Why Is A Woodie Called A Woodie? The MTV Indie Music Award Has a Ridiculous Name, But There Is A Reason
It's that time again: The MTVu Woodie Awards air Friday night live from SXSW in Austin where the best acts in music — according to college students — are honored by being handed a Woodie: A literal chunk of wood with a hammer and nail in it. It's about time we ask what the hell a Woodie is and why it's such a rudimentary object.
I suppose it would help if we start with the basics: The point of the Woodie (aside from the rusty nail in the middle). "The Woodies are the place to discover the emerging artists that you will love forever,” said Ryan Kroft, executive producer of the show. Apparently, the concept here is that college kids know what music is cool before it even becomes cool. (Rude, MTV. Rude.) Just as the awards are called Woodies, the nominees are called Woodies and they include big names like the ones above, as well as up-and-coming artists like Kygo, Years & Years, James Bay, Run the Jewels, and MisterWives. Take note of those names — they might be taking over the radio in a few weeks or months. College kids know best, apparently. But that still doesn't really answer the question about where this weirdo name came from.
So I did some digging:
Why Is It Called a Woodie?
Go ahead, make all the wood jokes you want, perverse or not. I'm pretty sure that's part of the point and besides, the nominees are doing it, too (see Big Sean in the above video). “A Woodie is, like, when a girl walks by you and she makes you, like, really excited,” Swae Lee of nominee Rae Sremmurd told MTV.
But in all seriousness, the Woodie is named for the wood plaques that indie labels used to give their bands that didn't get platinum or gold plaques. But hey, at least the Woodies and MTV are totally acknowledging the fact that the name of the award is also the slang term for an erection, which has to be purposeful. I mean, the name refers to things currently on the rise (hehe) and about to breakthrough (umm...).
Why Does It Look Like This?
The Woodie is a chunk of wood, accompanied by a hammer, and what looks to be a nail. Symbolic, right? I think this, once again, symbolizes the breakthrough of an artist. Just like nails being hammered through wood, it takes a lot of hard work and pressure for an artist to make it to the big time. But this award shows they're well on their way.
Winners of the Woodie who have gone onto great things include The Killers, Fall Out Boy, N.E.R.D., Death Cab for Cutie, Vampire Weekend, Kings of Leon, Zedd, and more.
Why Are The Artist and The Awards Called Woodies?
Instead of categories being listed as "Artist of the Year," the top award is "Woodie of the Year." So, artists = Woodies. Still with me? I think this acknowledges that all the artists — ahem, Woodies — nominated are about to breakout and become stars. You don't need a Woodie in order to become a superstar, but it sure would be nice to win one, wouldn't it?