix)” — Kaskade, remixer (Kygo Featuring Justin Jesso)
“Walking Away (Mura Masa Remix)” — Alex Crossan, remixer (Haim)