Mixed reactions have trailed the revelation of the Grammy Academy CEO Mr. Harvey Manson that the Academy is considering adding an Afrobeats category to its prestigious award.
Speaking at the meet-the-press session at the Kotoka International Airport when he touched down for the 13th edition of the Grow, Unite, Build Africa (GUBA) Awards, slated for September 29, 2022, at the Kigali Convention Centre in Rwanda.
He disclosed that the academy has kicked off the first process in the long road to adding an Afrobeats category to the Grammys. “The categories are decided by members of the awards scheme who look at quality. Whatever comes in is voted on after carefully accessing it,” he said.
According to Harvey, the academy had a meeting with Afrobeats creatives that includes artists, producers, songwriters, and executives where they talked about Afrobeats and its many Genres.
He further revealed that the members of the academy will have to submit a proposal for the addition of a new category before deliberations will kick off. However, the listening session with the Afrobeats leaders is the first step.
What this means: the addition of an Afrobeats category to the Grammys will mean that songs that fall under the Afrobeats subgenre will be eligible for nomination.
While the Afrobeats is primarily a description of Nigerian and Ghanaian mainstream music, the West has often muddled it up with any sound coming from Saharan Africa. The implication is that South African genres such as House, Amapiano, and Kwaito might be considered Afrobeats. Similarly, Congolese sounds like the Soukous or the East African Singile might be termed Afrobeats.
It will be up to the Academy to adequately identify the essential elements that make a song Afrobeats as doing this will be the first step in truly awarding the right songs irrespective of where it’s made.
In the meantime, Harvey Mason will be meeting some stakeholders in the Ghana music industry tonight to discuss the way forward for the sector and other related matters.
The meeting, he pointed out will afford him the opportunity to learn more about Ghana’s music business including its royalty system among many other relevant conversations focused on the growth of the entertainment industry.