Last November, the nominations for Song of the Year came out and we saw a surprise in Jay-Z, an affirmation that newbies make it in Julia Michaels, a confirmation of predictability in Logic and Bruno Mars, and the demonstration of sheer power by “Despacito”. Here is my fearless forecast on how the Song of the Year race will unfold.
“That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars
Written by: Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus and Jonathan Yip
“Despacito (Remix)” by Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi featuring Justin Bieber
Written by: Ramon Ayala Rodriguez, Justin Bieber, Jason Boyd, Erika Ender, Luis Fonsi and Marty James Garton Jr
“4:44” by Jay-Z
Written by: Shawn Carter and Dion Wilson
“Issues” by Julia Michaels
Written by: Benny Blanco, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Julia Michaels and Justin Drew Tranter
“1-800-273-8255” by Logic featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid
Written by: Alessia Caracciolo, Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, Arjun Ivatury, Khalid Robinson & Andrew Taggart
(5) “Issues” by Julia Michaels
Being the relative newcomer in the general field is not a handicap. Alicia Keys, Norah Jones, Sam Smith, Fun. and Amy Winehouse took it the year they won Best New Artist. That is not the reason why I feel “Issues” has the least chance of securing a victory. It is the absence of a monumental commercial and critical acclaim that makes this song a lightweight. The reward is in the nomination, I guess. This reminds me of Sara Bareilles’ contending in Album of the Year a few years back. Everyone knew it didn’t stand a chance.
(4) “1-800-273-8255” by Logic featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid
No entry in this category is more timely and socially relevant than “1-800-273-8255”. That could be an advantage if that mattered wth the members of the Academy. Historically, they tend to gravitate away from messages of hope and equality. Considering it is coming from young musicians, I guess it can be considered too preachy to be taken seriously. I disagree with that sentiment but my vote doesn’t count.
(3) 4:44 by Jay-Z
In the last two decades, U2, Luther Vandross and the Dixie Chicks have taken this honor with songs that barely made a dent in the chart. However, I’d argue, those singles made it big on the public’s consciousness prior to the nominations coming out. No such talk happened with the release of “4:44”. Having said that, I feel, if Jay-Z will be rewarded in the general field, this is his closest bet. Not because his entry is particularly strong, but because the others are simply weak.
(2) “Despacito (Remix)” by Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi featuring Justin Bieber
I never thought “Despacito (Remix)” would be a force to be reckoned with in Song of the Year. But here I am now predicting it as a strong contender to win. I can’t comment much on the songwriting as I barely understand most of it. But if any song can dominate, it is the song that appears in this category, as well as Record of the Year – the only one to achieve that feat in 2018.
(1) “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars
Am I the only one who thinks Bruno Mars is on his way to becoming a legend in the music industry? He is commercially successful. He is held in high regard by his peers. And there is absolutely no reason to hate him. He will win this award not only because of his position and stature. But “That’s What I Like” is also a jam, a breath of fresh air in a year filled with pop superstars relying on collaborations and EDM to make their sounds progress.
WILL WIN: “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars
SHOULD WIN: “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars