Thanks to the diversity of artistes, music made in Nigeria is heard all over the world which has led to collaborations with the globally-acclaimed names from the United States, United Kingdom and other international music markets, names famous for racking in Grammy awards.
With more collaborations and intensity in music production, Nigerian artistes are now getting more Grammy nominations than ever before.
After Burna Boy’s Best Global Music Album award for ‘Twice as Tall’ in 2021 and Wizkid’s collaboration with Beyonce on ‘Brown Skin Girl’ that won Best Music Video, also in 2021, all eyes were on the 64th edition of the awards on Sunday where Burna was nominated for his collaboration with Angelique Kidjo in the single ‘Do Yourself’ for Best Global Music Performance. Wizkid’s smash hit ‘Essence’ featuring Tems was also nominated in this category while his highly-acclaimed ‘Made in Lagos: Deluxe Edition’ was nominated in the Best Global Music Album category. Femi Kuti and Made Kuti’s ‘Legacy +’ as well as Kidjo’s ‘Mother Nature’ – which featured Yemi Alade and Mr Eazi – were all in the Global Music Album category.
Wizkid has immense cult following hence there were high expectations from his social media fan base that he would bag two awards. It however didn’t turn out to be for him as he lost his nominations to Mohabbat by Arooj Aftab (Best Global Music Performance) and Mother Nature by Kidjo (Best Global Music Album).
There has been ongoing social media outrage by Wizkid fans as to why he did not win the award, some even criticising Kidjo – a 5-time Grammy recipient – as a less popular figure compared to Wizkid. Such fellows probably need to be schooled about the frontrunner and legend Kidjo is for Africa but it has to be emphasised that the Grammy awards is not the validation of music excellence.
It has become a common theme to see fans of Burna Boy and Wizkid brag about both superstars being the greatest of all time in the Nigerian music industry because of their Grammy wins and more accolades will only validate that. That is a very wrong premise to assume music greatness.
Of course the Grammys is a prestigious event and the biggest music awards in the world. It however should be remembered that it majorly recognises American music talent. That’s were the highlights and headlines come from. The Global Music category is just one to recognise efforts of artistes outside the United States.
Not winning a Grammy is not the end of the world, neither does it makes less of an artiste. Among Americans, high-profile names like Brian McKnight, Snoop Dogg, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez and others have never won despite multiple nominations in the past. Does this mean their music isn’t recognised? Absolutely not.
Down in Nigeria, contemporaries such as 2face Idibia, D’Banj, Darey Art Alade, Asa, Davido, Olamide, Falz, Simi and others have all made immense contributions to the Nigerian music industry and beyond but none of it has made it to Grammys.
Rather than generate arguments and conversations about which artist deserves a Grammy nomination or win, its best to actually celebrate their craft and what they do in impacting the society. This is what stands the test of time and what generations unborn will speak about in the future.