You would think that the Grammys would be of no concern to Ghanaians. After all, none of our artists were nominated. We were all genuinely interested in the winners this year, and especially interested in the Nigerian nominated acts; Burna Boy and Wizkid.
Of course, both brought their Grammys home; Burna Boy taking home the Best Global Music Album after he fell short last year with his African Giant.
Just to talk a bit about Burna’s album, they engineered this album to win a Grammy. Having Diddy and being on Atlantic and Warner Music showed that Burna’s team picked the right moves to secure the grammy this year.
Make no mistake, the album was good in its own right but was more mainstream as compared to African Giant which saw Burna at his peak in raw form. For Twice as Tall, the features ranged from Sauti Sol, Naughty by Nature to Stormzy and George the Poet.
That ranges from music to rap and a blend of spoken word and poetry. The skit from Ama Ata Aidoo in Monsters You Made and the use of Michael Jackson’s Dirty Diana as a sample told us all we needed to know concerning the goals of this album. So seeing it win wasn’t necessarily a surprise. Good for Burna.
Wizkid cemented his win as well with his amazing feature on Beyonce’s Brown Skin Girls. Arguably the biggest song of her Lion King album, which featured the likes of our very own Shatta Wale, Burna Boy, Tekno, and other artists.
Wizkid’s win, although not so certain, was going to win either way. Brown skin girl had a music video nomination, and a song nomination, and existed on the album it existed. That presented 3 unique opportunities for it to win something at least. And in the end, it did. Again, make no mistake, that song is an absolute banger, but being strategic in award shows helps your chances.
Now that all of that is out of the way, the question is why was the entertainment industry buzzing in the aftermath of their wins. Everyone was pointing fingers, passing on the blame.
Listeners and audiences were out here trashing the artists and their narrative was simple; our artists aren’t producing music with quality on par with getting nominations for the Grammys. Artists turned around to accuse the listeners because the audiences trash out artists that are unique and don’t fit the mold in the name of chasing club bangers and songs they can dance to.
It was an absolute horror show which is still in the narrative currently, with the spotlight on Gyakie but that’s something we’ll delve into later in this series.
The biggest headline was YouTube and Content Creator Kwadwo Sheldon getting into an online exchange of sorts with Shatta Wale concerning the said topic. And at that point, it just became ridiculous. Twitter audiences shot accusations towards the way of Sheldon claiming that he trashes a lot of music on his YouTube channel, hence the looking down on the music that comes from our end.
A thought which is quite illogical seeing as Sheldon is one YouTube channel out of God knows how many out there reacting to songs and sharing their reviews on them.
There’s no way his channel is the validation check the Grammy’s need for our artists to be considered. So that idea or line of thinking is simply problematic as a premise.
Sheldon did no name-calling and I guess that’s why it escalated quickly but the question remains, why was this the reaction to something that didn’t even concern us from the onset?
This series will go on for quite a while as we delve into some narratives in the music industry from an observer’s point of view and why the reactions we are seeing are to be expected. Stay tuned for Part 2.