Arguably one of the most prestigious platforms for music awards in the world, the Grammys are highly coveted by artists around the world. In recent times, Nigerian singers have appeared on that list, and the upcoming 2023 edition is no different. Saturday Beats takes a look at the four Nigerians nominated for the respected accolades
In the early days of 2018, if someone had told Damini Ogulu aka Burna Boy that by 2022, he would be the first Nigerian artiste of all time to receive four consecutive Grammy nominations, he would have probably laughed and moved on. without giving it so much as a thought. However, this has been his reality.
Burna Boy was nominated in the ‘Best Global Music Performance’ category for the song ‘Last Last’. Other artists nominated in the category are Arooj Aftab and Anoushka, Matt B and Eddy Kenzo, Rocky Dawuni, Blvk H3ro, Wouter Kellerman, Zakes Bantwini and Nomcebo Zikode.
It was also nominated in the ‘Best Music Album’ category. Angelique Kidjo and Ibrahim Maalouf, Berklee Indian Ensemble, Anoushka Shankar, Metropole Orkest and Jules Buckley will perform with Manu Delago and Masa Tukami.
Rising singer Temilade Openiyi, aka Tems, was nominated in the ‘Best Melodic Rap Performance’ and ‘Best Rap Song’ categories for his work on American rapper Future’s rap track, ‘Wait For U’.
Based on his role in Beyonce’s song ‘Move’ from her album ‘Renaissance’, Tem is set for another nod as the album was nominated in the ‘Record of the Year’ category.
Remember that he was also shortlisted for the Tems Awards in 2021. She was in the ‘Best Global Music Performance’ category for featuring on Wizkid’s hit song ‘Essence’.
Another Nigerian artist who has received a Grammy nomination is Tobe Nwigwe, a rapper, singer and actor from the United States of America. He was nominated in the ‘Best New Artist’ category.
Nwigwe with his wife, Fat (Martica Rogers), and friend and producer/rapper, LaNell Grant, also known as The Originals. The three met while working with Nwigwe’s NGO, TeamGINI.
Nwigwe appeared on the BET Hip Hop Awards 2018 Cypher. He also appeared on PJ Morton’s ‘Paul’ album, released by Morton Records and Empire Records.
In 2019, Nwigwe and The Originals appeared on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series with a supporting cast. His music has attracted a lot of well-deserved attention, including former US First Lady Michelle Obama, who put his song ‘I’m Dope’ on her workout playlist. In 2020, Nwigwe went viral on digital platforms with the song ‘I Need You To’ (featuring Breonna Taylor). He said God gave him the vision to make the song as a public service announcement. He also performed ‘Try Jesus’ and ‘Eat’ at the 2020 BET Hip Hop Awards.
Born in Houston, Texas, USA, he also stars in the Netflix series ‘Mo’. He played football in high school and at the University of North Texas. He is of Igbo (Nigerian) origin.
Ambrose Akinmusire was nominated in the ‘Best Improvised Jazz Soloist’ category for ‘Rounds (Live)’.
Akinmusire is an avant-garde jazz composer and trumpeter.
Born and raised in Oakland, California, USA, Akinmusire was a member of the Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble, and caught the attention of saxophonist Steve Coleman, who hired him as a member of his Five Elements band for a European tour. He was also a member of the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra at the Monterey Jazz Festival.
He studied at the Manhattan School of Music before returning to the West Coast to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Southern California. He also attended the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in Los Angeles.
In 2007, Akinmusire won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition and the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition, which are considered to be the most prestigious jazz competitions in the world.
He was featured on Kendrick Lamar’s 2015 track ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’.
Describing his background in an interview with music website Liquid Music, he said: “I was born and raised in Oakland. My father is from Nigeria and my mother is from a small town in Mississippi.