DJ Kalkutta has been steadily building her reputation as a go-to tastemaker, but you probably don’t even realize you’re already familiar with her work. The Sony/ATV songwriter and producer’s biggest credit to date is writing Halsey’s “New Americana.”
With the Grammy Awards tonight, after which she’ll be spinning at the Republic Records party, we asked Kalkutta to break down her pics for the awards. Check them out below, then give a listen to her remix of Janet Jackson’s “No Sleeep.”
“As Biggie infamously said, ‘The world is filled with pimps and hoes, we’ll just talk about those I knows,’ she joked when it comes to handicapping the categories. “Same goes for Grammy nominees, as there are about a million categories.”
What are some of your best for winners locks?
I would say a sure bet for Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media (aka Movie Music) is the “50 Shades of Grey” soundtrack with undeniable smashes from The Weeknd and Ellie Goulding this is a no-brainer. Same goes for Musical Theater Album. “Hamilton” seems like a given as people are doing everything shy of selling internal organs to get their hands on tickets.
You’ve got some strong opinions on the hip hop categories?
“s for hip hop, while “To Pimp A Butterfly” is indisputably 2015’s most important album, I think Drake’s “If You’re Reading This…” pushed the boundaries of creativity a bit further while maintaining the pop sensibility and accessibility Drake has such a one of a kind grasp on, making it my choice for Rap Album of the Year. These same reasons lead me to choose Drake’s “Back to Back” for Best Rap Performance, a moment in music history was created with this song and I lost days of my life sending memes back and forth with my friends. May Meek Mill rest in peace. However, Kendrick without a doubt has my vote for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for “These Walls” featuring Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat. Lastly, would it be so wrong if “Trap Queen” won Best Rap Song? I know I’m gonna get clowned for this, and it should probably rightfully go to Kendrick, but there’s something about this silly twisted take on a love song paired with Fetty Wap’s own almost cartoonesque character and delivery that made us all fall in love with this tune.
What about R&B?
People who say there’s no real R&B anymore forget that D’Angelo came back to us this year! And honestly he’s in incredible company. I have a soft spot for the underdog and am a self proclaimed Kehlani stan, so I may be just a bit biased but I truly hope “You Should Be Here” wins Best Contemporary R&B Album. As for R&B Song I am hoping Miguel will take an award home for “Coffee.” I loved the lyrical creativity here and this wavy Prince-like artist he’s evolving into. Traditional R&B Performance should and most likely will go to Jazmine Sullivan for “Let it Burn” and I believe The Weeknd will take home the award for Best R&B Performance for “Earned It”.
For Best Alternative Album Bjork’s ‘Vulnicura’ has my vote, but then again I will always root for Bjork. I don’t care. Give her all the things. We mere mortals know nothing of her genius. For either Best Rock Performance or Best Rock Song, if not both, I believe Elle King (who is actually Rob Schneider’s daughter!!) will go home with a Grammy for the masterpiece that is “Exes & Oh’s.” My money’s on her main competitor of the night, James Bay, for Best New Artist.
What’s the dance world look like in your opinion?
While I think Disclosure should/will win Best Dance/Electronic Album for “Caracal,” an incredible followup to “Settle” bringing on newcomers like LionBabe and Nao. It’s the Jack U/Bieber collab of “Where R U Now” that will hopefully win Best Dance Song. Beiber should also win some sort of Grammy for Comeback of the Year if we’re being honest.
And the big ones?
I’m betting on “Uptown Funk” for Record of the Year. While “To Pimp A Butterfly” should probably win Album of the Year I have a feeling it will go to Taylor Swift for “1989,” which admittedly is fire. Same can be said for Kendrick’s Song of the Year nomination for “Alright.” I have a feeling it will go to Ed Sheeran for “Thinking Out Loud” which is an incredible and deserving song in its own right. Lastly, I think Wiz Khalifa & Charlie Puth’s “See You Again” will win for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance because while it stands in good company with the other nominees, songs about death fare incredibly well with Western audiences. Did you know Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day” (a similarly themed song) is the longest running number 1 of all time?? Songs about dead people, man. They kill it every time. I’ll see myself out.”
Photo by Johnny Lindamood