The Recording Academy's CEO recently mentioned talk of adding an Afrobeats category to its line-up of awards.
In a recent trip to Ghana, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. told Ghanaian journalists that the Recording Academy was in talks with the key players in the Afrobeats music scene to explore the possibility of adding Afrobeats to the award's genre list. During the conversation, he mentioned that the Academy was working with "leaders of the Afrobeats community" to promote inclusivity at the Grammys.
“We just had a meeting literarily about six to seven days ago, with leaders of the Afrobeats community… We had listening session where we heard from Afrobeats creators, we talked about the different subgenres what are the needs, what are the desires, and my goal is to represent all genres of music including Afrobeats at the Grammys," said Mason.
Although Mason said that the process was ongoing, the right strategy would have to be taken to ensure that things go off without a hitch.
"I don’t decide categories. The categories are decided by proposals by members. Members can say ‘Harvey, I want an Afrobeat category,’ they write a proposal for the category they talked about. So that process is started now. We did a listening session last week for the step towards that path,” said Mason.
Afrobeats has become a global phenomenon, and has taken a spot on the world stage as one of the leading genres in music. Artists like Burna Boy, Davido, Wizkid and a bevy of others have pushed the sound of Africa past the shores of Africa, and have gotten the respect, attention and admiration of music lovers worldwide.
\u201cThe Recording Academy is now considering an Afrobeats category at the annual Grammys ceremony \ud83c\udfc6\n\nHarvey Manson Jr., the CEO of The Academy, revealed in an interview with the press in Ghana over the weekend\n\nhttps://t.co/kZuXpMoCJS\u201d— TurnTable Charts (@TurnTable Charts) 1664193824
If Afrobeats becomes a category at the Grammys, it will further push the sounds of West Africa to the fore front and will also give subgenres like Amapiano, which is quickly becoming a rave in the Africa music scene extra visibility.When Mason's comments hit the internet, there was a mix of reactions. Although some music consumers viewed the news as a good development for the African continent, others had a more cynical point of view about it. In the past, the Recording Academy has been on the receiving end of backlash about its lack of diversity and conformity with global African music, and some of those concerns have resurfaced.
See some reactions below
\u201c@TurntableCharts @simpleOT Wow!! This is Lovely \ud83e\udd7a\u2764\ufe0f\nKudos to Davido, Burna and Wiz, especially Davido for Paving the Way for Afrobeat followed by Wiz and Burna\u201d— TurnTable Charts (@TurnTable Charts) 1664193824
\u201c@TurntableCharts OMGGGGGGGG.\nTBH.\nIt's only RIGHTTT.\nAfter they robbed WizKid TWICE in one year...it would salvage some damage done to their brand....\n\nBut they also need to work on the Dancehall category too,\nafter last year's performance.\u201d— TurnTable Charts (@TurnTable Charts) 1664193824
\u201c@TurntableCharts This is a very bad idea honestly,for starters it shouldn\u2019t be an Afrobeats category it\u2019s like trying to put everybody under one umbrella funny thing is the Grammy don\u2019t actually care that deeply as long as they can control the narratives from nw on. Validation wil ruin us.\u201d— TurnTable Charts (@TurnTable Charts) 1664193824
\u201c@TurntableCharts C'mon, fr????\n\nGrammy is for the American continent, there is no point to this.\n\nIt will eventually lead up to jumbled history in the future fr.\u201d— TurnTable Charts (@TurnTable Charts) 1664193824
\u201c@Oluwaseun_Bpro @TurntableCharts They are only trying to control the narrative here,if they really want to make an impact they should then start nominating afrobeats for main categories, such as song of the year , record of the year, record of the year. That\u2019s a better way to start\u201d— TurnTable Charts (@TurnTable Charts) 1664193824
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