James Blake released his self-titled debut in 2011, before following up with his critically acclaimed sophomore album Overgrown in April. The latter earned the U.K. native a coveted 2014 Grammy nomination for Best New Artist— but Blake was too sleepy to process the news.
This year the category includes James Blake, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Ed Sheeran and country singer Kacey Musgraves. The names were revealed during the “Grammy Nominations Concert Live!” broadcast last weekend, but back in the U.K. it was already bedtime for Blake.
“My friend woke me up at about 4 o’clock in the morning, which is when it was actually announced,” Blake told MTV News. “I said ’Oh really? Oh great,’ and then went back to sleep because I just don’t think I understood what he was saying at that time, as I was very sleepy.”
But when he did digest it, he concluded that it wouldn’t be so bad if Kendrick Lamar took home the Grammy.
“I was obviously very happy, but I did have to go online and check to make sure that it was actually true and he wasn’t just trolling me,” he added.
After getting over his initial surprise, his thoughts naturally turned to what outfit he’d be required to wear. “Well, I’m not sure how to react. It’s obviously an amazing thing, but I don’t know much about the ceremony. My first thought was: Do I have to go somewhere? And maybe turn up to the show and wear a nice suit or something? I’m gonna have to go shopping for a suit unless someone is gonna kindly give me one, but I haven’t thought too much about the preparation if bring I’m honest.”
And even if Blake does get done up for the occasion, there’s one contender in his category he wouldn’t terribly mind losing to. “If Kendrick wins it, I’m not gonna be complaining,” he said matter-of-factly. “I think he deserves that.”
Kendrick Lamar dropped his major label debut good kid, m.A.A.d city in October 2012, but just like Blake, it wasn’t actually his first album. “I’m surprised I’m earning a nomination for Best New Artist seeing as Overgrown is my second album, but apart from that obviously I’m obviously just happy to be included,” he noted.
Though the Grammy rules can sometimes be confusing, their criteria for Best New Artist, according to their their website, is as follows: “The artist must have released, as a featured performing artist, at least one album but not more than three; and the artist must not have been entered for Best New Artist more than three times.”