The Best New Artist category at the Grammys each year is one of the most coveted trophy. It’s an artist’s first time being nominated for a Grammy. For many of them, it’s their first foray into the awards circuit, kicking off a whirlwind of press, events, and other industry recognition. For others, it’s an acknowledgment that their years of hard work have paid off. Many past winners were budding artists who quickly made their way into superstardom, like Adele, Megan Thee Stallion, Dua Lipa, and Billie Eilish.
The 2024 Best New Artist nominees represent a wide assortment of genres, styles, and levels of fame. From a rapper being introduced as “the biggest artist in the world” (Ice Spice, of course), to an artist who beat the odds and has climbed the Country music charts (Jelly Roll), Spotify’s Best New Artist Party spotlighted the range of talent in this years’ Best New Artist category at the Grammys.
The event kicked off Grammy weekend by bringing each Best New Artist nominee to the stage (with the notable absence of Fred Again..) to give a taste of their catalog with a handful of songs. The husband and wife folk duo The War And Treaty were the first to take the stage, setting the tone for the remainder of the evening with stunning, soulful songs and messages of love and unity. The duo wasn’t the only Nashville-based artist represented on the stage. Rising country star Jelly Roll made it clear he’s come a long way since selling mixtapes from the trunk of his car. With his earnest charisma and confessional ballads that speak to addiction and finding faith, the musician had the crowd singing along to songs like “Need A Favor” and “Son Of A Sinner.” He even brought out fellow country singer Lainey Wilson, who, adorned in a cowboy hat and classic Western get-up, delivered their joint track” “Save Me.”
Confessional music seemed to be the unofficial theme of the night as folk favorite Noah Kahan took the stage to the delight of many screaming fans in the audience. The Vermont-based singer whose 2022 album Stick Season catapulted him into fame showcased a few of his cutting ballads like “Dial Drunk,” which he clearly had a blast performing despite the somber subject matter. Kahan also brought out fellow Best New Artist nominee Gracie Abrams, who had taken the stage just before him, for a rendition of their recent collab “Everywhere, Everything.”
Other musicians like Victoria Monét and Coco Jones proved they were made to live in the limelight with their expertly choreographed sets. Jones, who has found success on the Disney-Channel-star-to-Grammy-nominee-pipeline showed off her impressive vocals with a swooning performance of “ICU” and “Double Back.” Monét gave perhaps the most energetic set of the night, managing to land challenging dance moves while putting her entire heart into a sultry rendition of “Jaguar” and the Grammy-nominated “On My Mama.” (She would go on to win the award for Best New Artist at the Grammy’s ceremony.)
Ice Spice was perhaps the most-anticipated (and as it turned out, the shortest) set of the night, according to the snippets of conversations I picked up on in the crowd. The rapper, who has received cosigns from everyone from Taylor Swift to Nicki Minaj, took the stage with her usual swagger. Nearly everyone’s phone was up as she delivered her most recent track “Think U The Sh*t (Fart)” and TikTok hit “Deli” before thanking everyone for their support and sauntering off the stage.
Whether they were nominated for just one category or, like Monét, one of the most-nominated artists at the 2024 Grammys, each artist was beyond grateful to be a part of the lineup. Kahan thanked the audience and the Recording Academy for his recognition, while also joking he’s still waiting to hear back from the Kids’ Choice Awards: “I’m still waiting to get slimed.” Similarly, Abrams noted how much she idolizes everyone she shared the stage with. Jelly Roll was also honored to be a part of the lineup, but for different reasons. Straight from Nashville, Jelly Roll noted the difference between his humble Nashville beginnings and the ritzy Los Angeles industry event. “I’m surprised y’all are rocking with me,” he said to the crowd, many of whom knew every word to his songs.
Win or lose, being nominated for Best New Artist is an honor in of itself. But whoever wins, Spotify’s Best New Artist Party showed that any of the ten deserve the trophy.
See the full list of Grammy nominees here.