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East Africa glum over Grammys list

 A collage of Burna Boy, Rayvanny and Davido.

The 2024 Grammy Awards nominees were unveiled on November 10 and featured a lineup of powerhouse talents set to vie for the esteemed honours across various categories.

Representing East Africa, Tanzania's Rayvanny and music producer S2kizzy were the only ones nominated. Their entry into the 2024 list is due to Maluma's Album Don Juan through Mama Tetema, marking a significant achievement for the region.

Nigeria's Burna Boy garnered substantial attention with an impressive count of four nominations in the 2024 Grammy lineup.

His tracks like Sittin' On Top Of The World vie for Best Melodic Rap Performance, while I Told Them... contends in the Best Global Music Album category.

Additionally, Alone competes for Best Global Music Performance, and City Boys competes in the Best African Music Performance category.

Davido, another prominent Nigerian artiste, secured three nominations, including "Feel" for Best Global Music Performance, "Unavailable" for Best African Performance, and "Timeless" for Best Global Album.

The debut of the African Music category at the Grammys witnessed a strong presence from Nigerian artistes. Davido's Unavailable, Burna Boy's City Boy, Ayra Starr's 'Rush, and Asake's Amapiano featuring Olamide all mark their spot in this category.

South African singer Tyla enters this category with her hit single Water, a track that earned her a well-deserved first-time nomination.

Other standout nominations include Nigerian pop star Fireboy, making his debut on the Grammy stage for his contributions to Jon Baptiste's World Music Radio, nominated for Album of the Year.

CKay, another rising talent, secured his first-ever nomination through his involvement in Janelle Monae's 'Age of Pleasure,' contending for Album of the Year. Seun Kuti joins this league, earning a nomination for his contribution to Janelle's 'Age of Pleasure.'

On the other hand, many Kenyans felt that the nominations had snubbed Kenya as well as other artistes who might have deserved a spot. Genres such as Highlife, Bongo, and Kenya’s Gengetone were highlighted as neglected genres that would be up for consideration.

However, during the unveiling of the nominees, Kenyans missed out, even as contributors, despite Kenyans such as Anyiko Owoko, Arthur Jinx Oloo, Joy Wayodi, and Faiza Hersi being accredited members of The Recording Academy and eligible to vote.

In February, Grammys CEO Harvey Mason was in Kenya and vowed to support Kenyan music grow internationally.

Despite its vibrant and diverse music scene, Kenya's artistes have been overlooked, raising questions about the fairness and inclusivity of the nomination process.

Kenya has long been a hub for musical talent, with artistes pushing boundaries and creating unique sounds that resonate with audiences worldwide.

But not just in Kenya, but worldwide some people have raised their concerns over the same unfairness.

Snoop Dogg, for example, is considered a legend in the hip-hop industry and can be used as an example as he has never won a single Grammy.

It was expected that Nigerian star Rema would be nominated for an award because his song Calm Down is the first Afrobeats song to cross a billion streams on all digital platforms in 2023.

Rema's snub was a shock as his fellow compatriots Burna Boy, Olamide, Asake, and Arya Star both got nominations. 

 Rema [Instagram]

But as the shock was settling the Grammys added another shockwave when they nominated Water hitmaker Tyla, who hails from South Africa, ignoring the late rapper AKA who delivered an out-of-this-world posthumous album.

South Africans were hopeful the late award-winning rapper who took South African Rapinternational would scoop a nomination.

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