News

African Artists At The Grammys: Angélique Kidjo, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Rocky Dawuni & Jidenna Earn 2016 Nominations

Angélique Kidjo, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Zomba Prison Project, Rocky Dawuni, and Jidenna have all been nominated for 2016 Grammys.

Angélique Kidjo at the 2015 Grammys. (Photo courtesy of Angélique Kidjo)


The 2016 Grammy nominations have been announced and a few of our favorite artists have made the cut.

Renowned Beninese singer and activist, Angélique Kidjo, is once again nominated in the “Best World Music” category for her album Sings. Kidjo took home the award last year–with an exceptionally graceful speech—for her album EVE and also in 2008 for Djin Djin.

South African all-male chorus Ladysmith Black Mambazo are also contenders for the “Best World Music" award for their album Music From Inala. This is the group’s 16th nomination in a career that has spanned over 50 years. Their most recent win was in 2013 when they received the award for their album Live: Singing For Peace Around The World. The Zomba Prison Project, an album conceived of by American writer and producer Ian Brennan (Tinerwan, TV On The Radio) and comprised of recordings by prisoners at the Zomba Central Prison located at the border of Malawi and Mozambique, is also nominated in the category.

Though we’re excited for the nominees, we’re still side-eyeing The Grammys’ continued use of ‘World Music’ as an all-encompassing tag for all non-Western music of blatantly different genres. One in which, this year, Kidjo and Ladysmith Black Mambazo are placed in the same category as Gilberto Gil’s samba album and Indian sitar player Anoushka Shankar.

However, African artists have been nominated in other categories as well. Rocky Dawuni becomes the first Ghanaian to be nominated for “Best Reggae Album” for his latest project Branches of the Same Tree. The “African Thriller” singer expressed his elation about the monumental nomination to Accra’s Starr 103.5FM radio station, “it’s a good day for Ghana and Ghanaian music” exclaimed the musician.

Nigerian-American singer Jidenna, earned his first-ever nomination for his hit single “Classic Man.” The song is up against records by Nicki Minaj, Kendrick Lamar, Common and others for the title of “Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.”

Check out some of the nominated songs and albums below and tune in on February 15 to see which of Africa’s star musicians take home golden gramophones at the 2016 Grammys.

Update, 12/8/15:  South African artist Wouter Kellerman's Love Language is also nominated, he's in the running for "Best Contemporary Instrumental Album." Also, as Loyiso mentions on our Facebook, South African gospel artist Neville Diedericks is nominated for "Best Gospel Performance/Song" for his part in Israel & New Breed's "How Awesome Is Our God (Live)."

News Brief
(Youtube)

Falz’s ‘Squander’ Remix Will Get You Dancing In No Time

The single features Niniola and South African amapiano acts Kamo Mphela, Mpura and SayFar.

Nigerian award-winning rapper, songwriter, and actor Falz makes his debut into the South African music scene with a remix of his hit single "Squander" featuring South Africa's Kamo Mphela, Mpura, and SayFar alongside the Nigerian Afro-House queen Niniola, who was on the original.

Produced by Young Willis and SayFar, the single has an infectious energy that will get you dancing in no time. We didn't expect anything less from breakout vocalist Mpura whose single "Umsebenzi Wethu" is currently topping multiple streaming charts. Amapiano singer and choreographer Kamo Mphela, known for her striking dance moves and collaborations with prominent artists like Busiswa & DJ Maphorisa, also continues to solidify her name in the industry with this feature.

Falz's ability to create music that reflects on the realities of many Nigerians has made him one of Nigeria's boldest voices. This is, however, one of the first times we see him pique interest in collaborating with South African artists. "I love South Africa, I love the culture and the food. I am really excited about this remix with Kamo Mphela, Mpura & SayFar because it's a great blend of South African & Nigerian music."

While he is not in the studio producing hits, Falz is a judge in the third season of The Voice Nigeria. The other judges include Nigerian singer and vocalist Waje, Afropop singer Yemi Alade, and the creative director of Livesport360, Dare Art Alade.

"Squander" remix is now available on all streaming platforms.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

South Africans Confronted with Reality of Continued Homophobic Murders

South Africans are rallying under the online banner of #JusticeForLulu after Andile 'Lulu' Ntuthela, a member of the LGBT community, was brutally murdered.