First Grammy Nominated Producer – Billboard

On the morning of November 24, Chris Comstock – a producer known to many as Marshmello – woke up, looked at his phone, saw about 50 texts congratulating him on being nominated for a Grammy, and then immediately fell asleep.

“Then I dreamed that I was nominated,” says Comstock Billboards. “I woke up confused, like, ‘It feels real.’ I looked at my phone and realized that I was awake and it was true.”


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This literal dream come true with Mello’s 2021 album, Shockwave, nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Album at the 2022 awards. LP, the first Marshmello album not to be part of the producer’s LP trilogy Happy time series, which was released unexpectedly in June and spans more difficult electronic genres such as trap, dubstep and tech-house, the sound of which is not usually part of the popular Marshmello repertoire.

Shockwave includes a team of collaborators including Carnage, DJ Sliink, TroyBoi, Eptic, Nitti Gritti, Subtronics, Peekaboo and other producers never before seen at the Grammys. (Album with superstar and best new artist wins a Grammy in 2021 Megan Thee Stallion on “Bad Bitches”, one of Billboards‘S top dance songs of 2021.)

For Comstock – who is currently working Joytime IV – winning this nomination, the first of his career, with all these friends is making the experience that much sweeter.

Did you anticipate this nomination? And why do you think this is the project that gets it?

The obvious thing to do is get the power on the album, like the biggest artists in the world. Megan Thee Stallion is on Shockwave, but [with this album] I actually contacted artists that I admire, like DJ Sliink. He’s a Jersey Club legend. I grew up listening to the Jersey club. It’s one of the biggest genres that inspired me in making Marshmello music. It’s not like he’s a giant, great, great artist, but he’s so talented and so sick.

That’s what I did with this album. I like to think that got noticed, because that would be the most obvious thing for me to go back and work with. [artists], but that’s not really my style. I mean, I do it. And when I do that, it’s because I love other artists and we have a great relationship, but I don’t just do something because the artists are numerous.

As you said, you have mega-star Megan Thee Stallion, but you also have TroyBoi, DJ Sliink, Carnage – artists who have been in the electronic industry for a long time but have never been nominated for a Grammy.

On the day the nominations were announced, I texted everyone on the album and said, “Yo, wake up, you’re nominated for a Grammy.” I did FaceTiming for everyone. I just love everyone I’ve worked with; They are all great and very talented, that’s why I worked with them. It’s obvious that you’ve developed a relationship with someone while composing a song together.

For a lot of musicians, really all we have is music, you know what I mean? Like, we put all our eggs in one basket. So when you collaborate with someone, like their everything and everything you are an artist. You spend a lot of time on that song. So obviously, with all the artists on my album, we have a very strong relationship.

So you’re saying this is also a nomination for each of your collaborators?

Sure. The artists I choose, regardless of whether they came on stage yesterday or they’ve been in it for 25 years, that’s my personal feeling, “These people are sick.” Example: Eptic, we made the song with Juicy J – and Three 6 Mafia is one of the biggest inspirations to get me into music – but Eptic, I’m pretty sure he’s younger than me and I’ve been listening to him ever since I learned how to produce . His production is insane, and he’s got some of the biggest carnival dub songs ever. So we’re both really hooked on [this nomination].

I love that with this nomination, you got the artists into the Grammys through the back door. Contributors like Peekaboo or Subtropics or Eptic – artists you don’t necessarily have a Grammy correlation with can join now.

It is just wonderful. The first show I ever did was Skrillex, DJ Sliink and I, and now we’ve sung a song together and we have a Grammy nomination. Is crazy.

Your Joytime III albums from 2020 also have a lot of collaborators. How Shockwave feel different from that album?

Shockwave something like, “I’m going to play any style of music, and I’m going to do it because I want to and I like it.” Like, a “no one can tell me no” kind of thing. It was completely in my hands, and, “I’ll do whatever I want to do, and that’s it.”

Don’t you feel that kind of freedom with your previous albums?

Not without that feeling with the last album. I had a different mindset from previous albums. Happy time and Joytime II a lot of it is raw Marshmello sound, a kind of simple sound, not too much, not too little, very catchy. That’s my goal with those albums. It’s all intentional. I’ve seen things like, “Oh, the production of these albums isn’t this way and it’s not that.” Just the kind of person who hates. But it was all on purpose, because with the first two albums, I thought, “It doesn’t take much. I don’t have to sit here and work like a trap for four days. “That’s how I got into it.

And after that Joytime III – I grew up on a lot of pop-punk music and grew up singing in guitar bands. So Joytime III, I really wanted to try to step up this pop-punk/EDM combination. Joytime III wlike a lot of pop-punk with me singing it, mixed with EDM and then some other EDM tunes. That was also clearly intentional.

Then with Shockwavee’s opening track, “Fairytale,” is a strict trap. I made it like, “This really isn’t like Happy time-y or whatever, but I’ll do it because I want to. “So this is more of an album album, while Joytimes like a tribute to that Marshmello sound.

Shockwave is quite heavy. Like you said, it has traps, it has dubstep, techno houses – sounds that don’t necessarily have to be recognized by the Grammys. What does it mean to you to not only be nominated but be nominated with sounds that are not often represented at awards?

I was surprised. I’m just having fun, you know what I mean? I am not pressed for time. Obviously the pandemic is happening so I’m in no hurry to hit the road. I’m not rushing anything when I get home, and neither is anyone else. I think I’ve really brought out the best in every artist I’ve worked with. We all get the best out of each other on this album.

Although it’s just straight beaters, it’s all intentional. I just had fun with it, not overthinking things. So to have it be my agency of work to be nominated, and to have all the artists that I’ve been meaning to work with for so long, it’s like, “Damn, that’s sick.” For lack of a more detailed explanation of how I feel. [laughs]

What’s interesting is what you’re saying about you and your collaborators having free time on this project. When have you all actually worked on it?

I sat down in the first half of 2020 and said, “Okay, I’ll do another album.” It was like, the first half of last year, for six months. Lots of FaceTimes, lots of calls and synths singing over the phone, looking like a madman.

Is that different from your usual procedure?

What I find is that most manufacturers have a bit of a vibe. They like to stay at their home. They like to drink coffee in the morning. They have few habits, because as a producer you spend a lot of time in a room. When you learn production, you usually stay in the basement, and wherever you move, you have a dedicated space where you feel most comfortable. So can work [at a time] where everyone is in their comfort zone, I think is also made for something different.

Does this nomination make you feel differently about your standing in that context?

No, it doesn’t make me feel any different. I’m just grateful and grateful. I just really like it, but it doesn’t make me feel different. I mean, obviously, now I can say I’ve been nominated for a Grammy, but I’m so grateful that I got the nomination and all the artists I’ve worked with have also received nominations. That’s what I really love.

If you win, will you take off your helmet to give a speech?

I will give a speech. I don’t think I’m going to take off my helmet.

https://www.billboard.com/music/music-news/marshmello-interview-grammys-shockwave-joyhtime-albums-1235013012/ First Grammy Nominated Producer – Billboard

Dais Johnston

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