Of course JD and I are going to discuss this in our Weekend Recap, but after finishing the Weekend Weapons, I couldn’t help but weigh in real quick! Our friend Dennis C of The Scene Kings alerted me to this on Thursday, and I’m sure most of you have heard the news as it was all over facebook the last couple days. The topic here is Al Walser getting a Grammy nomination for Best EDM Song of 2012 along with Avicii, Calvin Harris, SHM, and Skrillex.
First off, it makes me laugh when I read in these articles that he is “virtually unknown”. I don’t really think that phrase even does this any justice. There’s a good amount of guys in the Beatport Top 100 that non-hardcore house heads might not be familiar with and you could call them “virtually unknown”. Good, talented producers, but still trying to build more of a name. Pedro Ciriaco is a Red Sox player that I’m very familiar with, but again, in the scheme of things, he’s “virtually unknown”. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the phrase doesn’t even cover how much Al Walser does not belong in that group. Those Top 100 Beatport producers and Pedro Ciriaco — they are all in the major leagues. I’m a huge fan of certain non-big name producers, and they do great work, but they know they aren’t beating out “Levels” or “Don’t You Worry Child” in any popularity contests. Pedro Ciriaco knows he wasn’t gonna beat Miguel Cabrera for the AL MVP Award this year. But again, they are still on the same playing field as those guys. But as for Al Walser, he is a “virtually unknown” producer the same way that any of our parents, who made us mac and cheese as kids, are “virtually unknown” cooks.
So after hearing this, the first thing I did was to check the video Al made for his song. For a review, I will copy and paste what Guzie of The Mighty Rock-It! Scientists had to say on our Facebook Page:
“For lack of a better word this song, is not on the same “level” as levels and those other tracks…
First off- the vocals sound like they were recorded in a shoebox- they suck hairy pygmy balls- neither of the 2 can sing their way out of aforementioned shoebox either. The video is utter garbage- and the whole premise that they’re old at the end is so cliche! I think they had a 5 yr old scribble the plot on a Dennys kids menu and used it like it was friggin Inception screenplay! And the production is sub par- granted we don’t produce the most commercial sounding tracks, but even our production is eons beyond this slop. I could teach anyone to use logic in 1 hour and make better nonsense than this synthy mess! Other than that, I generally enjoyed it:)” —- Guzie
So that’s that.
P.S. THE ROCK-IT! SCIENTISTS ARE BACK ON REMIX REPORT! Peep the post from earlier today!
P.S.S. Cheap plug I know.
Anyway, the thing that really amazes me here is Mr. Walser’s thought process. I know I’ve said this before on the site, but I can’t believe that some DJs actually try to win these “over their head” achievements. As a DJ, we all wanna spin at the best gigs, produce the biggest songs, and be referred to as the top 1 percent of our profession. Well that leaves 99 % , and that 99 % is working hard striving to get there. On the way there, you definitely have to act like you belong. We all have shout outs from artists calling us their friend, even though they forgot our name the second after they did the drop. We all list the biggest places we spin on our resume while conveniently leaving out some of the small bars. And we a embellish how great a club night was from time to time. We all do that and that’s expected. As a DJ you do need to pull out some tricks to shape your image. But only to a certain point. If DJ Mag told me they would make me #1 on their list for a one dollar bill, I would turn that down in a split second. Then if they threatened to do it anyway, I would actually empty my savings to try and get them not to. I like to consider myself a decent club DJ, who had a few good mash-ups during that period, but I understand I’m not Guetta or Avicii. For me to be included with those names wouldn’t be an honor, it would be an embarrassment. I’m still somewhat young enough to have dreams of becoming big time, and I do have some production in the works, so who knows. Obviously a long shot, but I do have some hope :) For now though, I understand my place in the game. It still amazes me when I see a DJ I’m not familiar with get 20 votes in a row for DJ Of The Year in our Remix Report Awards. Obviously, he put up a facebook message for all his friends to vote and some did. But does DJ ABCDEFG really want to win that over a Vice, Scene, Enferno, etc? There are those who say “No publicity is bad publicity”. Maybe some of you share that view. “Hey, let people hate, but you just did something to get your name out.” I just have trouble seeing it that way. Maybe Al Walser just did this as a joke, or to prove a point, but if not, I can’t imagine this is good for his career.
One last thing that really made me laugh was how one article pointed out that Walser provided consulting services for other up and coming producers (for a fee of course). The same article said something along the lines of “Normally, we’d tell artists to steer clear of these kinds of offers, but hey, maybe this guy actually does have some secret formula”. I wish I could remember which article that was in, but still that thought gets me everytime. I mean, we all know the old modeling agency scam. Pay us and we’ll turn you into a huge model. That’s one of the oldest scams in the book. But what Walser accomplished with the Grammy’s and him perhaps being able to pass that secret on to others? That would be like a girl paying a modeling agency their small fee, and waking up to find yourself on the cover of the SI Swimsuit Edition.
Here’s some articles on this whole debacle…
And if you thought it couldn’t get any better, we present this gem:
It just dawned on me that our site is now your “Official Al Walser Grammy Nomination Headquarters”. Maybe we can follow him to the top.