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Music: Who is Al Walser and why is he nominated for a Grammy?

Over the past week or so there has been heated discussion about a Grammy nominee for the Best Dance Recording category. His name is Al Walser and pretty much nobody (at least compared to the other artists nominated) knew about him until his nomination was announced. Walser is joining Avicii, Calvin Harris, Skrillex and Swedish House Mafia in the category — basically the “elite” producers of mainstream electronic music. But how? The following is a music video of the track that Walser is nominated for.

Now, I’m not going to comment on the quality of the song, I will leave that up to you to make any personal judgements. However, it seems a bit odd that someone without a substantial popular following was able to land a Grammy nomination. Walser says that he’s representing independent artists and while that may be true, he’s been a voting member of the Recording Academy since 2008, so he clearly has many more resources than the standard independent artist.

After the announcement of his nomination, media outlets went crazy debating whether or not Walser deserved the nomination and whether he earned it in an appropriate manner. Bill Freimuth, vice president of awards for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, told MTV News, “The bottom line is he got the votes. That’s the long and the short of it: people voted for him. We believe that he was a very active marketer of his work, and got his music out to lots and lots of our voting membership, and they chose to vote for it.”

In an interview with Vice, Walser said, “this is the rendezvous with destiny for all the independent artists.” Moreover, he responded to any criticisms about hacking or playing the system, saying, “That is defamation at the highest. That is absolutely garbage.”

On a final note, Walser told Vice that his recent success and fame (infamy?) all “comes down to drive” and “good quality music.” You be the judge and only time will tell what will happen at the Grammys this coming February.


Check out the full list of Grammy nominations here.

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