Amaarae calls out Grammys for grouping all African music genres into single category

Ghanaian-American singer, Ama Serwah Genfi, popularly known as Amaarae has criticised the Recording Academy, which oversees the Grammy Awards, for giving just a category to the various music genres from Africa.

The Recording Academy recently added the Best African Music Performance category to the three newly introduced categories at this year’s edition of the globally acclaimed awards scheme.

The other two are the Best Alternative Jazz Album and Best Pop Dance Recording.

The Academy explained that the category is open to both contemporary and traditional music from the African continent, including Afrobeats, Afro-pop, Amapiano, High Life, Fuji, Ghanaian drill among others.

But the “Sad Girlz Luv Money” singer, who expressed her displeasure over the decision, claimed in a recent interview with Metro TV that grouping all African musical genres under a single Grammy category was “reductive.”

Amaarae was of the opinion that there were many many music genres from Africa that could be categorized under various titles and that any attempt to put them all into one category denigrated music from the continent.

She said: “The idea of an African category [at the Grammys] is great in practice, but I think it is reductive. There are way too many categories to be placed under an umbrella of African music.

“Take a song like ‘Sad Girlz’, ‘Calm Down,’ or ‘Calm Down’ or ‘Last Last’; these are all songs that didn’t just do well in Africa but did well globally and had humongous global impacts. So, to me, they are popular records.

“So, I feel like a record like [Rema’s] ‘Calm Down’ with the remix with Selena Gomez, that should be able to compete in pop categories [at the Grammys]. I feel like [Burna Boy’s] ‘Last Last’ should be able to compete in hip-hop, RnB or pop categories and not be relegated to just the African category because that’s reductive of the works that [African] artistes have done to break boundaries.”

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