Recording Academy CEO Harvey Manson Jr. who arrived in Accra, Ghana on Saturday, September 24 for the Global Citizens Festival held over the weekend while speaking to members of the press disclosed that the Recording Academy is currently looking into the possibility of adding an Afrobeats category at the annual Grammys ceremony.
According to him (Harvey Manson Jr.) the Grammy committee has taken the first step to incorporating the Afrobeats genre into the annual Grammy Awards, a process he revealed involves a series of meetings and deliberation by the Grammy committee before it gets completed.
In case you didn’t know, the Recording Academy is an American learned academy of musicians, producers, recording engineers, composers, and other musical professionals. It is notably famous for its Grammy Awards, which recognizes achievements in the music industry mainly encompassing all of English and Latin America.
Despite renowned African artists including Burna Boy and Femi Kuti who have had their fair share of recognition at the Grammys refuting the generic title given to the contemporary music of modern-day Africa, it seems the rest of the world have carried on, almost forcing it upon us.
So, while this seems like a huge leap for African music and African artists, in truth, it opens up a backdoor to hijacking their work. For instance, with this development, artists from outside Africa can contest for whatever Afrobeats award the Grammys decide to come up with.
Eventually, the roots of the genre could be potentially forgotten, ignoring the fact that what they have wrongly termed Afrobeats is indeed a fusion of numerous pan-African sounds including the new-found Amapiano, Hi-life, Juju, Afrobeat, Fuji, Ogene, and lots more.