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Recording Academy CEO reveals insider insights on winning a Grammy: quality over popularity



Recording Academy CEO reveals insider insights on winning a Grammy: quality over popularity

Recording Academy CEO reveals insider insights on winning a Grammy: quality over popularity

The 66th Grammy Awards held on February 5, 2024, stirred anticipation and excitement among Nigerian music enthusiasts, eager to witness their country’s artists clinch prestigious accolades on the global stage. However, post-award disillusionment loomed large as Burna Boy, Davido, Asake & Olamide, and Ayra Starr found themselves empty-handed, despite securing a combined total of 10 nominations.

In the wake of these disappointments, Harvey Mason, the President of the Recording Academy Board of Trustees, shed light on the elusive quest for a Grammy victory, offering valuable insights into the intricate selection process that underpins music’s most coveted honour.

Addressing queries from journalists, Mason stated the paramount importance of quality in determining Grammy winners. Contrary to popular misconceptions, factors such as streaming numbers, fan base size, or social media following do not sway the verdict. Instead, it is the discerning judgment of Academy members, composed of seasoned music professionals across the United States, that ultimately determines the victors.

“It’s not about popularity metrics or commercial success; it’s about the sheer excellence of the music,” Mason affirmed, dispelling myths surrounding the Grammy selection process. The Academy’s unwavering commitment to artistic integrity ensures that meritocracy reigns supreme, with each submission meticulously evaluated on its own merits.

In a departure from conventional award mechanisms, Mason underscored the absence of external influences such as committees, journalists, or record labels in the decision-making process. Instead, the Grammy Awards operate as a peer-driven endeavour, with industry insiders voting to recognise outstanding achievements within their respective fields.

The aftermath of the 66th Grammy Awards has sparked spirited debates within the Nigerian music community, particularly in light of the absence of wins for Nigerian artists. Davido’s ‘Unavailable,’ Asake & Olamide’s ‘Amapiano,’ Ayra Starr’s ‘Rush,’ and Burna Boy’s ‘City Boy’ faced defeat in the Best African Music Performance category, conceding victory to Tyla’s ‘Water.’

Similarly, Davido’s ‘Feel’ and Burna Boy’s ‘Alone’ fell short in the Best Global Music Performance category, losing out to ‘Pashto’ by Béla Fleck, Edgar Meyer & Zakir Hussain Featuring Rakesh Chaurasia. Further disappointment ensued as Davido’s ‘Timeless’ and Burna Boy’s ‘I Told Them’ failed to secure the Best Global Album award, which went to Shakti’s ‘The Moment.’

Despite the setbacks, Mason’s elucidation of the Grammy selection process offers a glimmer of clarity amidst the uncertainty. As Nigerian artists navigate the complexities of international recognition, Mason’s message underscores the importance of artistic excellence and peer acknowledgement in the pursuit of Grammy glory.

As the Nigerian music industry grapples with the aftermath of the 66th Grammy Awards, Mason’s words serve as a beacon of guidance, reaffirming the enduring significance of craftsmanship and innovation in securing a coveted spot among music’s elite.

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