Grammy Nominees 2020 | Sofar Sounds Alumni

Grammy Nominees 2020 | Sofar Sounds Alumni
ArtistsJanuary 17, 2020

Get your Grammy watch-party snacks out — it’s time to cheer on some Sofar alumni as they prepare for the 2020 Grammys! We’re thrilled to see these artists get just recognition for their amazing talents, and even more thrilled we got the chance to see them live in such an intimate space.

Andrew Bird

Best Folk Album

Andrew Bird’s latest album, My Finest Work Yet, says it all— his soul-searching melodies and impressive instrumentals are Grammy-worthy and playlist-ready. Andrew joined us to support refugees worldwide at our Give a Home series, performing in a LA backyard in 2017.

Big Thief

Best Alternative Music Album

With a passionate fan base and a striking knack for musical storytelling, Big Thief has been gathering steam and streams for the past two years. Lead vocalist and guitarist Adrienne Lenker performed solo at Sofar NYC in 2016, and we can’t wait to see what’s next for the group after this well-deserved Grammy nod.

Big Thief performing at Sofar NYC | Photo by Nick Ellsworth

Billie Eilish

Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Solo Pop Performance, Best Pop Vocal Album

… maybe you’ve heard of her? This 18 year-old singer and songwriter has made a huge name for herself since she first took the Sofar stage in LA as a 14-year-old with her brother, Finneas. This year, Billie became the youngest artist to ever be nominated for all four of the main Grammy categories — we’re rooting for her to take home the hardware.


Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical), Producer of the Year (Non-Classical)

It’s a family matter. Billie’s older brother also earned himself 5 Grammy nods this year for his work co-writing and producing some of Eilish’s most popular songs. Make sure to watch his solo performance at Sofar NYC and check out FINNEAS’s latest song, “I Lost a Friend.”

Che Apalache

Best Folk Album

Latin Bluegrass? Tell us more. This Latin and American string band has been winning over audiences (especially Sofar audiences!) across North and South America with their affable way of fusing instrumentals with political lyrics.

Ed Sheeran

Best Pop Vocal Album

He sure has come a long way since “The A Team.” This Sofar alum from our Give a Home series is back to claim another Grammy nom this year, though he never really left our hearts (or playlists). Check out his intimate Sofar performance in a D.C. living room!

Flor De Toloache

Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album

You might know them as New York’s first all-women mariachi band. These Latina superstars have been lighting up stages and firing up audiences all over the world, and now, they’re nominated for a hard-earned Grammy. We were lucky to catch them at Sofar NYC in early 2018.

Flor de Toloache performing at Sofar NYC | Photo by Nick Ellsworth

J.S. Ondara

Best Americana Album

This folk singer moved from Nairobi, Kenya to Minneapolis, Minnesota after first hearing Bob Dylan’s music, and the rest is history. Boasting soulful vocals and feel-good rhythms, his newest album, Tales of America, sounds like a cross-country road trip and feels like home. J.S. has played Sofars all over the U.S., from LA to Nashville to Minneapolis.

J.S. Ondara performing at Sofar Nashville | Photo by Trent Millspaugh

Karen O

Best Rock Performance

After getting her start as the enigmatic frontwoman for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Karen O has launched an impressive solo career creating music that pushes the boundaries of the indie rock scene to new, charming territory. She joined us back in 2014 for a simple, stripped-down performance in NYC with none other than fellow Sofar alum Moses Sumney accompanying her on guitar.

Social House

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

Say goodbye to boxed-in genre standards and hello to the hypnotic musical union that is Social House. They’ve written hits for stars like Ariana Grande (anyone heard of “thank u, next”??) and produced dance-able, jammable hits of their own. We boogied along with them at their Sofar Long Island performance in 2018.

Eric Burton (Black Pumas)

Best New Artist

His story starts on a street corner in Austin and is hardly finished with this Grammy nom. Known for his stunning vocals and compelling stage presence, this California-born singer is one to watch. He played with us solo in Austin and Dallas/Fort Worth, but keep an eye out for more music from the Black Pumas.

Get ready to cheer on these Sofar stars come award night, including these other Sofar alumni who received noms: 

BJ The Chicago Kid | Best Traditional R&B Performance, Best R&B Album | Sofar LA 2017

Esperanza Spalding | Best Jazz Vocal Album, Best Arrangement (Instruments and Vocals) | Sofar Philadelphia 2017

I'm With Her | Best American Roots Performance | Sofar London 2018

Jessie Reyez | Best Urban Contemporary Album | Sofar Chicago 2017

Maren Morris | Best Country Duo/Group Performance | Sofar Nashville 2017

NAO | Best Urban Contemporary Album | Sofar London 2013 (with The Boxettes)

PUBLIQuartet | Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance | Sofar NYC 2017

Ranky Tanky | Best Regional Roots Music Album | Sofar Charleston 2017

Cyrille Aimée | Best Arrangement (Instruments and Vocals) | Sofar NYC 2017

Tank and the Bangas| Best New Artist | Sofar NYC, San Francisco, New Orleans, Chicago 2016-2017

Header Photo of Maren Morris by Lauren Murphy

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