(Toronto) Rufus Wainwright thinks 2021 may finally be his year.
Having received many accolades throughout his illustrious career, the Canadian singer-songwriter still lacks a key symbol of musical success: a Grammy award.
Rufus Wainwright was nominated once, but didn’t get his hands on the trophy. That could change with his second nomination, however, if the Recording Academy, which hosts the gala, votes in his favor.
The Grammy ceremony will take place on March 14 rather than at the end of January as originally planned, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think that among the members of the Academy, one thinks, in general, that I should have a Grammy”, recently suggested the musician by telephone from his house in Hollywood Hills.
“But it’s still unlikely […] If I don’t win, I won’t be devastated. “
Rufus Wainwright faces “heavy hitters”, as he describes them himself, in the category of best traditional pop album. His album Unfollow the rules will compete against records by Burt Bacharach, Harry Connick Jr., James Taylor and the film’s soundtrack about Judy Garland, Judy, sung by Renée Zellweger (which includes a Christmas song by Rufus Wainwright).
In 2009, his own tribute album to Judy Garland was nominated in the same traditional pop category, but it did not win the award. Rather, it was the late Natalie Cole who had been honored, after making public her diagnosis of hepatitis C the previous year.
“I was like, ‘Well, we’re forgetting my Grammy,’” recalls Rufus Wainwright.
“I kind of forgot that one. I would say for this one I’m a little more careful. “
The race for victory often involves behind-the-scenes campaigns, which, without the pandemic, could include public appearances and lunches with members of the industry. Most of these efforts nowadays take place in a virtual world, which makes it a bit easier for Rufus Wainwright to shine.
“You don’t have to play the game,” he said, “but I tend to enjoy it fleetingly. “
In addition to his quest for a trophy, Rufus Wainwright recently released a recording for Audible Original titled Road Trip Elegies: Montreal to New York.
The three-and-a-half-hour audio adventure sees him embark on a ” road trip ”Alongside his psychologist, in the fall of 2019, where he reflects on the happiness and obstacles of his past. Some of these experiences involve his late mother, Canadian folk singer Kate McGarrigle, while others delve into the intricacies of artistic creation. The often candid anecdotes are peppered with songs that Rufus Wainwright performed in a Los Angeles venue.
The idea arose after Rufus Wainwright heard that Audible “was looking for content and was very generous” with its offers.
He suggested recreating the “really interesting conversations about history, culture and mythology” he had with his psychologist during the sessions on the couch, but sharing them in a less stagnant place. So they jumped into a car and went on a trip together.
“It’s an incredibly private bond between a psychologist and his patient,” noted Rufus Wainwright.
“But I assured him from the start that it was really me centered. His words would hardly ever be heard, which he really is. “
Stuck in quarantine, the artist drew on this creativity by “writing incessantly”, one of the few advantages which allowed him to concentrate during this terrible period.
“These are great opportunities to really start mapping a big project. Because it takes five years anyway to get these things going, ”he said.
“I would like to write a play or a musical film […] There are some really interesting things on the horizon for me. “