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#Grammy: African Artistes Deserve more categories for Better Recognition!

ByNews Editor

Feb 5, 2024

As a critic of arts, I do have some reservations about how the Grammy Awards Governing Council, Jury and Organisers tend to believe most African Afrobeats artistes must always be limited to Global Music Category that hardly ever allows them to win this coveted Grammys.

This is in spite of the fact that, most African Artistes of different categories have proven their mettle in different genre of music over the years.

Now, come to think of it, one of the turn offs for the Nigerian artistes who were present at the Grammys, yesterday was: Imagine, Fela Anikulapo soundtrack being played in the background while a South African Artiste, Tyla whom isn’t even in Afrobeats category was called on stage to receive an Award.

One would be forced to ask: Did they totally forget to play the single track that earned her the laurel? Or did they just choose to lump all African artistes together to be under one genre??? That raised a serious concern for every African yesterday.

Grammys jury tend to forget that the world has turned a complete global village. In the last couple of years, the penetration of Afrobeats and other genres of music from Africa has been nothing short of massive with the help of different streaming platforms.

A stroll on the street of TIktok and IG would make anybody stun at the powerful effects of Afrobeats on virtually every corner of the globe. And not only afrobeats genre, same goes for AfroRap, Afro Rhythm and Blues, Fuji, Juju, amongst others.

My grouse here is, how they have refused to accept the fact that Afrobeat has taken over the reins from whatever genre of music American music industry might have had before now, yet refused be magnanimous enough to create more of new categories for these artistes in order to afford them the opportunities to win these awards.

Tantalizing these awesome African artistes with mere nominations and raising their hopes and that of their fans year in year out might become a source of discouragement for many of them as they believe Grammy Awards to be the biggest Prize to crown their music career efforts.

Considering how big the African continent is, we now have tons of new artistes coming into the.music space and dropping their hit tracks back to back with visuals, every single day with global effects. This, as well as other factors should inform the decision of the jury to do more research in order understand the African music space before creating any Award category.

As far as I could remember only Angelique Kidjo had always clinching the Global music awards every year not until Burna Boy broke the jinx, at last year Grammys, despite the fact that the continent have had powerful musicians whose music prowess could beat that of Angelique Kidjo whom had become the sole winner of that particular Global Music category for many years.

This goes to show how close-minded Grammy Jury have been towards African Music. They only want to see who they want to see. They aren’t ready to do more research for more new discoveries within the African music space which I would say, doesn’t speak well of their good intentions toward the continent.

Nonetheless, since Grammy has pride itself as the biggest prize for any music artiste around the world for decades, It would also speak well of the jury to further expand the scope of the platform, as the world is no longer what and where it used to be. There is now what’s called seamless world of music for every music lover.

By News Editor

Our News Editor, Muyiwa is an information management expert and Development Blogger with more than a decade experience in investigative reporting and journalism. He is passionate about human angle stories to all social issues in Nigeria and Africa.