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Wizkid’s ‘Made In Lagos’ tipped for Grammy Album of the year eligibility

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Well, we made it to the end of the Grammy eligibility year without a surprise release (yet) from Grammy darling Adele, whose last two albums won album of the year, or Beyoncé or Kendrick Lamar, who are overdue for a win in that category.

As the 13-month eligibility period for the 64th annual Grammy Awards comes to an end on Thursday (Sept. 30), it’s time to survey the field of likely album of the year nominees.

The Recording Academy’s bombshell announcement in April that it is disbanding its nominations review committees means that this will be the first time in 27 years that voting members will have the final say on the nominations in the Big Four categories: album, record and song of the year plus best new artist.

Last year, 1,225 albums were entered in the album of the year category. The top 20 vote-getters went to the committee, which picked the eight nominees. This year, the top eight vote-getters will become the nominees.

Here are the eight best bets for album of the year nominations (listed alphabetically), followed by a dozen alternates (also listed alphabetically). We also share how high each album climbed on the all-genre Billboard 200.

Best Bets: 

Doja Cat, Planet Her: Doja Cat, who received three nominations last year, solidified her stardom this year, landing another smash in “Kiss Me More” (featuring SZA) and hosting the VMAs. This album, her third, reached No. 2.

Drake, Certified Lover Boy: This blockbuster, which has spent its first three weeks at No. 1, would be Drake’s third consecutive studio album (following Views and Scorpion) to receive an album of the year nod. Drake would be the third hip-hop artist, following Kanye West and Lamar, to receive album of the year nods for three studio albums in a row. Drake has won just four Grammys, a surprisingly low total for an artist of his stature.

Billie EilishHappier Than Ever: Eilish’s sophomore album spent its first three weeks at No. 1. Eilish would be the first artist to be nominated in this category with both of their first two proper studio albums since Lady Gaga a decade ago. Eilish has won seven Grammys in two years.

Ariana Grande, Positions: This would be the pop superstar’s second nod in this category in three years. She was nominated two years ago for Thank U, Next. Both albums spent their first two weeks at No. 1. Grande won her second Grammy, best pop duo/group performance for her Lady Gaga collab “Rain on Me,” at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards in March.

H.E.R., Back of My Mind: H.E.R. was nominated in this category with two compilation albums, H.E.R. and I Used to Know Her, making it hard to bet against her first proper studio album. This album reached No. 6, H.E.R.’s best showing to date. H.E.R. won two Grammys, including song of the year, in March. Six weeks later, she won an Oscar for best original song. That’s what you call a hot streak.

Lil Nas X, Montero: As with H.E.R., the headline-maker was nominated in this category even before the release of his first official studio album. That album, with the artist’s birth name as its title, enters the Billboard 200 at No. 2 this week. Lil Nas X’s EP 7 was nominated in this category two years ago, when he won his first two Grammys.

Olivia Rodrigo, Sour: This album has logged five weeks at No. 1. It also made history as the first debut album to include two singles that entered the Hot 100 at No. 1: the classic breakup ballad “Drivers License” and the pop-punk smash “Good 4 U.”

Taylor Swift, Evermore: If Evermore is nominated, it would mark a first for Swift, who has never been nominated for album of the year with her follow-up to an album of the year winner. (In other words, Speak Now and Reputation, which followed Fearless and 1989, respectively, fell short). Evermore, Swift’s follow-up to Folklore, spent four weeks at No. 1. Swift is an 11-time Grammy winner.

Alternates:

Justin Bieber, Justice: Bieber was nominated in this category five years ago with Purpose, when the extent of his maturation from teen idol to mainstream pop star first became apparent. Justice spent two weeks at No. 1 in April. Bieber won his second Grammy in March for “10,000 Hours,” his hit collab with Dan + Shay. (Oddly, he has won in dance music and country but not yet in pop.)

Bad Bunny, El Ultimo Tour Del Mundo: This would make history as the first Latin album to land an album of the year nod. (José Feliciano’s Feliciano!, nominated in 1968, was an English-language pop album.) Bad Bunny’s album reached No. 1 in December. He won his first Grammy in March: best Latin pop or urban album for YHLQMDLG.

Foo Fighters, Medicine at Midnight: The Foos are on a victory lap. In May, they were announced as 2021 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In September, they were named the inaugural global icon winners at the VMAs. The Foos, 12-time Grammy winners, have been nominated in this category twice, for Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (2007) and Wasting Light (2011). This album reached No. 3.

Halsey, If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power: This album, produced by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, constitutes one of the most unexpected and intriguing artist/producer pairings in recent years. The album reached No. 2. Halsey has yet to win a Grammy and has been nominated just twice, for featured roles on recordings by Bieber and The Chainsmokers.

Megan Thee Stallion, Good News: Megan, who won three Grammys in March, could join the growing list of female hip-hop artists to receive a nod in this category. Cardi B and Lizzo were nominated in the past three years. Good News, which reached No. 2, was nominated for album of the year at the BET Awards in June.

Kacey Musgraves, Star-Crossed: Musgraves won in this category three years ago with Golden Hour. She would be the first female country artist with two album of the year nods since Swift (who was a country artist at the time of her first two nominations.). Star-Crossed reached No. 3. Musgraves is a six-time Grammy winner.

Chris StapletonStarting Over: Stapleton was nominated in this category six years ago for Traveller. If Starting Over is nominated, he’ll become the first male country artist ever to receive two nominations in this category. Starting Over, which reached No. 3, is up for a CMA Award for album of the year. Stapleton has won five Grammys.

Jazmine Sullivan, Heaux Tales: This album reached No. 4, Sullivan’s best showing to date. It won album of the year at the BET Awards. While Sullivan has gone 0-12 at the Grammys over the years, this may well be her year to finally bring one (or more) home.

Tyler, the Creator, Call Me If You Get Lost: This album, which debuted at No. 1 in July, is one of the year’s most critically lauded releases. This would be the rapper’s first album of the year nod as a lead artist, though he was nominated as a featured artist nine years ago on Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange. Tyler’s previous album, Igor, won a Grammy for best rap album.

Morgan WallenDangerous: The Double Album: This country blockbuster logged 10 weeks at No. 1, more than any other album in this eligibility period. It would have had a much better shot if Wallen hadn’t used a racial slur earlier this year. To many, if not most, voters, he’s still under a cloud. This is up for a CMA Award for album of the year.

Kanye West, Donda: This would be West’s fourth nod in this category, which would be the most by any hip-hop artist (as a lead artist). It would be West’s first album of the year nod in 14 years. The album debuted at No. 1 in early September. West won his 22nd Grammy in March: best Christian music album for Jesus Is King. West has yet to win in a Big Four category, a sore point with him (as it is with such other similarly situated artists as Jay-Z).

Wizkid, Made in LagosThis could be a sleeper. Made in Lagos is the second major-label album by the Nigerian singer and songwriter. It features guest appearances from such artists as Ella Mai, H.E.R., Damian Marley and Burna Boy. On Aug. 27, a deluxe edition was released with a guest appearance by Bieber. The album has climbed as high as No. 28. Wizkid won his first Grammy in March as a featured artist on Beyoncé’s “Brown Skin Girl” music video.

SOURCE: Bilboard

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Kofee Bean is Ghana’s second “Fresh Finds Africa” artist on Spotify

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Photo: Valeria Rodrigues

The music streaming platform Spotify is without a doubt one of the best sites to find new music, but also to create recognition for a lot of new artists that are fighting to climb those rankings. Especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, where there is fierce competition to leave the continent and travel to Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Since there’s a great chance to land a great contract as they take off from Africa, a lot of artists take these rankings very seriously, and getting to the top is a great concern to many of them.

That said, there’s always great anticipation when Spotify releases the “Fresh Finds Africa” ranking. This time it was Phiona Okumu, the head of music for Sub-Saharan Africa for the music streaming platform, who is in charge of announcing the list. It was revealed that Ghana’s own Kofee Bean has emerged as second in that ranking, which is very good news for one of the hardest working African music artists with an “emerging” career, since she only became a full-time musician in 2021.

Patience Naa Oyo Titus-Glover, known by her artist name Kofee Bean, started her career with a quite interesting EP called “Breathing”, which became a great hit in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, France, and Great Britain. This impressive take off got her to the second place in the ranking, putting her side by side with great artists like Sarkodie, Becca and R2Bees amongst many others, with nothing but open road for a very humble and charming artist.

It’s one of those “underdog” stories that always begins with a sacrifice and hard work story, as she started singing two years ago in a band called “Made Africa”, in every pub, bar, and micro concert she could find. It was only in 2021 when she decided to part from that band and start her own, pledging to make the most of this opportunity. She got an astonishing start, climbing to the second position in the Fresh Finds Africa ranking in only one year of work.

Standing out in style

Even when there are hundreds of thousands of artists that dedicate their lives to creating a catchy song in the vast world of African Neo Soul music. Armed only with a sincere heart, pen and paper and a voice that speaks quite beyond her young age, Kofee Bean has been working in her style for years, grabbing musical concepts from soul and R&B to create what is called one of the best examples of African soul music.

Heavily influenced by artists like Sade, Asa, Castro, Jill Scott, and Erykah Badu, she began writing songs and poetry at the age of seven, never imagining that she would be a recognized artist not only in her native Ghana, but in a good portion of the world. But even in this bit of an explosion in her career, she has never shown herself other than with that beautiful humble aura that she has always had and that very gentle voice that she has always had as a presentation card.

She was always able to create beautiful stories in her songs, sometimes telling heartwarming stories and others just opening the door for people to know her upbringing and correlate with a sometimes harsh and challenging childhood, as sometimes happens in her beloved Ghana. Her songs are without a doubt a great journey through her soul, sometimes honest, others vulnerable, but always with a sense of freedom that has everything to do with her African music influence.

As mentioned before, this outstanding recognition can only bring good fortune to this emerging star, particularly when she´s having a promising 10.000 listeners in Spotify, only to grow in the coming months. Her vigor and passion for music is much alike some of Ghana´s famous artists like the great Edem, MzVee and D-Black amongst many others.

The jump from Spotify to other big platforms

Many young African artists are looking for other ways to escape the one-way ticket of the streaming platform to other popular social media platforms, like TikTok, where many teenagers are using African Soul Music to give a “chill vibe” to their videos. And, of course, they are using both famous artists and emerging royalty free music to avoid the copyright restrictions that often burden not only users but also young artists trying to establish themselves.

But of course, the integration with Spotify allows many artists to have the recognition that only Instagram or other social media associated with the streaming platform can give them. Since millions of people use social media on a daily basis, it’s only a matter of time before Kofee Bean rises to be heard by hundreds of thousands, giving her career the propulsion to reach the stars.

This remarks the importance of Spotify’s programs like Fresh Finds, which give artists a great opportunity to reach a “well-known” status in terms of months or even weeks. According to the streaming platform’s statistics, millions of people listen to new EPs, albums and upcoming artists in this ranking, opening a great door for thousands to go to fame.

 

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Incredible Zigi and BTL Africa Set To Launch Maiden Edition Of Afrozig Dance Fiesta

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Grab your dancing shoes and get ready to be thrilled, as all is set for the world to witness the first of its kind dance festival in Ghana; Afrozig Dance Fiesta, a breathtaking dance event founded and created by multiple award-winning Dance sensation and Choreographer, Incredible Zigi.

To be held at the UPSA Auditorium on Saturday June 11, 2022 this maiden edition of Afrozig Dance Fiesta seeks to celebrate dance in Ghana and provide a platform where dancers can always look forward to expressing themselves through their craft.

Dance is evolving globally and the fraternity in Ghana is growing strongly due to its important role within the creative arts industry. Afrozig Dance Fiesta is an all-inclusive dance concert to be held annually and it shall feature communities / dance groups and individual dancers in the country.

As part of the fiesta, a section has been created themed “The Diva Dance Competition”. Its purpose will be to unearth a female dancer that would be groomed for a year by Incredible Zigi and enrolled on Afrozig Dance Movement. This is to encourage more female dancers and recruit them into the Ghanaian dance scene. This shall be judged by former world dancing champion Adjetey Sowah, legendary highlife singer and dancer Akosua Agyapong.

According to Incredible Zigi, the goal of Afrozig Dance Fiesta is to provide a platform where dancers will be groomed and held under a big umbrella where they can thrive. It will also serve as an avenue to offer huge inspiration and nurture upcoming dancers and empower existing ones.

There shall also be a Masterclass during the dance fiesta where these dancers shall be taken through branding, staying relevant and monetization of the dance craft among others with Adjetey Sowah and Akosua Agyapong leading the session.

The power-packed event will see performances from various dance icons including revered pioneers, who will provide support and direction. There will be a mix of musical performances from your favorite musicians such as Joey B, Medikal, Sefa, Kelvynbwoy, among others.

Afrozig Dance Fiesta is in partnership with BTL Africa and proudly sponsored by Guinness – Black Shines Brightest with support from Belaqua and Abrantie the gentleman and MX24 as the official media partner.

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Snoop Dogg and Steve Aoki Present New Group Alpha Doggz, Debut Collab EP ‘Da Da’

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West Coast rap legend Snoop Dogg and EDM pioneer Steve Aoki have teamed up to create a new duo Alpha Doggz and are announcing their debut EP titled ‘Da Da.’ The project is slated for release on May 23 exclusively on blockchain-based Gala Music and in partnership with seminal hip hop label Death Row Records.

 

Available today, Gala Music x Snoop Stash Box holders and the A0K1VERSE will each receive their own exclusive free song from the heavyweight duo–“Super Freak” ft. October London and “Holy Grail,” respectively. This coming Monday, May 23, the final three tracks from the EP will be available to the public: “Da Da,” “Girls” and “How I Do It.”

 

Each track off the new EP features the rap and EDM luminaries at their creative best; “Da Da” and “Holy Grail” are classic Steve Aoki club bangers, while “Girls” and “How I Do It” evoke Snoop’s unmistakable laid back groove. On “Super Freak,” old-soul singer/songwriter October London adds an intriguing jazzy layer to Alpha Doggz’ electric sound. Overall, Alpha Doggz represents the perfect marriage between Snoop Dogg and Aoki’s distinctive and addictive MOs.

 

This genre-spanning project is the first of many for Gala Music, which officially launched in February 2022. Gala has already partnered with internationally recognized artists across genres, including Snoop Dogg, Steve Aoki and Kings of Leon, to bolster new music releases and decentralize the world of music streaming.

 

In February, Snoop Dogg made headlines after acquiring Death Row Records and its catalog. During a Gala Music-hosted AMA with Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg remarked that Gala Music will be the exclusive place that Death Row lives in the Metaverse.

 

We plan on giving people access to buying and trading some of these classic songs, classic records that were the foundation of Death Row,” Snoop Dogg said during the AMA. “We [also] plan on bringing great music and great artists [to the label]. This is what Death Row is all about, trying to expand and take it to new regions.”

 

This upcoming NFT EP drop furthers both Aoki and Snoop Dogg’s ambition to leverage the Metaverse and spark a revolution in the music business by transferring power back to artists and away from traditional labels. For Gala Music, this release is an exciting step towards bringing decentralized music to the masses, providing the opportunity to expand the company’s reach across different genres by bringing these two major artists and Web3 pioneers together.

 

Full ‘Alpha Doggz’ track list:

  1. Holy Grail
  2. Da Da
  3. Girls
  4. How I Do This
  5. Super Freak ft. October London

 

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Coded blames 4×4 breakup on pressure from Shatta Wale to release hit songs

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Member of defunct 4×4 music group, Coded has finally revealed the reason why they decided to go their separate ways.

According to Coded, the group decided to go solo at the time where Shatta Wale was putting every artiste in the country on their toes.

Coded states that the pressure from Shatta Wale to release hit song after hit song prompted the group to go solo so they can match up to the “Dancehall King.”

“I think it would basically be the fact that was the era where a lot of singles were coming from Shatta Wale…that was the era where he was releasing countless hit records, like he would release a song today, give it max two weeks, he would release another song. So, that was putting a lot of musicians on their toes. You’re working but you are not working enough. You need to work harder, meet up to that level. And its good when it’s healthy competition so we decided that we need to do our solo projects so when we add it to the group projects,” he revealed in a recent interview.

4×4, the three man group — made up of Captain Planet, Fresh Prince and Coded — have been releasing only solo projects the past couple years.

Coded had stated in previous interviews that the decision to go solo was done collectively by the group after Fresh Prince brought the idea but at the time he wasn’t on board with it.

Although the group has not released any projects together and have fueled break up rumors, the leader of the group, Captain Planet insists they have not broken up.

“I am not happy myself hearing and reading comments from social media that we have broken up. I know that our fans expect us to be everywhere like we used to be but in life when you keep doing the same things over and over again, people become fed-up with you,” he told Graphic Showbiz in 2017.

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Captain Planet rubbishes Coded’s claims over why 4×4 went solo

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Member of defunct 4×4 music group, Captain Planet has rubbished claims by former group member, Coded that the reason they went solo was because of Shatta Wale.

Earlier today, Coded had revealed in an interview that the reason the group decided to go solo was because of pressure from Shatta Wale to release hit songs.

“I think it would basically be the fact that was the era where a lot of singles were coming from Shatta Wale…that was the era where he was releasing countless hit records, like he would release a song today, give it max two weeks, he would release another song. So, that was putting a lot of musicians on their toes. You’re working but you are not working enough. You need to work harder, meet up to that level. And its good when it’s healthy competition so we decided that we need to do our solo projects so when we add it to the group projects,”Coded revealed in the interview.

The interview has since gone viral and captured a lot of reactions. However, Captain Planet has shut down Coded’s claims stating that he does not know where they are coming from.

“Stop that rubbish it’s never true. I dnt know exactly what coded was trying to explain. May be he was talking for himself the reason he started doing his solo project . I showed the video to fresh prince this morning he was even laughing his lungs out,” Captain Planet reacted on Twitter.

See screenshot of his tweet below;

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“Pepper Dem Ministries” welcomes Nana Aba Anamoah to the “bitter side” over recent comments

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Some members of popular feminist group in Ghana, “Pepper Dem Ministries”, have called out ace-broadcaster Nana Aba Anamoah over recent comments she made about taking up traditional roles at home. (more…)

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