Grammys Change Regulations Regarding Interpolations, Collaborators Removed From Olivia Rodrigo’s Nomination


Sohana Sahni, Staff Writer

The Grammys have begun re-evaluating their crediting system for nominations regarding interpolations. Interpolations, or chunks of music which are recreated in a studio and not sampled from an earlier recording, are now not considered collaborators on nominated songs and albums. This change has affected many artists, most notably Olivia Rodrigo and her debut album Sour, which had been nominated for album of the year. Collaborators such as Taylor Swift, Jack Antonoff, and Annie Clark (better known as St. Vincent) have been removed from Rodrigo’s credits. 

When Grammy nominations were first announced earlier this November, Swift, Antonoff, and Clark were included in the ballot. The Recording Academy, the organization responsible for the Grammys, decided to reevaluate its crediting system on Dec. 5, thus the removal of the aforementioned collaborators.

Last week, we received the correct credits from the label that recognize Annie Clark, Jack Antonoff, and Taylor Swift as songwriters of an interpolation on the track, ‘Deja Vu’,” stated the Academy. “In keeping with current Grammy guidelines, as songwriters of an interpolated track, Clark, Antonoff and Swift are not nominees in the album of the year category for Sour.”

In the months following the release of Sour, Antonoffand St. Vincent was credited for the song “Deja Vu,” which interpolates Swift’s “Cruel Summer,” released in 2019. Swift and Antonoffwere also cited on Rodrigo’s song, “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back”, due to its similarities to Swift’s “New Year’s Day,” released in 2017. 

Despite this change in crediting, Swift remains an album of the year contender with her most recent album, Evermore.

“I think as long as Taylor gets her equal share and is still on the ballot I think it’s fair,” said Arcadia High School freshman Noah Aldaco. “I mean it’s not a win-win, but it’s equal.”

This new regulation change also affects other collaborators on Rodrigo’s work. The restriction on credits removes Paramore from the ballot for Rodrigo’s “Good 4 U”. The band was originally added because the song interpolates their 2007 hit, “Misery Business”. 

This change in regulations affects other artists as well, like Lady Gaga and Tony Bennet. Nominated for their album Love For Sale, a collection of classic Cole Porter songs, Gaga’s credits no longer include Porter as a collaborator. Despite including legendary songs like “Night and Day”, “It’s De-Lovely”, and “Love for Sale”, Porter is unable to be recognized because the Academy only nominates contributors of new material and his songs date back to the 1930s. 

The Academy also made additional changes to its award system. After last-minute approval from the board of trustees, the Academy expanded the ballot in the top four categories: album, record, song of the year, and best new artist. Instead of the previous eight slots, each category contains ten slots apiece. 

The 64th annual Grammy’s will occur on Jan. 31, 2022 and can be streamed on the network CBS. 


Photograph courtesy of WIKIMEDIA COMMONS