Op-Ed
(Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage)

The Grammys Have Yet to Figure Out Their Place In the Global Music Conversation

The awards continue to center the Western-gaze when it comes to African and "global" music.

It was around 9 pm, Nigerian time when the winners of the 64th annual Grammy music awards for Best Global Music Album and Best Global Music Performance were announced. The competition for both categories was fierce, featuring both established and semi-established artists from across the globe including Femi Kuti, Seun Kuti Angélique Kidjo, Wizkid and Tems who were all nominated in both categories. Queer-Pakistani artist Arooj Aftab went home with Best Global Music Performance while the Beninese legend Angélique Kidjo took home Best Global Music Album, a category which she has won five times now.

When the first category’s winner was announced, it felt unspoken that surely, the next winner would be Wizkid. The afrobeats artist has had an incredible past two years. From topping Billboards charts to selling out the O2 arena in minutes—and doing that three times! His single "Essence" featuring rising talent Tems, was 2021’s unofficial summer hit and got an extended collaboration from Justin Bieber, a move that boosted the song’s rising popularity even further. Without a doubt, Wizkid’s work played a vital role in exploding the afrobeats genre on the global music scene, setting the tone for the sound, giving local talent increased international exposure, and setting the stage for a global ecosystem where afrobeats, like reggae, rock and other genres that once sat on the fringe, was adapted as a global genre.

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News Brief
(Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Black Coffee & Angélique Kidjo Win 2022 Grammy Awards

In the Best Global Music Album and Best Dance/Electronic Music Album categories.

South Africa and Benin have shown up and out at the 64th annual Grammy music awards, as both Black Coffee and Angélique Kidjo won in their respective categories.

Beninese icon Angélique Kidjo's album Mother Nature won Best Global Music Album against heavy competition from the likes of Wizkid's Made In Lagos (Deluxe) and Femi & Made Kuti's Legacy + and Rocky Dawuni's Voice Of Bunbon, Vol. 1.

South African veteran DJ and producer Black Coffee won Best Dance/Electronic Music Album, beating out the likes of Major Lazer and Marshmello for the award.

Another category of note, Best Global Music Performance–in which Angelique Kidjo and Burna Boy ("Do Yourself"), Wizkid and Tems ("Essence") and Femi Kuti ("Pà Pá Pà") were nominated—went to Paskistani musician Arooj Aftab.

There's definitely been some talk online as Wizkid, and his widely-acclaimed Made In Lagos album and "Essence" single alongside Tems, didn't take home any of the two awards he was nominated for tonight.

See some social media posts below.

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