Judgment Day: Al Walser to walk the plank at Grammys
Last December, Grammy nominations were announced and the dance music scene, once again, had something to clamor about. Big guns Diplo, Kaskade, and Eric Prydz may have earned nominations across the board, but the most coveted prize remains within the Best Dance Recording category. This year the category belongs to Avicii, Calvin Harris, Deadmau5, Swedish House Mafia, and a fifth deserving artist that was snubbed of a nod. Instead, the fifth spot — which could have been filled by artists such as David Guetta, Afrojack, or Zedd — was hijacked by a man named Al Walser, for the questionable track “I Can’t Live Without You.”
The announcement provoked a storm of outrage from dance supporters, as well as questions of the Grammys’ credibility from the general public. As Walser gained notoriety in the same vein as Rebecca Black or William Hung, he instantly became public enemy number one in the EDM world, a title previously held by the likes of Paris Hilton. With the award ceremonies taking place in Los Angeles tonight, Walser has taken the time to speak of his underhanded tactics, and even stands by his credibility as a nominee — although his battle against EDM remains insurmountable.
“Have you read that book ‘The Mouse That Roared’?” Walser asked Los Angeles Times. “It’s about a tiny European nation who declares war on the U.S. to rebuild their country. And they win.” The Grammy Awards is not comparable to war and even if it was, would have no room for the aforementioned “tiny nation.” Walser should know this first hand considering he, himself, is a Grammy voting and nominating member. Ignorantly taking the defense as the underdog, the music “mogul” from Liechtenstein has referred to himself as “the little engine that could.” Fortunately, there isn’t enough support to serve as the fuel or ignition to Walser’s engine – just maybe an exhaust for all that hot air.
DJs, producers, and fans alike have expressed their disgust towards Walser’s nomination:
“It’s pretty sad in the first place. Dude should really not be representing 20% of dance music at the Grammys in my opinion” – Zedd
“That Al Walser-story got to be the funniest thing in a long while. Laughing all the way till the world ends…” – Dada Life
“I think the Grammys need to take a hard look at their infrastructure to make sure that something this disgraceful doesn’t happen again” – Tommie Sunshine
Despite the bombardment of negativity, Walser stands by the song that he slipped into the ranks using lobbyist techniques. “I have [Grammy voters] laser targeted,” he persisted. Al had infiltrated Grammy365, a private networking group of over 4,000 Recording Academy members to whom he would impose his music upon. “[I] would be more than so honored to have your vote,” he had pleaded. “I put my heart and soul in to the production.”
“He was able to convince enough of our voting members that his recording was of a quality that deserved a Grammy nomination,” Bill Freimuth, Recording Academy Vice President of Awards told NPR. Freimuth also noted that Walser sent over 7,000 emails to members of Grammy365, and that “the bottom line is he got the votes.”
Facing raging criticism against his practices that have threatened the soundness of a 55-year-old award show, Al spoke insecurely of the song that’s landed him in hot water. In his interview with NPR, Walser referred to “I Can’t Live Without You” as “not that bad” and “not worse than the B.S. that is being played on the radio today.” Beating around the bush, remorseful rather than valiant, he inadvertently admitted that his record is not Grammy-worthy.
The Grammy Awards ceremony has finally arrived, and Walser can no longer hide from his own shame. The Grammy swindler will be forced to show his face to the talented artists whom he has reduced with his own immorality. When the award for Best Dance Recording is announced, Al Walser will be found slouched in his seat with his chin to his chest, applauding for either Avicii, Calvin Harris, Skrillex, or Swedish House Mafia. Why? Because thanks to knowledgeable fans and the integrity of gifted dance artists, the little engine that could, quite simply, can’t.