Nigerian singer, Akinbiyi Abiola Ahmed, also known as Bella Shmurda, has said that Grammy Awards need to give late Afrobeats pioneer, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti a recognition award for the genre before anyone else.
He was speaking with Factory 78 about plans by The Recording Academy to create an Afrobeats category for the Grammys.
Shmurda said that it would be appropriate for them to honour Fela by dedicating an award before they begin to give other artistes.
The ‘Newborn Fela’ hit maker also said that Afrobeats should have been added to the categories that exist in the music award show.
When the interviewer mentioned that Burna Boy has already won a Grammy award, Bella Shmurda noted that it was a general one and not under Afrobeats.
He also said that he’s been submitting his songs to be considered for Grammy awards, but he is not eager as he knows that he has a lot of work to do to prove himself.
Watch him speak below:
“The Grammy Awards should dedicate a recognition award to Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. Fela first”
– Bella Shmurda pic.twitter.com/XZ7o0BmznC
— 🌱🐳 @OneJoblessBoy (@OneJoblessBoy) October 21, 2022
CorrectNG recalls that in a recent trip to Ghana, Recording Academy CEO, Harvey Mason Jr. told journalists that the Grammys were considering adding an award category for Afrobeats.
He said he had been in talks with the key players in the Afrobeats music scene to explore the possibility of adding it to the award’s genre list.
In his words; “We just had a meeting literarily about six to seven days ago, with leaders of the Afrobeats community… We had listening session where we heard from Afrobeats creators, we talked about the different subgenres what are the needs, what are the desires, and my goal is to represent all genres of music including Afrobeats at the Grammys.
“We called in producers, songwriters, artists, executives and we had a virtual listening session where we heard from Afrobeats creators. We just talked about, ‘What are the different subgenres? What are the needs? What are the desires?’”
He added; “I don’t decide categories. The categories are decided by proposals by members. Members can say ‘Harvey, I want an Afrobeat category,’ they write a proposal for the category they talked about. So that process is started now. We did a listening session last week for the step towards that path”.