Steve Stoute talks Grammy criticism with Hollywood Reporter: “How did this happen?”

Translation Agency marketing executive and founder Steve Stoute recently took out a full-page ad in the New York Times to take petty shots aim at the Grammy Awards and Neil Portnow, the president on the Recording Academy (NARAS) for allegedly being out of touch with the mainstream and not awarding Grammys to the likes of Eminem and Justin Bieber.

In addition to his explanatory piece in the Huffington Post, Stoute recently spoke with The Hollywood Reporter to explain his motives behind the “letter to the Grammy Awards”.

Read some excerpts from the interview below…

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.”

“Because there are many people who hadn’t even heard of her (Esperanza Spalding). 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.”

You can read Steve Stoute’s full interview with The Hollywood Reporter here.

Personally, I think Mr. Stoute is an ignorant man and while he might have some almost valid points, basing an argument about the Grammy Awards on “sales” and what’s “hip” is clearly misguided and in as much as he says, “and I’m not saying I don’t like her music, because that’s not the point”, Stoute shouldn’t be allowed to talk about Esperanza Spalding like that or discredit her achievement to buttress his “argument”.

Dear Mr. Stoute, consider the fact that you’re pulling a “Kanye West” on Ms. Spalding and are trying to rob her of her moment with this malarkey as against whatever big political statement you feel you are making. Consider also that you are a ‘marketing’ executive and while in your eyes, an artist deserves a Grammy Award because they sold millions and millions of records, the Grammy Awards aren’t and shouldn’t be based on sales – it’s not a popularity contest. The Grammys are not the Billboard Awards nor the The People’s Choice Awards.