The Recording Academy, the oversight body for the Grammy Awards, has made an exciting announcement ahead of the 66th edition of the prestigious music event.
NAIROBI, KENYA | NOW THEN DIGITAL — The Recording Academy, the oversight body for the Grammy Awards, has announced the addition of a new category called ‘Best African Music Performance’ for the upcoming 66th edition.
This category aims to celebrate recordings that showcase unique local expressions from across the African continent.
Addressing Calls for Inclusion
The introduction of the Best African Music Performance category comes in response to calls for more recognition of African music at the Grammys. In recent years, the Afrobeats community has criticized the awards for overlooking the genre, which has gained immense popularity worldwide.
Recording Academy’s Decision
During the Recording Academy’s semi-annual board of trustees meeting last month, various additions and amendments were discussed and approved. This led to the inclusion of the new African music category.
The decision reflects the organization’s commitment to acknowledging a diverse range of artists and genres.
The Celebration of African Musical Traditions
The Best African Music Performance category, which encompasses both tracks and singles, will highlight regional melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic traditions from Africa.
It will recognize genres such as Afrobeat, Afro-fusion, Afro-pop, Afrobeats, amapiano, highlife, bongo flava, fuji, kwassa, ndombolo, mapouka, Ghanaian drill, Afro-house, South African hip hop, Ethio-jazz, and many more.
Recording Academy CEO’s Statement
Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, expressed his enthusiasm for the new categories, emphasizing the importance of recognizing a wider array of artists and musical styles.
He also mentioned that the changes were made in response to feedback from the music community and the ever-evolving musical landscape.
“By introducing these three new categories, we are able to acknowledge and appreciate a broader array of artists, and relocating the Producer of the Year and Songwriter of the Year categories to the General Field ensures that all our voters can participate in recognising excellence in these fields,” he said.
“We are excited to honour and celebrate the creators and recordings in these categories, while also exposing a wider range of music to fans worldwide.”, Mason added.
Past African Grammy Winners
At the previous Grammys, South African artists Nomcebo Zikode, Zakes Bantwini, and Wouter Kellerman won the Best Global Music Performance category for their collaboration on the song ‘Bayethe’. Nigerian singer Tems also received her first Grammy in the Best Melodic Rap Performance category for her feature on Future’s ‘Wait for U’ alongside Drake.
The addition of the Best African Music Performance category demonstrates the Recording Academy’s commitment to recognizing and celebrating the rich musical heritage of Africa. It reflects a desire to embrace diverse genres and ensure that artists from all backgrounds are represented on music’s biggest stage.
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