How to Submit Your Music to the Grammys

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Grammy time is upon us again. Or at least Grammy deadlines.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: The Big Awards always go to the major label darlings; why would I bother submitting to the Grammys?

Not true, though! In previous years, CD Baby has seen 20 or more independent artists (who work with us) on the nomination lists (and many have ended up winning).

Remember, there are a lot more Grammy categories than just the handful that get televised.

With that in mind, Gary Keeney (who plays a key role on CD Baby’s Artist Support Team) put together the following information for any CD Baby-ers who might want to put themselves in the running to win a Grammy!

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Important guidelines for Grammy-hopefuls:

1) Applicants applying for voting membership must be approved by June 30 to be eligible to submit recordings for consideration in the GRAMMY Awards.

2) The application link is at the bottom of this page – https://www.grammy365.com/join/membership-types

3) You must be a member of the academy to submit content or vote.

4) This link has a nice outline of the process: http://www.grammy.org/recording-academy/awards/grammy-awards-voting-process

5) CD Baby does not play a direct role in our client’s submissions to the Grammys.  We are merely the company that helps them have the distribution required to be eligible for the awards.

6) The Grammys submissions  always lay between Sept. and Oct. That means your album (or single) will need to have been released within 12 months of September for consideration.  Don’t wait until the last minute.

7) Here is a link to the voting (submitting) process – http://www.grammy.org/grammy-awards/voting/faqs

8) Essentially anyone (artist, composer, producer, engineer, arranger…) can become a member and submit content to be considered for a Grammy.  However, that person cannot submit anything until they are a member.

I hope these guidelines help make the Grammy submission process a little clearer. Break a leg!

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  • THANK YOU, CHRIS!!!!! I’ve been trying to figure this out for MONTHS!!!!!

  • Sure thing. Glad it helped.

  • Wayne Potash

    Thanks Chris. I submitted my album thanks to this article. Now where do I focus my efforts to actually get nominated?

    • Ɖ@₦₪!₤ ₱₳ǜǀ-€₦₤₪₡#Σ

      Hello Wayne I want to find out how you successfully submitted your album to the Grammy committee ? Hope to get a reply. Thank you.

  • Hey Wayne,

    That's a great question, and one that I don't have a real knowledgeable answer for.
    I would suggest getting in touch with your local Grammy chapter and ask some of the folks involved there: http://www.grammy.org/recording-academy/chapters

    If you get some good tips, please let me know.

    @ChrisRobley

  • Bobby Spencer

    Is there a minimum album length or number of songs that must be on an album to be considered for submission?

  • Manny LaGod

    Hey Chris, Can i submit a single only for consideration instead of an album of 10 or more songs?

    Thanks, Manny

  • Hi Manny,

    I’m actually not sure. I imagine the Grammy website would have all the latest nomination eligibility info in their FAQ. Let us know what you find out.

    @ Chris Robley

    • Manny LaGod

      Hi Chris…..I have looked at the Grammy website and could not find anything for submitting a single only….. I have also written to the Los Angeles chapter and west regional rep thru the Grammy website….. but no answer???? Is there another more reliable contact that you have?
      Thanks Chris,
      Manny

  • Hi Manny,

    Sorry. I don’t. Hopefully the city chapter or regional folks will get back to you. Maybe it’s worth sending a followup email?

    @ Chris Robley

    • Manny LaGod

      Response from Grammys

      Hi Manny!

      14 tracks (Which I released in 2006) is enough to qualify for digital distribution, but one of the tracks has to have been released in the last 5 years. Once you release your single this year, it should help you qualify for voting

      membership.

      Member
      services also looks for things like online presence, tour dates, and
      representation. The more information you can give them, the better.

      If you have any further questions, our Membership Manager, Yvonne Faison, can assist you!

  • Hi, Chris. I’m trying to sort through all of this and hoping you can help me decipher and determine what I need to do to be able to submit my album for consideration. I’m an independent artist (vocalist) with no label. I’m going through CD Baby for distribution. My album (my first) is comprised of 10 tracks of which I am the sole vocalist on all. It will be released this year on May 13, 2014. I see that there are several ways to become a voting member. One question of mine would be if my distribution through CD Baby would qualify under the section “Recordings Released Through Physical Distribution” or if my album would only qualify under “Recordings Released Online Only”. Would make a difference as to whether or not I meet the qualifiers. Also, when it says “(# of tracks) must have been released within five years of application”, I’m assuming I need to release the album, THEN apply for voting membership? My tracks/album would not qualify if I apply before it is released, since I’m not currently a voting member? Sorry for splitting hairs with these questions but I understand how technicalities come into play and I just want to ensure I don’t disqualify myself by not going about it exactly as needed. Your input would be so helpful. Thank you!

  • Hi Mary, I’m actually not sure of the intricacies of the voting/nomination process. I’d recommend writing to The Grammys to be sure. BUT… if you’re distributing CDs through us as well, and if you sign up for our physical distribution program (which makes your discs available to over 15k record stores worldwide), I think you should be covered for both physical AND digital distribution requirements.

    @ Chris Robley

  • SidneyVaught

    I have a recording label, Sidscape Media (www.sidscape.com), as a side business and I have met all the Recording Academy requirements listed on their website for number of tracks, distribution, etc., however when I applied to become a voting member, they rejected my application because music wasn’t my primary source of income. I thought it was supposed to be the Recording Academy and not the “What Do You Do For A Living” Academy.

  • Jerin Jose

    Hi sir
    I have the audio file of the song which I composed . Will they accept for Grammy . Before apply for the Grammy award if there is any formalities ( about sound clarity ) . For Grammy I need any special copyrights