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Here Are All The 2018 Boston Music Awards Nominees

The Boston Music Awards announced its nominees Friday, kicking off three months of speculation and hope.

Perhaps most notably, the Artist of the Year category included six hip-hop artists — more than half the ballot, and twice as many as last year. The change mirrors a much remarked-upon shift in the nominations of last year’s Grammys, which have been criticized in the past for ignoring rappers and artists of color in its highest profile categories. It also comes on the heels of R&B/hip-hop overtaking rock as the most consumed music genre in Nielsen’s 2017 music year-end report.

The ballot featured many familiar names, like the nationally-known rappers Joyner Lucas and Cousin Stizz and the husky-voiced singer-songwriter Ruby Rose Fox. But some newer faces managed to stand out from the crowd, like the rapper Oompa, a former New Artist nominee who picked up six nominations, and the internet-viral newcomer Clairo, who was nominated for Artist of the Year as well as Album/EP of the Year and Pop Artist of the Year. (The ARTery was nominated for Music Publication of the Year. I was also nominated as a music journalist, as was Arielle Gray, who just joined our team as an arts fellow.)

A clear frontrunner was harder to discern, perhaps because all of the categories each contained 10 nominees, a change from previous years. (Last year, the majority of ballots featured only five nominees.) A new category, Vocalist of the Year, debuted in place of separate male and female vocalist fields; at least one non-binary musician, Walter Sickert, was nominated.

Public voting for the Boston Music Awards is open to the public through Nov. 4; public input accounts for 50 percent of the votes, with the rest going to the nomination committee. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony at the House of Blues on Dec. 12.

ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Clairo
Cousin Stizz
Joyner Lucas
Latrell James
Michael Christmas
Millyz
Ripe
STL GLD
The Ballroom Thieves
Weakened Friends

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
ANSON RAP$
Aubrey Haddard
Billy Dean Thomas
Cliff Notez
Cosmic Johnny
Edge Petal Burn
Gentle Temper
Justin Clancy
Leopard Print Taser
The Water Cycle

UNSIGNED ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Ali McGuirk
Anjimile
Carissa Johnson & the Cure-Alls
Justin Clancy
No/Hugs
Oompa
Ruby Rose Fox
Sidney Gish
The Devil's Twins
Vintage Lee

LIVE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Cousin Stizz
Ed Balloon
Latrell James
Oompa
Party Bois
Ripe
Ruby Rose Fox
Sidewalk Driver
STL GLD
Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys

ALBUM/EP OF THE YEAR
Carissa Johnson & the Cure-Alls - "Talk Talk Talk"
Clairo - "diary 001"
Justin Clancy - "The Color Blue"
Kal Marks - "Universal Care"
Michael Christmas - "Role Model"
Millyz - "Sped Two: The Sequel"
Ripe - "Joy in the Wild Unknown"
Sidney Gish - "No Dogs Allowed"
Speedy Ortiz - "Twerp Verse"
Vundabar - "Smell Smoke"

SONG OF THE YEAR
Aubrey Haddard - “I Should Know Better”
Carissa Johnson & the Cure-Alls - “After All”
Jonny Glenn - “All Fall Down”
Joyner Lucas - “I'm Not Racist”
Latrell James - “Okay”
Michael Christmas - “Ball”
Oompa - “I Deserve That”
Salem Wolves - “Shake”
Sidney Gish - “Not but for You, Bunny”
Trlogy - “Electric Flame”

MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Billy Dean Thomas - "Jab"
Happy Little Clouds - "Beneath"
Joyner Lucas - "I'm Not A Racist"
Justin Clancy - "Work In Progress"
Michael Christmas - “Ball”
Millyz - "SPED"
Oompa ft. Cliff Notez - "I Deserve That"
Ruby Rose Fox - "Freedom Fighter"
STL GLD - "Hold On"
Will Dailey - "Bad Behavior"

ALT/INDIE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Bent Knee
Future Teens
Honey Cutt
Lilith
Mint Green
Palehound
Sidney Gish
Tipling Rock
Vundabar
Weakened Friends

AMERICANA ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Hayley Jane and The Primates
Jake Hill & Deep Creek
Julie Rhodes
Sarah Borges
Session Americana
Susan Cattaneo
The Rationales
These Wild Plains
Tigerman WOAH
Twisted Pine

BLUES ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Ali McGuirk
Celia Woodsmith
Danielle M & The Glory Junkies
Erin Harpe and the Delta Swingers
GA-20
James Montgomery
Julie Rhodes
Matthew Stubbs & The Antiguas
Peter Parcek
The Silks

COUNTRY ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Annie Brobst
Ashley Jordan
Chris Moreno
Chris Ruediger
Gracie Day
Hayley Thompson-King
Houston Bernard Band
Lauren Weintraub
Lonely Leesa & the Lost Cowboys
Scarlett Drive

DANCE/ELECTRONIC ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Bearstronaut
Camino 84
Citrusphere
CONTACT
Ed Balloon
Joe Bermudez
Party Bois
Photocomfort
Steve Darko
Trlogy

DJ OF THE YEAR
Bobby Bangers
Brek.One
DJ 7L
DJ Knife
DJ L'Duke
DJ Slipwax
DJ Yvng Pavl
Frank White
Lenore
SuperSmashBroz

FOLK ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Anjimile
Box of Birds
Dan Blakeslee
Darlingside
Honeysuckle
Lula Wiles
Tall Heights
The Ballroom Thieves
The Wolff Sisters
Town Meeting

HIP HOP ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Cousin Stizz
Dutch ReBelle
Joyner Lucas
Latrell James
Michael Christmas
Millyz
Oompa
STL GLD
Token
Vintage Lee

INTERNATIONAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Albino Mbie
Balla Kouyaté
Debo Band
Dis n Dat Band
Dub Apocalypse
Dzidzor
Kina Zoré
MIXCLA
Nichi y Chalas
Soul Rebel Project

JAZZ ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Alison Keslow
Gretchen & The Pickpockets
Jason Palmer
Jireh Calo
MND FLO
Porterfield
Rina Yamazaki
Terri Lyne Carrington
Tia Fuller
Yoko Miwa

METAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Converge
Fórn
GOZU
Lesser Glow
PanzerBastard
Protean Collective
Scissorfight
Vaulted
Vein
Worshipper

POP ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Brynn Elliott
Clairo
Eddie Japan
Emilia Ali
Hana Kahn
Jonny Glenn
Party Bois
Photocomfort
PVRIS
Ripe

PUNK/HARDCORE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Actor|Observer
Art Thieves
Choke Up
Nice Guys
OC45
Oh The Humanity!
Rebuilder
Street Dogs
The Monsieurs
Tied To A Bear

R&B ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Bad Rabbits
bittymacbeth
Ed Balloon
Haasan Barclay
Lisa Bello
Marcela Cruz
Nancia
TeaMarrr
Treva Holmes
VQNC

ROCK ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Animal Flag
Black Beach
Carissa Johnson & the Cure-Alls
Flight of Fire
Kal Marks
Pile
Salem Wolves
The Devil's Twins
The Rupert Selection
The Ultra

SINGER-SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
Abbie Barrett
Ali McGuirk
Anjimile
Aubrey Haddard
Dan Masterson
Julia Mark
Marissa Nadler
Prateek
Ruby Rose Fox
Will Dailey

VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Ali McGuirk
Aubrey Haddard
Fredua Boakye
Julie Rhodes
Lyndsey Gunnulfsen
Martin Earley
Ruby Rose Fox
Tad McKitterick
Walter Sickert
Will Dailey

STUDIO PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
Benny Grotto
Brian Charles
Dave Brophy
Dave Minehan
Ed Valauskas
Janos Fulop - The Arcitype
Latrell James
Mike Denneen
Miranda Serra
Sean McLaughlin

LIVE PRODUCTION ENGINEER OF THE YEAR
Benjamin Stoppelman
Brendon Downey
Chris Johnson
Dan Gonzales
Darby Smotherman
David Hughes
Grace Reader
Ian Nault
Jesse Vengrove
Reid Calkin

SESSION MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR
Chris Anzalone
Dave Brophy
Duke Levine
Ed Valauskas
Ian Kennedy
Jonathan Ulman
Matt Zappa
Matthew Girard
Mike Levesque
Tim Hall

LIVE MUSIC PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
Ben Stas
Cara DiFabio
Coleman Rogers
Emily Gardner
Greg Gaffney
Jenny Bergman
Jonathan Beckley
Natasha Moustache
Omari Spears
Tim Bugbee

LIVE MUSIC VENUE OF THE YEAR
Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
Brighton Music Hall
House of Blues
Oberon
ONCE Somerville
Orpheum Theatre
Paradise Rock Club
Royale
The Sinclair
The Xfinity Center

INTIMATE LIVE MUSIC VENUE OF THE YEAR
Atwood’s Tavern
Dorchester Art Project
Great Scott
Lilypad
Lizard Lounge
O’Brien’s Pub
The Burren Backroom
The Plough & Stars
Thunder Road
TOAD

LIVE MUSIC RESIDENCY OF THE YEAR
Ali McGuirk First Fridays at Bull McCabes
Americana Sundays at Thunder Road
Bearly Dead at Thunder Road
Black Cotton Club
Blue Ribbons at TOAD
Dennis Brennan Band at Lizard Lounge
Downbeat Mondays at The Sinclair with Matthew Stubbs and the Antiguas
OldJack's Last Saturdays
RISE Music Series at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Tim Gearan Band at Atwood’s Tavern

MUSIC NIGHT OF THE YEAR
Corrosion
Emo Night Boston
Ichiban Saturday
Level Up
Make It New
Ova-Ez
PVRPLE
Re:Set
The Glitter Boys
The Wave Boston

MUSIC PROMOTER OF THE YEAR
Aaron Gray - Grayskull Booking
Alyssa Spector - Lysten Boston
Carl Lavin - Bowery Boston
Christine Varriale - Allston Pudding
Jason Trefts - Illegally Blind
Lance Tobin - Crossroads Presents
Lisa Finelli - Xperience Creative
Luke Osenberg - Artificial Contact
Richard Bouchard - Indie Rock Ranger
Ryan Agate - RTT Presents

MUSIC PUBLICATION OF THE YEAR
Allston Pudding
Boston Hassle
Boston Herald - Guestlisted
DigBoston
KillerBoomBox
Red Line Roots
Sound of Boston
The Lowell Spin
Vanyaland
WBUR - The ARTery

MUSIC JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
Amelia Mason
Arielle Gray
Candace McDuffie
G. Valentino Ball
Jed Gottlieb
Joan Anderman
Michael Marotta
Nina Corcoran
Victor Infante
Victoria Wasylak

617SESSIONS ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Dylan Rockoff - “For You”
Marquis Filthy - “Growing Pains”
Ali McGuirk - “Heartbreaker”
GHOST GRL - “Sleepless”
Jonny Glenn - “For You”
Chase Murphy - “Somethin' To Hold”
Valleyheart - “Fairfield”
Oompa - “Thank You”
Paper Citizen - “Hands Dirty”
prior panic - “Backseat Driver”

A previous version of this article misstated the gender balance of the Vocalist of the Year field. We regret the error.

Amelia Mason Twitter Arts And Culture Reporter
Amelia Mason is an arts and culture reporter and critic for The ARTery, WBUR's arts and culture team. She covers everything from fine art to television to the inner workings of the Boston music scene.

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