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Who in the world is Esperanza Spalding? An underdog wins a Grammy for Best New Artist.

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Esperanza Spalding

Everyone has been wondering who in the world is Esperanza Spalding since she won the 2011 Grammy for Best New Artist. Spalding seemed like an underdog when pitted against big up and coming artists, such as the rapper, Drake, the teen sensation, Justin Bieber, the indie band becoming mainstream, Mumford and Sons, and alternative artist, Florence and the Machine. Spalding is a 27-year-old jazz singer and bass player who seems to have remained under the radar by most Grammy-viewers. Clearly, however, we must have been missing some serious talent.

I will certainly admit that I was one of the first people to post as my facebook status: “Who the **** is Esperanza Spalding?” when she was announced the winner. It was not out of anger…though the curse was probably unnecessary. I was simply baffled that an artist I had never even heard of had been capable of defeating these well-known artists that I am constantly hearing about in the media. I’ll be honest, I was really pulling for Florence and the Machine. Florence Welch and her random assortment of instrumentalists have captured my heart in the past year. The daring rhythms accompanied with Florence’s deep and resonating voice has made listening to their music one of my favorite pastimes.I would have even been pleased with Drake or Mumford and Suns. Though I am not a fan of rap, I know Drake as Jimmy on the Canadian teen drama, Degrassi, and his sensitive yet hard-hitting lyrics have really won me over to the side of semi-appreciating rap. Mumford and Sons could have easily done the award justice as well with hits like “Little Lion Man” and “The Cave” blowing up the indie radio stations and even some mainstream stations as well.

The increasing popularity of Spalding’s contenders made them seem like the obvious choices, but she came through and shocked many viewers. She has a new cd out entitled Music Chamber Society, which features jazzy pieces, such as the song “Winter Sun,” which she performed on David Letterman just weeks before the Grammy’s. I have listened to a few of her songs, and I can definitely appreciate this underdog’s talent. The complex harmonies, the catchy, jazzy rhythms, and her soulful voice combine to create a sound that is truly unique, and I think that is why she trumped the other artists and won the award. She may not be mainstream, but she brought a new twist to a style of music that has been forgotten in the modern music scene. I can’t say I’d listen to her music on my own free time, but I think she definitely does deserve some recognition. I’ll put my sadness that Florence didn’t win on the back burner for this one.


Written by A.P.

February 28, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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