Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar are leading this year’s Grammy nominations, with eight and seven nods respectively.
But nestled among Jay Z’s Family Feuds, Kendrick’s Loyalty and SZA’s Love Galore in best rap/sung performance is first-time nominee GoldLink.
The 24-year-old doesn’t feel out of place though, claiming his track Crew is a “natural choice” for the prize.
“Out of all of the ones in the category, it was the most organic,” the Maryland-born artist says.
Crew, which is taken from GoldLink’s debut studio album At What Cost, features Brent Faiyaz and Shy Glizzy.
The artist says having lesser-known names on his track compared to the other artists on the list (Jay-Z has Beyonce, Kendrick called in Rihanna and Travis Scott is on SZA’s song) makes it more authentic.
“It grew the most gradually,” he explains.
“It felt like that [the success of the track] was something that the people chose, I didn’t choose that.
“We didn’t get a big feature, we didn’t get a big producer, we didn’t try go make a hit, it was something that kind of organically happened.
“I feel like that’s why it is where it is because it was a natural progressive record.”
GoldLink, whose real name is D’Anthony Carlos, says he “had no expectation” when he released the song.
“I knew it was a hit, but I didn’t know to what capacity,” he adds.
The song has over 50 million views on YouTube and its release has been followed by a world tour and a collaboration with the likes of Craig David.
Drake, Eminem and Kanye are among previous winners of the category – with the more established names being favourites to pick up the award this year, too.
GoldLink hasn’t written off beating the odds but says he hasn’t planned anything if his name is read out on the night.
“If I win… we’ll figure it out when we get there”.
Interview by Haider Saleem