Esperanza Spalding Says Grammys Is Not A Competition
Last year, Esperanza Spalding became the first jazz artist to receive the best new artist Grammy award, beating out Justin Bieber, Drake, Florence + The Machine, and Mumford & Sons.
But the humble 27-year-old bassist and singer from Portland doesn't like to view the prestigious awards program as a competition. "Well that's a testament to how this gets easily misrepresented as a competition," she told Yahoo! Music in an exclusive interview. "You're not against anybody. There's obviously room in the world for all the different styles of music that are represented here."
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Spalding's honor came on the heels of the release of her 2010 album, "Chamber Music Society."
Spalding said the win was a pleasant surprise. "We actually had a party Saturday night before the Grammys to celebrate the nomination," she said.
During the Grammy pre-telecast, she performed with Bobby McFerrin, and announced a category. But her good day became more exciting during the main show.
"I'm sitting there with my brother and sister-in-law, and I'm like, 'Man!' John Legend says my name, and I was totally shocked."
Spalding hopes her win sparks dialogue about more jazz artists receiving mainstream attention. "There's such a thriving movement. I mean, it's live and well. It's not an archaic art form," she said. "So yeah, Why is it that this is the first time--in however many decades--a jazz artist is acknowledged in this way on this stage, in this arena?"
Interview courtesy of Dial Global's "Backstage at the Grammys" brought to you by Turbo Tax and Mastercard.