The Hollywood Reporter got a hold of Steve Stoute and spoke to him about his logic and reasoning behind putting a $40,000 advertisement in a newspaper...
THR: What was the impetus for your open letter to the Grammys? Was it when Arcade Fire won for Album of the Year?
Steve Stoute: What honestly triggered it was sitting with some really big credible artists after the show, and hearing them complaining that, “This is crazy,” “We need to start our own show,” or “This doesn’t make any sense.” For me, it wasn’t Arcade Fire winning that was the problem, it was them performing twice. After the backstage moment, the production was set for them to perform again. But if Eminem had won, would he have performed again? That’s when it was, like, “This is fake now.”
THR: Are you implying that the Grammys are fixed?
Stoute: I’m implying that the Grammys are flawed, and that they need to acknowledge it finally.
THR: And that was the intent of the ad?
Stoute: The intent was to point out that the popular artists are used to sell the show and to get ratings. In fact, NARAS publicized that it was the highest rated Grammys since 2001, yet those same artists are not getting the critical recognition they deserve. The Grammys didn’t use Esperanza Spalding in the promos to sell the show. They used Justin Bieber and Eminem. Yet Eminem, who’s nominated for 10 awards, doesn’t win Album of the Year. Arcade Fire does. Like when the Marshall Mathers LP, which has sold 19 million copies around the world and is one of the greatest albums ever made, lost out to Steely Dan. Or when U2 lost to [the] O Brother, Where Art Thou? [soundtrack]. It doesn’t stop.
THR: You’ve taken Esperanza Spalding to task in particular…
Stoute: Because there are many people who hadn’t even heard of her. By the way, this was her third album, not her first, but she wins Best New Artist over Drake and Justin Bieber? How did this happen? I was sitting there watching the awards show with very prominent executives, one of them had to Google her. And I’m not saying I don’t like her music, because that’s not the point. What Drake and Justin Bieber did to cut through and become global brands, it’s hard for anybody to argue that they’re not Best New Artist.
THR: We’re estimating that the ad cost around $40,000, care to comment?
Stoute: The ad was expensive, but the price pales in comparison to the torture that artists are going through. It wasn’t about spending that kind of money. It’s, how could you not make that statement
Courtesy of Vladtv