Gallery: GAFFA-Prisen 2020

When Saints Go Machine, photo by Irina Coreachina

If you have ever streamed an album, downloaded a song, or watched a music video, you have inadvertently participated in the selection for the Billboard Music Awards, AMAs, Apple Music Awards and their numerous counterparts. The concept of music awards is controversial for a good reason: many of them are determined mathematically, not objectively. The nominees and winners of the prestigious BBMAs, for example, rely heavily on album sales, radio airplay and streaming. You will never see a young indie artist receive a Grammy, no matter how innovative and original their music is. When you are up against Spotify algorithms, major labels and Ed Sheeran or Adele, the odds are simply not in your favour. But does it mean that all music awards are unfair, even the smaller ones? And does it change anything when the votes are cast by the public instead of music experts?

GAFFA-Prisen: a fairer approach?

In our quest to explore the weird and wonderful world of music awards, on the 26. February 2020, we paid a visit to Aarhus, the Danish hometown of Scandinavia’s biggest music magazine Gaffa. Gaffa Denmark have their own annual award ceremony – GAFFA-Prisen – where they invite us, the readers, to decide who gets the prestigious prize. There is an impressive number of 17 categories, some covering heavy music, hip-hop and electronic, as well as the usual album and artist of the year. In the 2020 edition, which also marked the 10th anniversary of GAFFA-Prisen, around 15 000 magazine readers cast their vote.

Hjalmer was the star of the night. Nominated in 5 categories, he walked up the Aarhus Musikhuset main stage to receive the golden G-shaped prize 4 times. He also made a speech 4 times (so, if you had any doubts about his creativity, forget them). When welcoming the stars at the red carpet before showtime, we had a burning question for The Minds of 99, who were nominated in 3 categories this year, but won 5 out of 5 in 2019. We wanted to know if they still get excited about the nominations and if it still means anything to them after last year’s meteoric success. Unfortunately, not a single member of Minds was present to receive 2 awards in 2020 or answer our question, which, in itself, answered our question.

As decided by the public

A few years ago I was having a post-concert small talk with a singer of a Danish indie band. He told me that they were going abroad soon due to being nominated for some music award. “That’s awesome,” I beamed, “I hope you win!” He sighed and quietly said, I don’t care if we win. I don’t think music and creativity should be measured and compared. That’s not why we make music.”
And that was a valid point. All creativity begins with passion, and it should always be the driver of the process. But when it comes to fan-voted awards, do they add value? Does it make the recognition more significant when it is based on the opinion of thousands of listeners instead of a handful of experts?

The issue with fan-voted awards, especially when there are dozens of options, is that the average person would still be influenced by radio hits and Spotify’s top 40. It is no wonder that GAFFA-Prisen nominations included Volbeat, D-A-D, Lukas Graham and Billie Eilish – all incredibly talented musicians, all have been making rounds in the charts. And we are not here to agree or disagree with the results.

But if you, the reader, are also a listener, then we urge you to look beyond Spotify’s top 40. We encourage you to explore the music scene overlooked by big international periodicals and radio stations. Go see a local band in a bar venue in your town. Read independent music blogs. Support upcoming artists who haven’t had a chance yet to be on the cover of Gaffa or NME. And when those wonderful magazines invite you to vote in their awards, vote for the artist you truly believe in, not the artist who had a catchy single in heavy rotation for 2 months.

We thoroughly enjoyed attending the Gaffa Awards 2020! Check out the gallery to see what it was like, and scroll down for nominations and winners.

Photos by Irina Coreachina

GAFFA-Prisen 2020 results:

DANISH RELEASE OF THE YEAR

Baest: Venenum
Hans Philip: Forevigt
Hjalmer: Midt i en drøm eller noget der ligner
Jada: I Cry a Lot
Volbeat: Rewind, Replay, Rebound

DANISH HIT OF THE YEAR

D-A-D: A Prayer for the Loud
Hjalmer & Medina: Folk som os
Jada: Lonely
Lukas Graham: Lie
The Minds of 99: Som fluer

DANISH BAND OF THE YEAR

Alphabeat
Barselona
D-A-D
Nik & Jay
Volbeat

DANISH SOLOIST OF THE YEAR

Hans Philip
Hjalmer
Søren Huss
Jada
L.O.C.

NEW DANISH NAME OF THE YEAR

Clara
Hans Philip
Jada
Alexander Oscar
Tessa

DANISH ROCK RELEASE OF THE YEAR

D-A-D: A Prayer for the Loud
Uffe Lorenzen: Triprapport
Love Shop: Brænder boksen med smukke ting
Tårn: Åbne cirkler
Volbeat: Rewind, Replay, Rebound

DANISH POP RELEASE OF THE YEAR

Alphabeat: Don’t Know What’s Cool Anymore
Hjalmer: Midt i en drøm eller noget der ligner
Jada: I Cry a Lot
Hans Philip: Forevigt
Nik & Jay: Længe leve drømmene

DANISH HIPHOP RELEASE OF THE YEAR

Bogfinkevej: BFV
Gilli: Kiko
Kesi: 888
L.O.C.: Ekkokammer
TopGunn: 1991

DANISH HARDROCK/METAL RELEASE OF THE YEAR

Aphyxion: Void
Baest: Venenum
Halshug: Drøm
Orm: Ir
Pretty Maids: Undress Your Madness

DANISH ELECTRONIC RELEASE OF THE YEAR

AV AV AV: No Statues
Eloq: Love City
Farveblind: Boxes
Trentemøller: Obverse
When Saints Go Machine: So Deep

DANISH LIVE BAND OF THE YEAR

Baest
Jada
Lukas Graham
The Minds of 99
Volbeat

DANISH SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR

Hans Philip
Hjalmer
Jada
The Minds of 99
Nik & Jay

INTERNATIONAL RELEASE OF THE YEAR

BTS: Map of the Soul: Persona
Bon Iver: i,i
Billie Eilish: When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
Harry Styles: Fine Line
Ed Sheeran: No. 6 Collaborations Project

INTERNATIONAL HIT OF THE YEAR

Billie Eilish: Bad Guy
Lada Gaga & Bradley Cooper: Shallow
Lizzo: Juice
Rammstein: Deutschland
Ed Sheeran featuring Justin Bieber: I Don’t Care

INTERNATIONAL BAND OF THE YEAR

Backstreet Boys
Bon Iver
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Coldplay
Rammstein

INTERNATIONAL SOLOIST OF THE YEAR

Lana Del Rey
Billie Eilish
Ariana Grande
Ed Sheeran
Harry Styles

NEW INTERNATIONAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Lewis Capaldi
Billie Eilish
Lizzo
Rosalía
Tones and I

TAK ROCK AWARD
Hun Solo

LIFE IS BITTER-AWARD
Host of the evening – Melvin Kakooza

06/03/2020

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