Grow Unite and Build Africa (GUBA) has expressed excitement and salutes the Recording Academy’s decision to add three new categories to the Grammy Awards show from next year, 2024.
The Recording Academy announced Tuesday, June 13, 2023, that three new categories will be added to the awards show in 2024: best pop dance recording, best African music performance, and best alternative jazz album.
It would be recalled that on his first-ever visit to Ghana and West Africa in September last year upon invitation by GUBA, Grammy Awards CEO, Harvey Mason Jr, during a dinner meeting with musicians and stakeholders in Ghana, expressed optimism towards tapping into various genres that Africa has to offer at the global stage.
Mr Mason’s presence in Ghana, was part of activities heralding the 2022 GUBA Awards which took place in Kigali on September 29.
During the meeting on September 26, 2022 in Accra, he interestingly disclosed that the Grammys was considering and concluding processes to add Afrobeat and other African categories to the events in future, adding, “this assurance is an opportunity that Ghanaian musicians and others on the continent would relish.”
Hearing the announcement on the new additions, Founder and CEO of GUBA Enterprise, Lady Dentaa Amoateng said, “This is what GUBA does. We take pride in trumpeting what Africa has to offer for the world to take notice. GUBA will continue to create partnerships and collaborations with global institutions to unearth potentials and show what Africa has for the world.”
“GUBA is proud to have participated keenly in this conversation of adding African genres to the Grammys and here we have it. This is just the beginning of many good things to come” Lady Dentaa assured.
Last year, Dentaa said, the historic visit and GUBA’s decision to bring Mason to Ghana, was to enable him connect to the diaspora, to Ghana and to Africa and to strategize on how to get more Ghanaians and African musicians to the Grammy.
“The Recording Academy is proud to announce these latest Category changes to our Awards process. These changes reflect our commitment to actively listen and respond to the feedback from our music community globally, and accurately represent a diverse range of relevant musical genres, and stay aligned with the ever-evolving musical landscape,” Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said in a statement.
The new additions
The new best African music performance category will highlight “regional melodic, harmonic and rhythmic musical traditions,” according to a Recording Academy press release, including genres like “Afrobeat, Afro-fusion, Afro Pop, Afrobeats, Alte, Amapiano, Bongo Flava, Genge, Kizomba, Chimurenga, High Life, Fuji, Kwassa, Ndombolo, Mapouka, Ghanaian Drill, Afro-House, South African Hip-Hop, and Ethio Jazz.”
The best pop dance recording category is defined by “up-tempo, danceable music that follows a pop arrangement” and recordings that “feature strong rhythmic beats and significant electronic-based instruments with an emphasis on the vocal performance, melody and hooks.” Dance remixes do not apply.
And finally, the best alternative jazz album category will spotlight alternative jazz albums that blend genre, hybridizing jazz and other musical styles including “R&B, Hip-Hop, Classical, Contemporary Improvisation, Experimental, Pop, Rap, Electronic/Dance music, and/or Spoken Word.”
About GUBA Enterprise
GUBA Enterprise is a social enterprise organisation dedicated to the advancement of diaspora Africans and Africans on the continent through various socio–economic programmes and initiatives. The Enterprise has about eight different brand initiatives, the key among them being the GUBA Awards.
The GUBA Awards celebrates and honors individuals that have made significant contributions to Africa with a focus on promoting excellence, innovation, and entrepreneurship. This year’s GUBA Awards ceremony will be held in the United Kingdom on the 5th of November under the theme, “Honouring Beacons of Excellence and Inspiration” providing an opportunity for Africa to celebrate and recognize the outstanding contributions of individuals within the African Diaspora.