Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

DJ Semtex: The Weeknd’s Grammy boycott is ‘game-changing’

DJ Semtex (Niall Carson/PA)
DJ Semtex (Niall Carson/PA)

Broadcaster DJ Semtex has described The Weeknd’s move to boycott the Grammy Awards as “game-changing”, and warned it might prompt more high-profile stars to do the same.

The influential hip hop DJ, who has interviewed artists such as Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West, suggested the Recording Academy, the body which oversees the Grammys, needed to be “careful” or it risked alienating other key names.

R&B superstar The Weeknd, former One Direction member Zayn Malik and pop singer Halsey have all complained about the voting process after being snubbed in the nominations.

The 88th Academy Awards – Arrivals – Los Angeles
The Weeknd (Ian West/PA)

And on Thursday, The Weeknd announced his intention to boycott the awards, saying to the New York Times in a statement: “Because of the secret committees, I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys.”

Manchester-raised Semtex, real name John Fairbanks, told the PA news agency: “When I saw the post I was like, ‘Wow, this is actually game-changing’. If Rihanna, Kanye, Jay-Z, Beyonce and everybody else does the same thing, you have got no show.

“If you go to the other side and it is Justin Bieber, you’ve got no show.

“They have really got to be careful what they do next basically. I say that as a fan of music.”

Committees play a key role in the Grammy nominations and the process has long been criticised for alleged bias, with detractors saying artists of colour have been poorly represented in the top awards. Organisers say the process protects the integrity of the awards.

Top Boy UK Premiere – London
DJ Semtex has interviewed artists such as Drake (Ian West/PA)

Semtex, who recently launched a new podcast called Hip Hop Raised Me, acknowledged that the Recording Academy had made changes in recent years.

He added: “I don’t know how The Weeknd was overlooked. That is crazy. Whatever changes they have made, it clearly hasn’t worked.

“The fact that he can then go and say he doesn’t want his label to submit his music to the Grammy committee anymore, that is deep. Could you imagine if every artist says that? There is no event.”

Semtex said the Mercury Prize in the UK still commanded an unrivalled “respect, kudos and appreciation” among both artists and fans, and that the Brit Awards had also improved its representation of diverse music and artists.

But he added: “The Grammys have got a long way to go and I think it is going to be five to 10 years before they figure it out and do it right. My version of doing it right is different to what sponsorship governs.”

Harvey Mason Jr, a producer and songwriter serving as the Recording Academy’s interim chief executive, responded to The Weeknd’s statement, saying the organisation is “constantly changing”.

He told the New York Times: “We’re all disappointed when anyone is upset. But I will say that we are constantly evolving. And this year, as in past years, we are going to take a hard look at how to improve our awards process, including the nomination review committees.”

After promoting parties in Manchester, Semtex spent 15 years at BBC Radio 1Xtra before moving to Capital XTRA.

Chuck D of Public Enemy, US rapper French Montana and grime pioneer Ghetts have so far appeared on his podcast.

Hip Hop Raised Me is available on all major podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher

Already a subscriber? Sign in