Jammin’ In July: The VMAs Nominations Are Up (+ Who I’d Vote For!)

Hi everyone,

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the entertainment news, or the highly publicised Twitter spat between Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift, then chances are you’ve seen that the nominations for the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) were unveiled early last week.

Leading the nominations is pop music’s darling Taylor Swift – who is up for nine awards including Video of The Year and Best Female – and hot on her heels is Brit singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran, who is up for six awards including Best Male and Best Cinematography for Thinking Out Loud.

Other notable nominations include Beyoncé with five – going head to head with Swift and Sheeran for Video of the Year – as well as Best Female Video for her track 7/11. Dynamic duo Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars are also nominated for five awards, for their much-loved number one hit Uptown Funk.

Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth are up for Best Hip Hop video with See you again – the poignant tribute to Fast and Furious actor Paul Walker – and VMA newbies Walk The Moon are up for Best Rock Video, alongside rock royalty Fall Out Boy.

It has also been announced that Miley Cyrus will be hosting this year’s awards, which many may think a controversial choice after THAT performance with Robin Thicke in 2013, so I’m excited to see what kooky antics will ensue.

So, seeing as I think the nominations are an alright bunch this year, I thought it’d be fun to tell you who I’d vote for and why. I’ve listed the nominations in full so you can see the competition, and maybe tell me in a comment who you’d vote for.

 

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Beyoncé – “7/11″

Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud”

Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood”

Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”

Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”

My winner:

Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”

Uptown Funk wins this category for me, hands down, because it’s so full of life. It has a zesty old-school quality – the choreography is reminiscent of something The Jackson Five would’ve done back in the day – but it’s been brought forward and somewhat modernised without losing it’s retro coolness. Likewise, the ending (in the New York night club kind of setting) with the neon lights and the smoke has a very 80’s feel that’s just cool. It’s quirky, it’s fun and it doesn’t take its self too seriously (Mars’ and Ronsons’ hair salon moment, I’m looking at you here.)

 

BEST MALE VIDEO

Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud”

Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”

Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”

The Weeknd – “Earned It”

Nick Jonas – “Chains”

My winner:

Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud”

I chose Thinking Out Loud because, when you watch it, you can see how much work Sheeran must’ve put in to perfect that dance; he didn’t just stand with a microphone and lip-sync while someone danced around him, he learned the routine and danced with her. I think it’s an incredible, beautiful, romantic video and personally I just prefer it.

 

BEST FEMALE VIDEO

Beyoncé – “7/11″

Taylor Swift – “Blank Space”

Nicki Minaj – “Anaconda”

Sia – “Elastic Heart”

Ellie Goulding – “Love Me Like You Do”

My winner:

Taylor Swift – “Blank Space”

I know that Taylor Swift is up for a lot of awards this year, but you can’t deny that this video is extremely polished and well put together. It’s picturesque from the get-go, from the locations to the costumes, there’s a sense of old-school glamour and lavishness to the whole thing. It has a dream-like, fantasy quality throughout whilst still having a clear narrative and sense of story; demonstrating the lighter and darker sides to a relationship. It’s for this reason that I chose it as my winner for Best Female Video.

 

BEST HIP HOP VIDEO

Fetty Wap – “Trap Queen”

Nicki Minaj – “Anaconda”

Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”

Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth – “See You Again”

Big Sean ft. E-40 – “I Don’t F–k With You”

My winner:

Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth – “See You Again”

Again, a very beautiful and picturesque video with some gorgeous view shots and sunset backdrops. There’s a good mix of performance and film footage, with a lot of shots of the late Paul Walker, making it very poignant and moving to watch.

 

BEST POP VIDEO

Beyoncé – “7/11″

Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud”

Taylor Swift – “Blank Space”

Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”

Maroon 5 – “Sugar”

My winner:

Maroon 5 – “Sugar”

I love the whole ‘wedding crashers’ element to this, I think it’s a really original idea for a music video and they seem to have pulled it off very well. The surprise on people’s faces is brilliant to watch; from the chef in the kitchen as the band walk through, to one stunned bride who drops an F-bomb.  The feel good vibe is infectious – you can’t help but smile when you watch it.

 

BEST ROCK VIDEO

Hozier – “Take Me To Church”

Fall Out Boy – “Uma Thurman”

Florence + the Machine – “Ship To Wreck”

Walk the Moon – “Shut Up and Dance”

Arctic Monkeys – “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?”

My winner:

Fall Out Boy – “Uma Thurman”

The concept for this video is unlike anything else I’ve ever seen. It centres on a fan winning a contest to be the band’s assistant for the day, but with no ‘ordinary’ tasks. Between walking a zebra, flying in a wind tunnel, playing paintball with Pete Wentz against Brendon Urie (P!ATD) and Brian Dales (The Summer Set), and covering Patrick in chicks and bunnies, it’s original, wildly inventive and a little bit bizarre. Looks like it was a lot of fun to be a part of!

 

ARTIST TO WATCH

Fetty Wap – “Trap Queen”

Vance Joy – “Riptide”

George Ezra – “Budapest”

James Bay – “Hold Back The River”

FKA Twigs – “Pendulum”

My winner(s):

George Ezra – “Budapest” 

Or, James Bay – “Hold Back The River”

Quite honestly I couldn’t choose between these two artists, I love both these tracks. Visually I think Ezra’s has more going on in the video, but I’d be happy for either of them to win.

 

BEST COLLABORATION

Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood”

Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”

Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth – “See You Again”

Ariana Grande & The Weeknd – “Love Me Harder”

Jessie J + Ariana Grande + Nicki Minaj – “Bang Bang”

My winner:

Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”

Again, this one was a no-brainer for me. Click here to see my previous review of the track.

 

VIDEO WITH A SOCIAL MESSAGE

Jennifer Hudson – “I Still Love You”

Colbie Caillat – “Try”

Big Sean ft. Kanye West and John Legend – “One Man Can Change the World”

Rihanna – “American Oxygen”

Wale – “The White Shoes”

My winner: ?!

To be honest, I’m really undecided on this category – which would you vote for?

 

BEST ART DIRECTION

Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood” (Charles Infante)

Snoop Dogg – “So Many Pros” (Jason Fijal)

Jack White – “Would You Fight For My Love” (Jeff Peterson)

The Chemical Brothers – “Go” (Michel Gondry)

Skrillex & Diplo – “Where Are U Now” with Justin Bieber (Brewer)

My winner:

Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood” (Charles Infante)

Another no-brainer in my opinion; the art direction in this video is fantastic. The concept really ties in with the superhero/villain genre, which is hugely popular at the moment, and it’s executed flawlessly. It’s high-end, glossy and has a very cinematic ‘movie-trailer’ feel to it.

 

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

Beyoncé – “7/11″ (Beyoncé, Chris Grant, Additional choreography: Gabriel Valenciano)

OK Go – “I Won’t Let You Down” (OK Go, air:man and Mori Harano)

Chet Faker – “Gold” (Ryan Heffington)

Ed Sheeran – “Don’t” (Nappy Tabs)

Flying Lotus ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Never Catch Me” (Keone and Mari Madrid)

My winner:

Ed Sheeran – “Don’t” (Nappy Tabs)

I love this style of choreography and it doesn’t look an easy thing to master. The whole routine is very slick and really well stylised; some of things the dancer does with his body completely baffles me at times.

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Flying Lotus ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Never Catch Me” (Larkin Sieple)

Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud” (Daniel Pearl)

Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood” (Christopher Probst)

FKA Twigs – “Two Weeks” (Justin Brown)

Alt-J – “Left Hand Free” (Mike Simpson)

My winner:

Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood” (Christopher Probst)

As I mentioned previously, Bad Blood has a very cinematic feel to it. It’s so slick and high-quality that it’s almost as if you’re watching a mini-movie trailer – so a bit of a given that I’d choose it as my winner for ‘Best Cinematography.’

 

BEST DIRECTION

Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood” (Joseph Kahn)

Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk” (Bruno Mars and Cameron Duddy)

Kendrick Lamar – “Alright” (Colin Tilley & The Little Homies)

Hozier – “Take Me To Church” (Brendan Canty and Conal Thomson of Feel Good Lost)

Childish Gambino – “Sober” (Hiro Murai)

My winner(s):

Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood” (Joseph Kahn)

Or, Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk” (Bruno Mars and Cameron Duddy)

Again, I couldn’t choose between these two, pretty much for the same reason that I picked them for Best Art Direction and Video of The Year, respectively.

 

BEST EDITING

Beyoncé – “7/11″ (Beyoncé, Ed Burke, Jonathan Wing)

Ed Sheeran – “Don’t” (Jacquelyn London)

Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood” (Chancler Haynes at Cosmo Street)

A$AP Rocky – “L$D” (Dexter Navy)

Skrillex & Diplo “Where Are U Now” with Justin Bieber (Brewer)

My winner:  

Ed Sheeran – “Don’t” (Jacquelyn London)

 

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood” (Ingenuity Studios)

FKA Twigs – “Two Weeks” (Gloria FX, Tomash Kuzmytskyi, and Max Chyzhevskyy)

Childish Gambino – “Telegraph Ave.” (Gloria FX)

Skrillex & Diplo “Where Are U Now” with Justin Bieber (Brewer)

Tyler, The Creator – “F****** Young/Death Camp” (Gloria FX)

My winner:

Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood” (Ingenuity Studios)

 

And there you have it. What do you think of my choices? Would you vote differently? I always find it interesting to compare opinions as everybody is different so, as I said, feel free to leave a comment and tell me who you’d vote for.

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One thought on “Jammin’ In July: The VMAs Nominations Are Up (+ Who I’d Vote For!)

  1. Pingback: Welcome to: Jammin’ In July! | Sophie Brown.

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