The Recording Academy asked this year's first-time GRAMMY nominees to collect their thoughts and share what it feels like to be nominated for a GRAMMY. Tune in to the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards on Sunday, Feb. 13 on the CBS Television Network from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).
To be nominated for a GRAMMY is an honor. It is a privilege. And yes, it is a relief! But more than anything else, it is a lifelong dream come true.
It is also bittersweet. How many times have I attended the GRAMMY Awards? I even performed one year as part of Bette Midler's band, all instances in support of my father, Arif Mardin, being nominated in one or more categories. With The Academy bestowing a nomination for the film about his life and career, how odd it feels that this time, of all times, we won't be there together. He would have loved the attention.
How odd also that it was never my intention to become the co-director of this film. As a musician, producer, arranger, studio rat, and music biz lifer, who would have thought that I'd receive my first GRAMMY nomination in my role as a first-time filmmaker.
In his last months, Arif and I could be found in the studio, co-producing his third album, what would end up becoming All My Friends Are Here, the making of which would become the basis for a GRAMMY-nominated film about him.
While I would be left with the weight and honor of completing the project after we lost him, this was no "tribute" album. It was a very personal statement in which he was actively involved until, literally, his last hours.
I hope the gracious attention the film has received will serve as a pathway for people to discover the extraordinary music on the album.
It is humbling to find myself with the honor and privilege of representing Arif Mardin's legacy and memory at this year's GRAMMY Awards.
My best wishes to all of the nominees, especially my fellow first-timers!
(Joe Mardin is nominated for Best Long Form Music Video for The Greatest Ears In Town: The Arif Mardin Story, the documentary he co-produced and co-directed about the life of his late father, 11-time GRAMMY-winning producer/arranger/composer Arif Mardin.)