Cambodia’s ‘Krom’ Submitted for Two Grammys

Krom, a bluesy five-piece that formed in Phnom Penh in 2010, has been submitted as a contender for two Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year, founder Christopher Minko confirmed on Friday.

“We are, well, delighted beyond words,” Mr. Minko, an Australian national, said in an email.

Christopher Minko, center, and his band Krom. (Jonathan Van Smit George)
Christopher Minko, center, and his band Krom. (Jonathan Van Smit George)

“We were aware that Grammy applications had been submitted for Krom,” he said. “However, the official confirmation of nomination acceptance in two categories has just now been received.”

The band’s third studio album, “Mekong Delta Blues,” released in April, was nominated for Best World Music Album, while the track “Lil’ Suzy,” a haunting tale of prostitution and sexual slavery, will compete for Song of the Year.

The eligibility period for the 2017 Grammy Awards runs through September and the winners will be announced in February in Los Angeles.

Despite the band’s “stubbornly independent” ideals, Mr. Minko—who sings and plays guitar alongside female vocalists Sophea Chamroeun and Sopheak Chamroeun, guitarist Jimmy Baeck and bassist James “Mao” Sokleap—said he was not about to turn his nose up at popular acclaim.

“I, and the band, would, like any musician, be delighted to achieve mainstream recognition,” he said.

Mr. Minko, whose baritone vocals have been compared to those of Tom Waits and Nick Cave, said he hoped the nominations would lead to positive knock-on effects for both the band and Cambodia’s underappreciated music scene.

“Of course Krom is honored if we can even partly contribute towards the growing international recognition of the cultural and artistic renaissance in Cambodian culture,” he said.

“We also hope that this will open up international touring potentials for Krom and are now in planning with our label for performance tours of Europe, USA, Canada and Australia.”

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Correction: A previous version of this article quoted Christopher Minko as saying that Krom had been nominated for two Grammy Awards. In fact, the band’s application for consideration has been accepted, but final nominations will not be announced until December, according to a Grammy spokeswoman.

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