Grammy Predictions: Tainy, Kid Harpoon, Ricky Reed in the Mix for Producer of the Year Noms

From familiar faces to rising stars and living legends, the producer of the year, non classical category promises to be one of the most hotly contested fields at the 2023 Grammy Awards. The leading contenders helped craft some of the year’s most acclaimed projects — elevating, refining, and, in some cases, reinventing the sounds of awards favorites like Beyoncé, Adele, and Brandi Carlisle.

With Adele’s “30” very much in the mix this year, Greg Kurstin is a frontrunner to nab his fifth nomination. The producer-musician, who helmed the “30” hits “Easy On Me” and “Oh My God,” as well as crafting tracks for Maren Morris, Tate McRae, and Gorillaz, previously won in 2017 and 2018. He joins fellow frequent flier Jack Antonoff, who could repeat last year’s win thanks to his production on Florence + The Machine’s “Dance Fever” and singles such as the 1975’s “Part of the Band” and Tame Impala and Diana Ross’ “Turn Up The Sunshine.”  

While Kurstin and Antonoff have won in the past, three-time nominee Ricky Reed is looking for his first victory. He should be in the hunt again this year on the strength of his contributions to Lizzo’s “Special” and Camila Cabello’s “Familia” (not to mention he shared in Jon Batiste’s album of the year win in 2022). Alt-Nashville ace Dave Cobb — a two-time nominee — will also be looking to pick up his first win for his production duties on Brandi Carlile’s “In These Silent Days,” James Bay’s “Leap,” and Brett Eldridge’s “Songs About You.” Given their respective bodies of work, both have decent odds.

Also in the mix are a pair of comparative newcomers and a couple legends long overdue for Grammy recognition. Tainy has been the titan of modern Latin music for the past several years and had a hand in two of the wide-spanning genre’s biggest albums, Bad Bunny’s “Un Verano Sin Ti” and Rosalia’s “Motomami.” Kid Harpoon also left a huge mark on pop culture as a key force behind Harry Styles’ all-conquering “Harry’s House” and cuts with Lizzo, Maggie Rogers and Years & Years.

Other producers worthy of serious consideration include K-pop heavyweight Teddy Park, the mastermind behind BLACKPINK’s globe-conquering “Born Pink” as well as hit singles from members LISA and ROSÉ, Kendrick Lamar’s long-time collaborator Sounwave who returned for 2022’s “Mr. Morales & The Big Steppers,” Grammy favorite T Bone Burnett (Robert Plant & Alison Krauss’ “Raise The Roof”), and pop maverick ILYA (Sam Smith and Kim Petras’ “Unholy” and Camila Cabello’s “Oh Na Na”).

If the category needs a feel-good story, however, it could come by way of Beyoncé’s “Renaissance.” Veteran producers The-Dream and Tricky Stewart have never been recognized in this category, which is staggering considering their line-up of classic hits including Rihanna’s “Umbrella,” Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It),” and Kanye West’s “All Of The Lights.” Is 2023 their time to shine?

Grammy nominations will be revealed on Nov. 15; the show is scheduled for Feb. 5, 2023 on CBS.

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