Wizkid 2

Wizkid’s Fight For The 2022 Grammy Awards Is A Really Tough One

From the Nigerian point of view, it is easy to conclude that Wizkid will easily win both categories in which he is nominated at the 2022 Grammys.

However, it does not appear to be that easy from the global point of view.

Wizkid is faced with really difficult contenders; Yo-Yo Ma, Angelique Kidjo, Burna Boy, Daniel Ho, Arooj Aftab, Femi Kuti, Rocky Dawuni and Made Kuti in either category.

On Tuesday, 23rd November, 2021, The Recording Academy held a live broadcast to announce the nominees of the 2022 Grammy Awards scheduled to take place on 31st January, 2022.
Arooj Aftab

Wizkid appeared to be nominated in two different categories; Best Global Music Album and the newly introduced Best Global Music Performance. Though, a lot of fans have already concluded it will be an easy win for Starboy. However, below are what you should know about the contenders in either category Wizkid was nominated.

1. Arooj Aftab

Arooj Aftab
Arooj Aftab

She is a Pakistani vocalist, producer and composer born in Saudi Arabia. Now 36 years old and live in New York, United States, Aftab’s musical career started in the early 2000s and she was one of the first few Pakistani to digitalize their music, using the internet.

So far in her career, Arooj Aftab has three albums in her discography; Bird Under Water (2015), Siren Islands (2018) and Vulture Prince (2021). The song, Mohabbat, for which Arooj Aftab is nominated in the Best Global Music Performance at the 2022 Grammy Awards, is taken from her recent album, Vulture Prince. Former United States president, Barack Obama had earlier included the song in his 2021 Summer playlist.

Arooj Aftab has been nominated for the Grammys for the first time in her career. The two nominations (Best New Artiste and Best Global Music Performance) she got on Tuesday also makes her the first Pakistani woman to be ever nominated for an Award. Though, a first time nominee, Arooj Aftab may be a threat to Wizkid, Tems, Femi Kuti, Burna Boy, Yo-Yo Ma and Angelique nominated in the same category.

3. Wizkid and Tems

Wizkid and Tems
Tems and Wizkid

Wizkid and Tems made a global hit together. This global hit, Essence, was described as the “song of the summer” by many Americans. The song is RIAA certified platinum and it has enjoyed topping and peaking on several foreign music charts. Essence has also been enjoyed by several top celebrities in the US and beyond and Justin Bieber’s request to feature on a remix that later materialized is an evidence. Essence, nominated for the Best Global Music Performance, is taken off the 2020 album, Made in Lagos, by Wizkid.

Though this is Tems’ first Grammy nomination, Wizkid however now has a total of four Grammy nods, two of it coming in the 2022 Grammys scheduled to take place on January 31st, 2022. The first two came in 2016 on One Dance, a Drake song, and 2021 on Brown Skin Girl, a Beyonce’s song. With these antecedents at The Grammys, Wizkid who won his first and only Grammys some months ago, has something to leverage on to have the two categories of the awards for himself.

3. Angelique Kidjo and Burna Boy

Burna Boy and Angelique Kidjo
Burna Boy and Angelique Kidjo

It is a pretty difficult one for any artiste that faces Angelique Kidjo, especially in the Best Global Music Album category. With the two nominations in the Best Global Music Performance and Best Global Music Album at the 2022 Grammys, Angelique Kidjo now has a total of eleven Grammy nominations. Her first nomination came in 1994. The 61 years old Beninois singer has won the prestigious awards a total of four times. This poses a great difficulty on the path of anyone who faces her in a Grammy nomination.

Burna Boy on the other hand has been pronounced the first Nigerian to get a three consecutive Grammy nominations. His first appearance in the nominations list came in 2020 with his album, African Giant, followed by 2021 with the album Twice As Tall, and 2022 by featuring on Loved by You, a Justin Bieber song taken off the album, Justice (deluxe) which was nominated for Album of the Year, and Angelique Kidjo’s song titled Do Yourself, nominated for the Best Global Music Performance.

Though Burna Boy won his first and only Grammy awards with the album Twice As Tall in 2021, the singer had lost what would have been his first Grammy win to Angelique in 2020. Surprisingly, the Beninois singer dedicated the award to him. Both Burna Boy and Angelique have two songs together. Both songs have got a Grammy nomination each. The first is Different on which Burna Boy featured Angelique and Damian Marley off the 2019 album, African Giant, that got nominated for the Grammys. The second is Do Yourself on which Angelique Kidjo featured Burna Boy off her 2021 album titled Mother Nature, an album that is also a contender in the Best Global Music Album with Wizkid’s Made in Lagos and other three. Burna Boy too, just like Wizkid, has a total of four Grammy nods.

4. Femi Kuti and Made Kuti

Made Kuti and Femi Kuti
Made Kuti and Femi Kuti

Noted for his mastery of saxophone and his energetic stage performance amongst many other characteristics, Femi Kuti is one of the sons of late Afrobeat pioneer, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, and the grandson of the activist known as Olufunmilayo Ransome Kuti.

Before 2021, the 69 years old activist has been nominated four times (in 2002, 2009, 2011, and 2013) for a Grammy Award in the Best World Music Album category. However, he got two more nominations to make it six in 2021 with his nods in the Best Global Music Performance and Best Global Music Album. Though Femi is the only Nigerian singer with the most Grammy nominations, he has not won it before.

The nomination of the album Legacy+ in the Best Global Music Album is Made Kuti’s first Grammy appearance. The 25-year-old Omorinmade Kuti, professionally known as Made Kuti, is the son of Femi Kuti and the grandson of Fela Anikulapo Kuti. The album, Legacy+, also Made Kuti’s debut album, is a joint music project between his father, Femi, and him. The album is divided into two parts namely Stop the Hate and For(e)ward. Stop the Hate features ten tracks from Femi Kuti while For(e)ward consists of 8 tracks originally belonging to the son, Made Kuti.

5. Yo-Yo Ma

Yo Yo Ma
Yo-Yo Ma

Also nominated in the Best Global Music Performance is Yo-Yo Ma with his song Blewu featuring Angelique Kidjo. The 66-year-old Yo-Yo Ma is an American cellist; he plays the cello, an instrument belonging to the violin family. He was born in France to Chinese parents. Yo-Yo Ma has performed as a soloist with different orchestras from around the world and has recorded more than 90 albums and won a total of 18 Grammy Awards.

Yo-Yo Ma now has a total of 28 Grammy nominations, winning 18 of it. The last time he was nominated for Grammys was 2017 in the Global Music Album, and he won it.

The song Blewu with which he is nominated for 2022 Grammys is originally owned by Angelique Kidjo. Blewu is an Ewe dirge sung to mourn dead African soldiers. The song was released in 1990. Kidjo performed the song before word leaders on 2018. Ewe, the language in which the song is written, is one spoken in Benin Republic and Togo.

6. Rocky Dawuni

Rocky Dawuni
Rocky Dawuni

52-year-old Rocky Dawuni is a Ghanaian Reggae artiste. He becomes the first Ghanaian to be nominated for the Grammys from his home country when his sixth studio album titled Branches of The Same Tree was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in December 2015.

Though Rocky Dawuni has not won a Grammy award before, regardless, his album, Voice Of Bunbon, Vol. 1, has been nominated in the Best Global Music Album category for the 2022 Grammy Awards. This makes his Grammy nominations a total of two.

7. Daniel Ho

Daniel Ho
Daniel Ho

53-year-old Daniel Ho is an American musician, composer and producer. He has recorded 18 solo albums, some of which have won or were nominated for Grammy Awards, and has produced over 50 albums.

Daniel’s first ever LIVE album was recorded (and also filmed) during his 30th year as a professional musician, and in the historic conditions of the global COVID-19 pandemic. This live album, titled Daniel Ho & Friends Live In Concert, was nominated in the Best Global Music Album category for the 2022 Grammys.

Daniel Ho & Friends Live In Concert is presented by East West Players, an Asian American theatre organization in Los Angeles, founded in 1965. Daniel Ho, however, has a total of six Grammy wins with this recent nomination bringing his total nods to twelve.

Author: Sam George Mac
Sam George Mac is a music journalist, singer of Afrobeats, Highlife, Dancehall and R&B, a songwriter, house painter, poet and playwright.He is a graduate of Mass Communication from the West African Union University, Cotonou, Republic Du Benin. Sam George Mac is a native of Ogun.Currently, his songs, with the stage name SGM, are available on many streaming platforms like Deezer, Shazam, Audiomack, Spotify, Amazon, Tik Tok, YouTube Music, Apple Music, iTunes etc.

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