And the Grammy nominees are…

UB students weigh in on their picks for 2016 Grammy awards


As 2016 approaches, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences rallies together and reviews the last year in music. After carefully selecting artists based on talent – and arguably popularity – a list is compiled: the nominees for the music industry’s highest accolade, The Grammys.

Set to air on Feb. 15, 2016, the nominees for the awards were released Monday.

While the Grammys are not meant to award artists based on commercial success, its impact on popular culture remains prevalent and every year millions of people tune in to watch their favorite artists win.

“I always watch the Grammys. It feels good when you see someone you admire become successful, especially when they’re a new or little known artist, like the time Frank Ocean won two Grammys,” said Anita Boateng, a sophomore nursing major.

A majority of those watching the Grammys look out for the major categories like Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Best New Artist.

Nominees for Album of the Year include Alabama Shakes’ Sound and Color, Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, Chris Stapleton’s Traveller, Taylor Swift’s 1989, and The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind the Madness.

“For Album of the Year I’d want Kendrick Lamar to win. To Pimp a Butterfly was amazing,” said Rasheeda Bull, a sophomore exercise science major.

For Song of the Year the nominees are Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright,” Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space,” Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush,” Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again,” featuring Charlie Puth and Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.”

“I don’t really think my opinion matters when Taylor Swift is involved. Her music may be overrated but she will probably win anything she’s nominated for,” said Krystal Gonzalez, a freshman undecided major.

While the major categories are most popular, UB students still make sure to look out for the categories of the genres they love most.

Tiffany Barlow, a sophomore legal study major, was pleasantly surprised by one of the nominees for best Urban Contemporary album.

“Kehlani at the Grammys,” she said. “Wow! I love her and she’s so young. I don’t think she’ll win but she really should.”

Barlow also shared her excitement about J. Cole as a nominee for Best Rap Album.

“J. Cole, J. Cole, J. Cole! I don’t want to hear anyone else,” she said.

One of the biggest newsworthy stories is how Drake’s diss track, “Back to Back,” was also nominated for a Grammy.

“Drake is nominated for best rap performance for his diss track “Back to Back,” Bull said. “I’m definitely looking out for that because that would have to be the first time that has ever happened – imagine being Meek Mill?”

Of course, there are many who say that the Grammys are nothing more than fan service and not entirely representative of the “best” music of the year.

There are many more who only watch the award shows for the latest and greatest in newsworthy gossip.

“I don’t care about who wins – all I care about is what Kanye West will do next at the Grammys,” said Deval Chantilou, a sophomore engineering major.

Whatever you watch The Grammys for, the awards are a staple in pop culture and are sure to reel millions of viewers, as it always does.

Gabriela Ortiz is an arts staff writer and can be reached at