Etana, Kanye West to the rescue as Kenyan artistes sneak into Grammy nominees list
The list for the 2022 Grammy nominees is out, and Africa is well represented. However, East African artistes were conspicuously missing with no direct representative.
On Tuesday, the recording academy announced the nominations for each of the 86 categories for the 64th edition of the awards, which is expected to take place in Los Angeles on Monday, January 31.
Despite East Africa not having a direct representative for the Grammys, unlike last year, a few artistes found themselves on the nomination list through featured collaborations.
Artistes from Kenya and Tanzania have a reason to celebrate thanks to Jamaican reggae singer Etana, real name Shauna McKenzie's recent album.
Etana's album Pamoja (a Swahili word translated as 'together') was nominated for the Best Reggae album alongside other reggae bigwigs Sean Paul's Live n Livin and Gramps Morgan's Positive Vibration.
The Pamoja album featured collaborations from Kenyan artistes, including Wyre the Love Child, Naiboi and Michael Bundi, and Nandy from Tanzania.
Taking to Instagram, Naiboi posted a screenshot of a message from Etana's management telling him he was a Grammy-nominated artiste.
Showing his appreciation, Naiboi wrote, "All I can say is God Is The Greatest! Thank you for allowing me to be part of the #PAMOJA album."
Wyre also congratulated Etana for her nomination, saying he was glad to have been featured in the album.
Michael Bundi wrote, “Congratulations Etana on your Grammy Nomination. I am honored to be a part of this album alongside the amazing Wyre and Naiboi.”
The 37-year-old singer was recently in Kenya making her first performance of the songs from the album at the Waterfront Ngong Racecourse. Etana even confessed that Kenya had been its main source of inspiration.
Kenyan rapper Mark Mbogo, popularly known as KayCyy Pluto was also not left out of the nominated featured artistes list.
The 23-year-old rapper was featured in American rapper Kanye West's album Donda, track number 16, titled Keep My Spirit Alive, which has been nominated for Best Rap Album.
Notably, a few Kenyan artistes were also proud to have been considered for the Grammy nominations despite not making the cut.
Octopizzo was considered for four Grammy nominations: Best Global Music, Best Global Performance, Best Rap Song, and Best Rap Performance.
Victoria Kimani's Animal Spirit and Mtu Necessary's Jenesis were both considered for Best Global Music Album.
Western Africa and Southern Africa have dominated the 2022 Grammy list of nominees from Africa after Wizkid, Burna Boy, Tems, Femi Kuti, Made Kuti, Angélique Kidjo, Rocky Dawuni and Black Coffee, got nominated.
Wizkid's Made In Lagos, Angelique Kidjo's album Mother Nature, and Femi Kuti's Legacy were all nominated in the Best Global Music Album category.
Wizkid also bagged another nomination in the Best Global Music Performance category with his song Essence ft Tems. He competes with Burna Boy, who secured a spot in the same category for his collaboration with Angelique Kidjo and Femi Kuti's 'Pa Pa Pa.'
Internationally, Jon Batiste led all artistes with 11 nominations making it the most nods anyone has amassed in one year since Kendrick Lamar scored 11 nods six years ago.
Justin Bieber, Doja Cat, and H.E.R. received eight nominations, followed by Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo, who got seven nominations.