Grammys 2015: Who Will Win Best New Artist?

Bianca Gracie | February 2, 2015 5:30 am

When taking a look at this year’s nominees for Best New Artist, it’s clear the Grammy academy members decided to stay politically correct and spread across all genres: rap, country, pop and rock. It also spans across various locations (Australia, Washington, California and England) — which reflects the diversity that was the embodiment of music in 2014. Not so much diversity of when it comes to race, though, but that is a whole ‘nother discussion.

One artist is breaking controversial hip-hop boundaries (whether she likes to admit it or not), while another provided us with romance that we were missing thanks to Adele‘s absence. We know, we know — Sam Smith doesn’t like to be compared to his fellow UK singer, but the parallels can’t be ignored. Two other nominees put their own fun twists on indie pop/rock, while the last is a new emergence in the country music world.

But which artist is truly deserving of taking home the coveted Grammy this year? Let’s dive into the nominees just a little bit further, shall we!

BEST NEW ARTIST Iggy Azalea HAIM Bastille Brandy Clark Sam Smith

THOUGHTS ON THE NOMINEES: Let’s begin with the Aussie rapstress — Iggy Azalea. The artist made waves in the underground scene thanks to her 2011 mixtape, Ignorant Art. But she decided to ease off her raunchy style and capture a more mainstream audience. So what did she do? Link up with T.I., amp up her quasi-Southern accent to its fullest degree and pump out a fistful of catchy singles — “Work,” “Bounce” and “Change Your Life.” Yet this wasn’t enough! In comes in her debut album, last April’s The New Classic. It featured the bombastic, Charli XCX-assisted single “Fancy” that became I-G-G-Y’s first tune to top the Billboard Hot 100. From then on, it was clear that she won the hearts (and ears) of people everywhere. Now Azalea is taking her success on the road for her first headlining tour featuring Nick Jonas and Tinashe.

The next nominee, HAIM, can simply be described as effortlessly cool. The band (comprised of sisters AlanaDanielle and Este) first captured our attention with their 2012 lead single, Days Are Gone‘s “Forever.” Their debut LP was released on September 27, 2013 — just three days before the 2013 Grammys’ eligibility period ended. So I personally wouldn’t count them as new artists, but the awards show likes to break their rules while simultaneously coming up with new ones. Yet the ladies of HAIM are also BFFs with Taylor Swift (a.k.a America’s Sweetheart), so that has to count for something…right?

Speaking of bands (not that these two groups have anything in common — it’s all about diversity), Bastille also snagged a Best New Artist nod. The London rockers are already loved in their home country, winning the BRIT Award for Best Breakthrough Act last year. They got the attention of us Americans with “Pompeii,” a Billboard Hot 100 favorite that even made a cameo during Glee‘s season five finale.

As for nominee Brandy Clark, she may not be well known in the Idolator camp but she has earned her stripes in the country scene. The artist began as a songwriter for the likes of Miranda LambertThe Band PerryLeAnn Rimes and many others. She decided to break out on her own as a solo artist with 2013’s 12 Stories. Clark has previously been nominated for CMA and American Country Music Awards, yet her overall presence doesn’t seem strong enough for her to win this Grammy category.

Last on this roundup is Sam Smith. Seriously, is there anyone who doesn’t love this singer? (We mean, prior to his attention-seeking actions like this and this…oh, this one too.) From the Kardashian/Jenner clan to your loving mother, it seemed like he swooped everyone off their feet with his stunning vocals that was weighed down with relatable heartbreak. There is no denying this man’s talent, as seen with tunes like “I’m Not The Only One” and the breakthrough track — last Spring’s “Stay With Me.” The former is now spending 21 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 while the latter is sitting comfortable with 42.

WHO WILL WIN: This is surely a tough tug o’ war between Iggy Azalea and Sam Smith! Both artists were inescapable both on radio and social media in 2014, and their singles were chart favorites internationally and stateside. Yet the UK crooner may edge I-G-G-Y out on this one, as his substantial talent on his debut album without question surpasses the rapstress’ own.

WHO SHOULD WIN: Despite the slightly pompous attitude that is rising as quickly as his growth as an artist, Sam Smith’s soulful take on love was a much-needed breath of fresh air in the midst of 2014’s cheesy pop/synth overkill.

Who do you think will take home the award for Best New Artist? Let us know in the comments below!

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