Burna Boy and The Grammys; A Look into the profiles of the contenders he is up against

The whole world watched with bated breaths as the nominations for the 63rd Grammys were listed out on the night of Tuesday, 24th of November.

Burna Boy and The Grammys; A Look into the profiles of the contenders he is up against
Burna Boy and The Grammys; A Look into the profiles of the contenders he is up against

The Grammy which is expected to take place next year, 2021 was a trending topic for Nigerians as one of our own, Burna Boy was nominated a second time for the Best Global Music Album category formerly known as Best World Music Album.

This would make Burna the first Nigerian to be nominated for that category two times in a row.

Interestingly, the first time Burna was nominated for a Grammy was in 2018 as a result of his feature on ‘Mania,’ an album by the American rock band, Fall Out Boy, which got nominated for Best Rock Album in 2018.

Then in 2019, Burna Boy’s  ‘African Giant’ album got him his first independent nomination under the category of Best World Music Album. However, Beninese-born singer,  Angelique Kidjo emerged the winner.

The self-styled African Giant didn’t give up as he went back to his drawing board and dropped another album, “Twice as Tall” this year with an array of different international artists.

His efforts didn’t go in vain as it earned him another spot on the Grammys but even Angelique Kidjo on this year’s list, will winning a Grammy be easy for Burna?


1. Antibalas- Fu Chronicles

Antibalas- Fu Chronicles
Antibalas- Fu Chronicles album cover

According to Wikipedia, Antibalas which is Spanish for “bulletproof” is an American, Brooklyn-based afrobeat band that is modeled after Fela Kuti’s Africa 70 band and Eddie Palmieri’s Harlem River Drive Orchestra.

Their nominated album, Fu Chronicles is their 7th studio album coming after 20 years together. It is 6-track long and has been described by critics as a fusion between the spirit and soul of Fela Kuti with modern funky sounds as well as a ‘martial arts-inspired testament to afrobeat’.

Interestingly, their lead singer,  Amayo though British, is born of Nigerian parents and was inspired to do afrobeat while at Fela’s shrine.

This nomination makes their first from the Recording Academy.


2. Bebel Gilberto- Agora

Bebel Gilberto- Agora
Bebel Gilberto- Agora album cover

Bebel Gilberto is a Brazilian-American popular singer who makes samba, latin pop, bossa nova, and downtempo music among other genres.

Her nominated album is an 11-track affair recorded after suffering a number of personal tragedies. According to Pitchfork, her ‘album is characteristically delicate in tone and full of charm.’   On ‘Agora,’ Gilberto also makes use of her Brazilian language and sang frequently in it.

This is Bebel’s first album in six years and is her 4th Grammy nomination.

3. Anoushka Shankar- Love Letters

Anoushka Shankar- Love Letters
Anoushka Shankar- Love Letters

Anoushka is a British Indian sitar player and composer. (The sitar is an instrument related to the guitar and its use is prominent in her works.)

Her 6-track album is birthed from heartbreak and personal health and domestic issues. It contains songs with strong traditional Indian elements as well as indie and classical songs. Love Letters has been described as ‘experimental, ethereal, beautiful and heartbreaking.’

This nomination is Anoushka’s 7th Grammy Nomination.


4.  Tinariwen- Amadjar

Tinariwen- Amadjar
Tinariwen- Amadjar

Tinariwen (Means Desert in Englis), is a group of Tuareg musicians from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali.

‘Amadjar’ which is their 8th studio album means ‘foreign traveller,’ and has 13 tracks with an eclectic selection of artists featured.

Their album has been described as an epitome of desert blues and has with this nomination, gotten them a step closer to another Grammy. This is because the band won the award for Best World Music in 2012 and got nominated under the same category later on in 2018.

They are also the only African Contenders Burna is up against.

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