NIGERIAN artists are taking the spotlight in the upcoming 2024 GRAMMYs, dominating the inaugural ‘Best African Music Performance’ category.
The new category, announced in August, is one of three new category additions aimed at making the GRAMMY Awards process “more fair, transparent and accurate,” according to Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr.
An uproar over unfair allocations of spots in past awards for African artists compelled the inclusion of this category. The new category has seen household names in the Afrobeats world dominate nominations for what is set to be a historical award.
Asake, known for his charismatic stage presence, is in the race with his collaboration with Olamide on ‘Amapiano.’ Notably, Asake recently joined an elite group of Nigerian artists who sold out London’s O2 Arena, following in the footsteps of Wizkid, Davido, and Burna Boy.
Speaking of Burna Boy, the Afrobeats sensation aims to extend his GRAMMY-winning streak, having secured two consecutive Best Global Album nominations for ‘Twice as Tall’ and ‘African Giant.’ Meanwhile, Davido, stars alongside Burna Boy and Wizkid, brings ‘UNAVAILABLE’ into the mix, vying for the coveted award.
Adding a touch of fresh energy is Ayra Starr, whose TikTok-fueled anthem ‘Rush’ resonates with a Rihanna-esque anthemic quality. The 21-year-old’s message of staying focused and striving for success positions her as a potential GRAMMY contender next year.
The lone non-Nigerian nominee in this category is South Africa’s Tyla, recognised for her single ‘Water’ from the upcoming debut EP.
Beyond this category, other African entries shine across various GRAMMY categories. Davido and Burna Boy feature prominently in ‘Best Global Music Performance’ and ‘Global Music Album.’ Davido’s passionate love song ‘Feel’ and Burna Boy’s soulful ‘Alone’ showcase Africa’s global musical influence.
The ‘Best Melodic Rap Performance’ category sees Burna Boy earning his fourth nomination with ‘Sittin’ On Top Of The World,’ a historic achievement for a Nigerian artist.
East Africa also makes a notable appearance, with Tanzania’s Rayvanny and S2kizzy scoring nominations for their contribution to Maluma’s Album ‘Don Juan.’
Nigerian pop star Foreboy DML is on the spot through Jon Baptiste’s ‘World Music Radio,’ nominated for Album of the Year. He shares the stage with C’Kay, featured in Janelle Monae’s ‘Age of Pleasure,’ a contender in the same category. Seun Kuti and Egypt 80, also part of this album, add more African representation to the list.
In the ‘Best Album Notes’ category, Vik Sohonie from Somalia’s Iftin Band, known for ‘Mogadishu’s Finest: The Al Urban Sessions,’ adds a unique flavour to the competition. South African comedian and TV host Trevor Noah brings humour into the mix, competing in the ‘Best Comedy Album’ category.
Tems, the 2023 Grammy winner, re-enters the fray with her contribution to the soundtrack of ‘Black’Panther’—Wakanda Forever, featuring the uplifting track ‘Lift Me Up,’ sung alongside the acclaimed R&B queen Rihanna.
The GRAMMY Awards undergo a meticulous selection process, emphasizing fairness and transparency. After the recent Online Entry Process, voting rounds are underway, with the final winners set to be announced during Music’s Biggest Night on February 4, 2024. As the excitement builds, the global music community eagerly awaits to see which African artists will bag trophies on the GRAMMY stage.