With the Grammy Awards just round the corner, a lot of independent musicians find themselves wondering if they have a shot at the awards. While a lot of us assume that the Grammy Awards are mostly for big-time artists and world famous up-and-comers, the truth is that they’re open to all artists who submit. Here’s what you need to know about the process: 

Who is eligible?

Musicians and instrumentalists, and also featured artists, songwriters, producers, recording engineers, and mixers – especially through the Album of the Year category. 

What are the requirements? 

  • For the 2023 ceremony, your music should have been distributed between September 1, 2021 and September 30, 2022. 
  • If you are submitting an album, it should have a minimum of 5 different tracks with a total of 15 minutes. Alternatively, it can have a total playing time of 30 minutes with no requirement on the number of songs. These restrictions don’t apply to singles. 
  • The music you submit should be available for sale in stores,or on streaming platforms like Spotify. 
  • It should have metadata credits and International Standard Recording Codes (ISRCs) for each track. You can find this information by logging into your distribution platform.  
  • From the next Grammys onwards, your album should have more than 75% new material that has not been released before (earlier, this number was 50%). 

How can you submit your entry? 

You can’t directly submit your music for consideration; you have to do it via members of the Recording Academy (who are either Professional or Voting members). Some distributors also register as members of the Recording Academy and submit music through their account on the Grammy website. 

What happens next? 

Your music has to get through two rounds of voting by the Voting Members of the Recording Academy. They are musicians and creators themselves, and only vote in the categories that their music belongs to. 

In the first round of voting, members nominate entries across categories. Each category has five slots for nominees. In the second and final round, the members vote again and choose the final winners.

Remember this

While it is an honour to win a Grammy Award, it doesn’t validate your worth as a musician. Your music can still have a great impact and reach hundreds of thousands of listeners without winning an award. 

Written by Bindu and Ambi Subramaniam – Co-Founders, SaPa. To take their self-paced courses on songwriting and Carnatic violin, click here. For more inputs on learning music and growing in the industry, check out the SaPa blog.