Why No Afro-Pop Artistes Can Win A Grammy – High-life Singer, De-code

By Akinwale Kasali

The recent statement by HipTV boss, Ayo Animashaun, that the Grammy Awards is not for Nigerians, has continue to generate reactions from different quarters.

Also reacting to the statement is Nigerian High-Life singer Egwu Chidera Kingsley popularly known as De-Code.

According to De-Code who spoke to with the press in Lagos, musicians winning the Grammies in Africa are musically not the mate of many of the young artistes clamouring for the awards in the country recently.

De-Code stated that the musicians who can can dream of being nominated are the artistes whose music are more traditional and original.

“I just laugh at many Afropop artistes saying that they want to win the Grammy. Is it with the type of music many Nigerian artistes are singing now? I agree with Ayo Animashaun,Grammy is not for Nigerians. And i will explain further. First let me encourage all Nigerian artistes to sell their culture through music. You can’t sell ice to the Eskimos; the only thing we can genuinely own and sell which the outside world will easily buy is our uniqueness rather than trying to be like them. Many reigning Nigerian artistes today still try to sound like Drake, Chris Brown or Migos.

Winning an award like the Grammy is not even by hanging out with American stars, featuring them or they knowing you. It’s more about the unique thing you bring to the music table. You don’t expect the organizers to put an R&B artiste from Africa on the nominees categories with real Americans, not to talk of that artiste winning when too many brilliant artistes in America don’t have a nomination let alone win; just like you don’t expect Ayo Animashaun to add Drake and Beyonce to the Best Rap and Best R&B categories in the Headies Awards respectively. Perhaps, it’s easy to be linked to the Grammy somehow if a foreign artiste features you and the song wins a Grammy, but we are talking about you owning one yourself”, De-Code explains.

De-Code explains further; “You would realize that the African musicians who have either won or nominated in the past such as Angelique Kidjo, King Sunny Ade, Femi Kuti, Ladysmith Black Mambazo,  Ali Farka Touré, Soweto Mass Choir, Youssou N’dour, Owuor Arunga and many more are not “commercial” artistes. Their music even sound like folklore and many of these musicians have won multiple times.

They are not the mate of anyone of the currently reigning crop of Nigerian artistes when you talk about their musical prowess. These people, aside their music being highly indigenous, are usually nominated under the International or World Music categories, which is the only category reserved for Africans and other outsiders. And who says we need to win Grammies to validate our talents?”

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