In a month, the nominations for the 18th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards will be revealed. The Latin Recording Academy is far more secretive than the national academy, as there is absolutely no way to know the submissions. There are no leaks and very few forum threads. Therefore the following predictions for the Latin GRAMMYs’ General Field are mere speculation, though all the songs are theoretically eligible. The eligibility period for this award runs from July 1st, 2016 to May 31st, 2017.
Album of the Year
Unlike at the U.S. GRAMMYs, all categories in the general field have ten nominees. This results in a
far more diverse lineup, which includes not only regular pop and rock nominees but also Portuguese-language music, alternative, and traditional music.
This year’s guarantee nominee has to be Miguel Bosé for his latest MTV Unplugged. The Spanish musician and actor had been nominated three times in this category. His tour was a success though the album has received mixed reviews. However, the Latin Academy loves Unplugged records with Alejandro Sanz and Juanes winning for theirs in 2002 and 2012 respectively.
Another certain contender is Mexican singer/songwriter Natalia Lafourcade for her seventh studio album, Musas (Muses). The Academy loves Lafourcade, having awarded her eight times. She was previously nominated in this category in 2015, and her new album blends different styles of Latin American folk music thus receiving the support not only of the alternative and rock fields but also the traditional.
The person with the most Latin Grammys is controversial rapper René Pérez Joglar, aka Residente. As part of the duo, Calle 13 he won 25 times. Despite his twisted political views (like supporting the dictatorship in Bolivarian Venezuela), he is still a clever artist. For his debut album, Residente, he took a DNA sample and visited and recorded music in all the places he claimed ancestry. The fusion of Asian and Eastern European rhythms with Afro-Latino vibes lives up to the concept of the album and is a shoo-in for the Album of the Year category.
Other darkhorses for this category include the new wave-inspired/psychedelic pop album Jei Beibi by Mexican veterans, Cafe Tacvba; Venezuelan alt-rockers for their exile album, La Lucha (The Struggle); and of course, Shakira for her latest record, El Dorado, though it did not receive good reviews.
Record / Song of the Year
Shakira, who won both categories last year with Carlos Vives and “La Bicicleta”, could be nominated again for both and, yet for another collaboration, “Chantaje” (Blackmail) alongside Colombian rapper, Maluma.
Another guarantee nominee is this year’s Song of the Summer, and one of this year’s best-selling singles, “Despacito” (Slowly) by Puerto Rico’s Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee. However, the Justin Bieber remix that topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for a total of fifteen weeks might not be eligible —or even submitted.
To round up this trio of favourites is once again alt-pop musician, Natalia Lafourcade & Los Macoditos for the Bolero-inspired tune, “Tu Si Sabes Quererme” (You do know how to love me). Lafourcade won both Record and Song of the Year in 2015.
Darkhrorses for this category includes “Soy Yo” (I Am) by Colombian fusion group, Bomba Esteréo; the live performance of “Bambú” (Bamboo) by Miguel Bosé featuring Fonseca; and Juanes’ brand new single “Hermosa Ingrata” (Ungrateful beauty).
Best New Artist
Puerto Rican urban/trap artist, Ozuna is the most likely contender for the newcomers’ category. He has collaborated with the royalty of Puerto Rico’s reggaeton, and his single “Tu Foto” (Your Picture) has been gaining momentum.
Another act that could join the best new artist lineup is CNCO. This five-piece band was created by Simon Cowell and produced by Ricky Martin. The band released their debut album, Primera Cita (First Date), and have already won revelation awards at Premios Juventud, Lo Nuestro and the Latin American Music Awards.
The third favourite new artit is Colombian pop singer/songwriter, Sebastian Yatra. Yatra has been releasing singles since 2013, however, he is yet to release his first studio album. However, he rose to international fame last summer with the single “Traicionera” (Treasherous).
Darkhorses for Best New Artist include Mexican pop artist, Sofía Reyes; Dominican rapper, Lápiz Conciente; and Argentine singer/songwriter, Lali.
The 18th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards nominations will be announced online on September 20, 2017. The ceremony will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Centre in Las Vegas.
What do you think? Who are the most likely contenders for the 2017 Latin Grammy Awards? Leave your comments in the section below.