Nigeria’s dancehall act Timaya has got a nod in the 2018 Grammy nominations for the 60th awards ceremony, for featuring on Morgan Heritage’s album “Avrakedabra”.
Morgan Heritage is a reggae band formed in 1994 by five children of reggae artiste, Denroy Morgan. The band comprises of Peter “Peetah” Morgan, Una Morgan, Roy “Gramps” Morgan, Nakhamyah “Lukes” Morgan, and Memmalatel “Mr. Mojo” Morgan.
Timaya featured alongside Ghanaian Afro-pop singer, Stonebwoy, Chubb Rock, Stylo G, Bunji Garlin, Dre Zion & Jaheil on the “Avrakedabra” album.
“Avrekedabra” was nominated for the Best Reggae Album award and will slug it out with “Chronology” by Chronixx, “Lost in Paradise” by Common Kings, “Wash House Ting” by J Boog and “Stony Hill” by Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley.
If the album wins in its category at the 60th Grammy Awards, Timaya will be the first Nigerian-based act to win a Grammy.
In 2016, Wizkid and Kah-Lo failed to win at the Grammy Awards, but Nigeria did not completely lose out. Cynthia Erivo, a singer and actress born in London to Nigerian immigrants, won a Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album for the cast recording of the musical The Color Purple in 2016.
The 60th edition of the Grammy Awards (described as the most valuable award in the music industry) will air live from the Madison Square Gardens on January 28. The final round of Grammy voting runs from Dec. 7-21.
A breakdown of the notable nominations in all 84 categories shows that JAY-Z leads the pack with eight nominations including nods for album of the year, the record of the year, the song of the year and best rap album.
Kendrick Lamar follows with seven nods, while Bruno Mars is the third most-nominated artist with six. SZA is the most nominated woman this year with five nominations. Khalid, Childish Gambino, and producer No I.D. also scored five nods.
After treading cautiously through the realm of hip-hop urban music for nearly four decades, the academy seems to have finally embraced the genre wholeheartedly.
A very positive development about the 2018 Grammys is the recognition for African-American artists. Half of the nominations for the four major awards were bestowed upon African-American artists. Non-white performers make up a whopping 80 percent of those nominations as well. In fact, this is the first year ever a white man hasn`t been nominated for album of the year.
This recognition comes right on the heels of last year’s notable lack of diversity. In 2017, only 35 percent of the four major award nominations were given to non-white artists and only one of those four winners wasn’t white (or named Adele). Adele’s 2017 sweep was also controversial since Beyoncé’s critical-smash Lemonade walked home with without any major awards.
However, while the choices were praised by many for finally acknowledging a more diverse range of artists after years of controversy where white singers often won over black musicians, there were some artists that many feel were left out.
There are also complaints that the diversity only goes so far with arguments that female artists are significantly under-represented in the biggest categories.