A Sailor’s Guide to Earth may have been deemed one of the best albums of 2016 by Paste, but even Sturgill Simpson himself recognizes that many people were surprised by Tuesday’s announcement of his Album of the Year Grammy nomination.
“I was so certain that when the tour wrapped up, we were done,” Simpson told The New York Times. “But it might be a good idea to go play some shows again, I don’t know, given how many millions of people are saying, ‘Who the [expletive] is Sturgill Simpson?’ as of this morning.”
Simpson is certainly a dark horse pick, as his name is listed among pop-cultural icons like Beyoncé, Adele, Drake and Justin Bieber, and in an interview, he notes that he wishes Frank Ocean were nominated instead of him.
“I really, really wish, honestly, and no [expletive]—I would’ve liked to see Frank Ocean’s name where mine is,” the country singer-songwriter said. “But that’s not my place to say. I totally understand [his protest]. I just thought that record was really groundbreaking.”
Frank Ocean intentionally refrained from submitting Blonde or Endless for Grammy consideration, in protest of the Recording Academy’s history of denying recognition to deserving black artists. “I’d rather this be my Colin Kaepernick moment for the Grammys than sit there in the audience,” Ocean told The New York Times in an interview of his own.
Enjoy audio from Simpson’s 2014 Daytrotter session in the Paste Cloud player below.