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MTV Video Music Awards 2014 Winner Predictions   2 comments

Once labeled as the coolest night in music, the MTV Video Music Awards is the biggest party of the year. Well, it used to be that. But then it all went downhill since the late 2000s. But while the show is far from what it used to be, we still get glimpse of the classic VMA moments every now and then including Lady Gaga’s blood flowing (literally that is) performance in 2009 and Miley’s trashy teddy bear collaboration with Robin Thicke last year. And even if the number of categories get less over the years, we’ll try to predict the 10 major categories for this year and check who’ll end up with a moonman.

Video of the Year

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Beyoncé ft. Jay Z, “Drunk In Love”
Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX, “Fancy”
Miley Cyrus, “Wrecking Ball”
Pharrell Williams, “Happy”
Sia, “Chandelier”

WHO WILL WIN: Since Beyonce is being awarded this year with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard trophy, it makes sense to award her the top plum right? Especially since that’s what happened to last year’s recipient Justin Timberlake. But what I’ve been waiting is if MTV will announce Miley Cyrus’ appearance since that will seal the deal. And they did. Wrecking Ball is a pop culture phenomenon and its music video is for the ages. They’re not inviting Miley for nothing, so I bet she’ll win the top plum.
RUNNER UP: Well now it makes more sense to put Beyonce here as an alternate. Besides, only two people have won VotY twice (Eminem and Rihanna) and Drunk in Love is no We Found Love nor Without Me.
MY CHOICE: Wrecking Ball. It is the VIDEO OF THE YEAR regardless of what one think of Miley. ‘Nuff said.

Male Video

BEST MALE VIDEO

Ed Sheeran ft. Pharrell Williams, “Sing”
Eminem ft. Rihanna, “The Monster”
John Legend, “All of Me”
Pharrell Williams, “Happy”
Sam Smith, “Stay With Me”

WHO WILL WIN: The first two quarters of the year is all about Pharrell and Happy, so even if it’s video isn’t really anything special, he’s winning. Also, The Voice is coming weeks from now. That’s added promo.
RUNNER UP: Hmm. Maybe they’d throw Eminem a bone? Lord knows how the VMAs love Eminem.
MY CHOICE: None of these videos really strike out as ahead of the pack, though I’d probably go with Ed Sheeran’s puppet version of himself in Sing.

Female Video

BEST FEMALE VIDEO

Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea, “Problem”
Beyoncé, “Partition”
Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX, “Fancy”
Katy Perry ft. Juicy J, “Dark Horse”
Lorde, “Royals”

WHO WILL WIN: It’s quite funny and unfortunate that Katy Perry hasn’t won in this category yet when she has already won Video of the Year. She has been nominated here six time for the last seven years, but I still don’t think it would be this year. Had she been nominated for Roar, maybe she’d have better chances. Beyonce can easily include this in her sweep and while Partition is one of her best videos this era, the song itself isn’t really big. Add the fact that this category loves hip-hop women and reward them when they get the chance (except you Missy Elliott; damn you MTV) so the whole fun Clueless homage of Fancy leads me to predict Iggy Azalea here.
RUNNER UP: Beyonce. MTV probably thinks that if there’s one who can get the record of most wins in this category, it would be Madonna Beyonce.
MY CHOICE: This is quite a weak field. Where’s Miley?!?!? But I’m going with the flawlessness that is Beyonce in Partition.

Artist to Watch out For

ARTIST TO WATCH OUT FOR

5 Seconds of Summer, “She Looks So Perfect”
Charli XCX, “Boom Clap”
Fifth Harmony, “Miss Movin’ On”
Sam Smith, “Stay With Me”
Schoolboy Q, “Man of the Year”

WHO WILL WIN: 5 Seconds of Summer. Just look at the last three winners here in the past four years: Justin Bieber, One Direction, Austin Mahone. The thirst for twinks here is real.
RUNNER UP: Between Fancy and Fault in Our Stars, maybe Charli XCX can pull of an upset.
MY CHOICE: None of these videos are really amazing, so let me throw my vote to Sam Smith because why not?

Pop

POP VIDEO

Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea, “Problem”
Avicii ft. Aloe Blacc, “Wake Me Up”
Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX, “Fancy”
Jason Derulo ft. 2 Chainz, “Talk Dirty”
Pharrell Williams, “Happy”

WHO WILL WIN: This category seems poised for a Problem win here. It’s Ariana’s biggest shot for a moonman win.
RUNNER UP: Fancy. Either way, Iggy scores a win here!
MY CHOICE: The pop culture references in Fancy are enough for me to give it a vote here.

Rock Video

ROCK VIDEO

Arctic Monkeys, “Do I Wanna Know?”
The Black Keys, “Fever”
Imagine Dragons, “Demons”
Linkin Park, “Until It’s Gone”
Lorde, “Royals”

WHO WILL WIN: Lorde. She’s a presenter that night so it’s not as if they’ll be inviting her for nothing. Same template with Oscar winner Jared Leto doing presenter duties last year and winning here as well. Whether one considers her as a rock artist is debatable though.
RUNNER UP: Maybe Imagine Dragons. Demons is one of the biggest songs of the past year and Imagine Dragons seems to fit the bill of the young hip choice here.
MY CHOICE: The Black Keys. I love that video.

HipHop Video

HIP-HOP VIDEO

Childish Gambino, “3?05″
Drake ft. Majid Jordan, “Hold On (We’re Going Home)”
Eminem, “Berzerk”
Kanye West, “Black Skinhead”
Wiz Khalifa, “We Dem Boyz”

WHO WILL WIN: Drake is the most relevant current name here, and he has only won here once yet. Seems like he’ll be getting a second one.
RUNNER UP: Eminem. VMAs has a special hard on relationship with Eminem.  
MY CHOICE: Kanye West. He still hasn’t won here despite of being nominated nine times since 2004. Also, Black Skinhead shits on all the other videos here.

ClubBanger

MTV CLUBLAND AWARD

Calvin Harris, “Summer”
Disclosure, “Grab Her!”
DJ Snake & Lil Jon, “Turn Down For What”
Martin Garrix, “Animals”
Zedd ft. Hayley Williams, “Stay the Night”

WHO WILL WIN: This one is really tricky. In 2012, Calvin Harris is the house DJ of the VMAs that year, so it was quite easy to  predict that he’ll win. This year, the only one I can confidently eliminate is Martin Garrix. Disclosure has somehow made it big with their collaboration with Sam Smith, Summer is well one of summer’s hits, Turn Down for What has that magic penis video everyone is talking about and Zedd has been the hot (literally and figuratively) property lately. I’d say they spread the wealth and give it to Zedd since he’s performing as well.
RUNNER UP:  I go for Turn Down for What just because of that video.
MY CHOICE: It’s really tricky since I love both videos of Stay the Night and Turn Down for What, but I guess I’ll go with Zedd for this one.

Collaboration

COLLABORATION

Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea, “Problem”
Beyoncé ft. Jay Z, “Drunk In Love”
Chris Brown ft. Lil Wayne and Tyga, “Loyal”
Eminem ft. Rihanna, “The Monster”
Katy Perry ft. Juicy J, “Dark Horse”
Pitbull ft. Kesha, “Timber”

WHO WILL WIN: It won’t be a Beyonce night if they won’t let her win awards on the main show right? This is celebrity power couple here, so it seems fitting that the only Video of the Year nominee here wins.
RUNNER UP: Dominating the whole summer season, it’s Iggy Azalea and Ariana Grande’s year by far, so don’t be surprised if they get rewarded for it here.
MY CHOICE: Hmm. I’m thisclose to going with Timber since I love that song but really mediocre video aside, I want to see Ariana Grande win a moonman, so I’d give Problem my vote here.

Video with a Message

VIDEO WITH SOCIAL MESSAGE

Angel Haze ft. Sia, “Battle Cry”
Avicii ft. Dan Tyminski, “Hey Brother”
Beyoncé, “Pretty Hurts”
David Guetta, “One Voice”
J. Cole, “Crooked Smile”
Kelly Rowland, “Dirty Laundry”

WHO WILL WIN: Bleh. It’s tailor made for a Beyonce win here. Why even bother?
RUNNER UP: Pfft Avicii maybe?
MY CHOICE: I love Kelly Rowland’s Dirty Laundry so I’m personally rooting her here over Beyonce. #poormichelle

There you have it! Are you excited for the VMAs? Don’t forget to watch the show on Sunday (Monday here in Manila) and catch performances from Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Ariana Grande, Sam Smith, Iggy Azalea, and Usher among others!

You can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

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The 55th Grammy Awards Nominations: The Good, the Bad, and the Interesting   2 comments

2012 nominees

The nominees for the 55th Grammy Awards were just announced hours ago, and as always, it has elicited a lot of wild reactions from music lovers. After all, the Grammy is probably every musician’s dream and is still regarded as the highest recognition one can get as a recording artist. Like what I did last year, I will divide it into three parts:

THE GOOD

* The whole Album of the Year line up. Holy moly. With the current surge of female pop artist who had a big year which automatically translates to an AOTY nom the past years (Beyonce, Katy Perry, Rihanna), it’s very refreshing to see a line up of really good albums here. Yes, one can still nitpick here, but come on! It’s not as if we got Bieber or Maroon 5 here.

* The love for Frank Ocean. Screw the genre category for ignoring him. At least he got 3/4 general nods, and he’s even the frontrunner in Best New Artist. This man deserves all the praise for his album, so I’m glad decided not to skip him.

* Speaking of skip, yay for the Bieber snub. Glad the Grammys weren’t so desperate for ratings this year by snubbing him. I’d argue though that the One Direction deserved a BNA nod at least.

* Kelly Clarkson resurgence! Woot woot. Record and Song of the Year! Who said it was the end for Kelly? HA-HA-HA. In your face!

* Anything The Black Keys, Florence + the Machine, and Mumford and Sons related since it’s better than a lot of what we hear on the radio.

* ED EFFIN SHEERAN. Who saw it coming? Nobody! But is her deserving for a SOTY nod? Absofuckinglutely!

* The nominations of Safe and Sound and Abraham’s Daughter in Original Soundtrack. Even if The Hunger Games was snubbed as a whole, these two songs are worthy of mentions and nominations.

* Adele still rocking it with a Pop Vocal Solo nomination for Set Fire to the Rain. I love you Kelly Clarkson, but that is Adele’s ninth Grammy.

* Miguel’s nods for Adorn. Sure I don’t like him as much as Frank Ocean, but I like Adorn, and it’s one of the best R&B songs of the year.

* The Short Form Music video is probably the strongest since its inception. There’s  a lot of interesting videos there, and even mainstream video like that of Rihanna’s We Found Love is deserving of a nomination.

* Probably my favorite category of the year, Alternative Album is full of hidden gems in it. You have Bjork, Fiona Apple, Gotye, and (my latest addiction) M83! Admittedly, I haven’t heard Tom Waits’ Bad As Me yet, but it is in good company, so I’ll give it a listen sometime.

THE BAD

* Pink only received one nod. I thought for sure this year will finally give her the best Grammy out pour in her career, yet they took her for granted again. Oh well, she can take pride at her three Grammys home.

* Again, no One Direction? Hahaha. Sorry, but they’re real guilty pleasure. If you can give Bieber and Jonas Brothers Best New Artist nods, why not these guys? Though I guess Hunter Hayes getting in was their “One Direction” spot already. After all, hes young, and he’s country, so that’s hitting two birds with one stone.

* Nicki Minaj snub all throughout. This girl think she can settle away with free passes pretending as a rap artist? Bish please. You’re a pop artist now, and glad to know you received nada.

* Call Me Maybe for Song of the Year? Really? Those lyrics!?!? I get that it’s a big song yada yada, but that’s where the Record of the Year is for.

* Why was Miranda Lambert’s Over You snubbed all throughout? Over You is gaining momentum the past few weeks, it’s a good written song, and she’s already a Grammy winner. I guess I must be happy with her Country Album nomination.

* It sucks to have a Pop Vocal Performance then three of the five nominees were Carly Rae Jepsen, Rihanna, and Katy Perry. Vocals eh?

* I still don’t see the purpose behind the Urban Contemporary Album especially it only had three nominees, and Chris Brown isn’t even deserving. They should have retired it altogether. Though it’s an easy win for Frank Ocean.

* They really should not combine Vocals category in some genres. Take for instance Pop Vocal. It had five female nominees. Pop is a female centered genre, but we have lots of deserving male vocals this year like Jason Mraz, Bruno Mars, John Mayer, and Philip Phillips, and I guess a filler spot for Bieber. Same goes for the Rock’s hard on for male singers and Country’s preference of male vocalists unless your name is Carrie Underwood. Wrong move at all.

THE INTERESTING

* This is the first time in a long time where no female album is nominated for the top award. It’s also two decades ago when the Best New Artist line up had no solo female artist in it.

* Fun, Jay Z, Kanye West, Frank Ocean, Mumford & Sons, and The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach tied for the most nominated act with six nominations each.

* The following people are nominated for a Grammy this year: Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, Ellen Degeneres, Janis Ian, Kathy Griffin, Jimmy Fallon, Margaret Cho, Bernadette Peters, Audra McDonald, Matthew Broderick, and Elizabeth Mitchell.

* Ever since its inception 53 years ago, this is the only time that record of the Year had six nominees in it.

In case you want to see the complete list of nominees, you can check them here.

All in all, there are more things I like about the nominations this year than I had the past few years. With that said, we still have to wait come February for the winners to be revealed. My first post-nom predictions for the General Field winners are Somebody That I Used to Know (Record of the Year), We Are Young (Song of the Year), Mumford & Son’s Babel (Album of the Year), and Frank Ocean as the Best New Artist.

You can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl