Last Updated on November 22, 2022 by Scott Shetler
2023 Best New Artist Grammy Nominees:
• Omar Apollo
• DOMi & JD Beck
• Samara Joy
• Muni Long
• Tobi Nwigwe
• Molly Tuttle
• Wet Leg
The real story surrounding the 2023 Grammy race for Best New Artist is the massive number of excellent artists who are experiencing commercial and critical success, yet were surprisingly omitted from the category. That includes pop darling Conan Gray, who is essentially the male Olivia Rodrigo with his introspective songs of youthful angst.
Also overlooked were emerging female rappers Flo Milli, Pinkpantheress, and GloRilla; alt-country singer Zach Bryan, who many assumed was a shoo-in for a nomination; dance-pop star Rina Sawayama; indie rock faves Soccer Mommy, Beabadoobee, and Mitski; country singers Orville Peck and Lainey Wilson; and rising pop singers Em Beinhold, Tate McRae, Dove Cameron, and Gayle.
It’s hard to imagine why the Recording Academy overlooked all of those acts in favor of some of the unknown names that made the final cut. Conan Gray, Tate McRae, Rina Sawayama, and Mitski seemed like obvious choices. But they will have to wait another day for their Grammy nomination.
Ok then… who’s actually nominated? Start with Maneskin, the Eurovision band who’ve lit up the rock charts with “Beggin'” and “Supermodel.” They’ve performed on Saturday Night Live and the MTV Video Music Awards, and seem to have the most name recognition in a category that is severely lacking it.
Some have written off Maneskin as a flash in the pan act made more of style than substance, but with every new track they release, including the ballad “The Loneliest” and the Elvis cover “If I Can Dream,” the Italian band is showing it has the chops to potentially hang around for a while.
Wet Leg is the cooler choice among critics. The female-fronted band scored 5 nominations in total, so they’ve already demonstrated they have the support from the Recording Academy necessary to win.
Latto scored a commercial breakthrough this year with “Big Energy” and will have a ton of industry support. So will bluegrass singer Molly Tuttle. Although Tuttle is not well-known, Academy voters love “roots music.”
DOMi & JD Beck are an interesting nominee. Virtually nobody had heard of this duo before the Best New Artist nod, but they’ve actually got a ton of Grammy cred already. Their jazzy debut album includes features from former Album of the Year Grammy winner Herbie Hancock, former Record of the Year winner Anderson .Paak, plus Thundercat, Snoop Dogg, and more.
Brazilian pop artist Anitta and R&B singer Omar Apollo were both widely expected to earn nominations, and they did not disappoint. There’s a chance either could emerge from a crowded pack to eke out a win. R&B singer Muni Long, jazz singer Samara Joy, and rapper Tobi Nwigwe figure to be longer shots.
Best New Artist Prediction
Usually, the most commercially successful act is the one that wins Best New Artist. In this case, that would be Maneskin or Latto.
Working against Maneskin is the fact that another acclaimed rock act, Wet Leg, is also nominated. And many in the Recording Academy’s sizable Americana voting contingent could go for Molly Tuttle. Splitting the rock vote three ways could doom all three of these acts.
But Latto could also see the hip hop vote being split between herself and Tobi Nwigwe, and possibly even DOMi & JD Beck, the jazz duo who have collaborated with numerous rappers and could get some support from that portion of the Academy.
DOMi & JD Beck are the dark horses here. Grammy voters love newcomers they view as “real musicians,” so they could follow in the footsteps of Esperanza Spalding and pull of a surprise win.
Omar Apollo or even Anitta could walk way with the award if these other acts end up splitting the vote. But with rare exceptions (Spalding over Justin Bieber), it’s normally the most commercially successful artist that wins Best New Artist, even if they’re not the “cred” pick.
So our prediction is Maneskin edging out Latto, Omar Apollo, and Wet Leg to take the gramophone.
2023 Grammy Awards: Best New Artist Prediction
Deserves to win: Maneskin
Will win: Maneskin
Should have been nominated: Conan Gray