In the global music industry, the Annual Grammy Awards organized by the Recording Academy is regarded as the most prestigious award that could be won by a musician. A Grammy nod in form of nominations can be very influential in taking a musician’s artistry to the next level.
In the present day music industry, not bagging at least one Grammy or even nominations alone basically means that you’re not playing in the top league. Over the years, the Recording Academy has built a structure that supports and amplifies the best songs from all over the world through the annual Grammy Awards ceremony.
A musician with one or more Grammy is considered to be one of the finest songwriters or music makers in the world and even some of the biggest artists in the world have had a hard time bagging one. Despite being the most commercially successful rapper of the last decade, an artist like Drake can only boast of 1 Grammy win and his award speech showed very clearly that he’d been waiting for it all along and felt badly about the Grammy eluding him for the longer part of his career.
In the past two decades, the Afrobeats genre has made tremendous strides, from a relatively unknown genre fathered by Fela Anikulapo Kuti in the 70s to numerous nominations and 1 solo Grammy win.
Afrobeats now boasts of Billboard Top 40 artists, Hot 100 artists and global 200 artists, it is therefore safe to say that the genre has gone global and is one of the biggest genres in the world right now.
In October 2020, Davido had a heart to heart discussion with Ebuka Obi-Uchendu on the #BlackBox episode of his Bounce Radio show. During the discussion, among a lot of other issues, Davido addresses his rivalry with Wizkid & Burna Boy, how their supercharged fan bases have frequently fanned the embers. He also gives his opinion on the Grammy’s and where Afrobeats seems to be headed.
The young superstar at the time seemed to hold the belief that crafting a project targeted at the Grammy was a waste of time. He strongly believed in “Pon Pon” sound which had allegedly made him the first Nigerian artist to make 1 million dollars of the Pon Pon sound.
This strategy was obviously deployed in his second studio album, A Good Time, but an attempt to repeat it on his third studio album, ‘A Better Time‘ may very well be considered a very woeful performance for an album with numerous heavyweight features which included Lil Baby, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown among others. Needless to say, the inability to go on tour during the pandemic equally affected the performance of the project.
Fast forward to 2022, Davido is working on yet another album, and he’s released a snippet to the lead single off the album #StandStrong. This snippet immediately blew up across all socials to both positive and negative feedbacks from fans and industry colleagues.
Davido has retraced his steps barely 6 months after berating his colleagues and rivals Burna Boy and Wizkid for trying to get on the Grammy radar with their projects instead of just doing their thing.
On the other hand, it would seem like Davido has made this decision as a result of him getting snubbed by the Grammy’s and his last project not breaking through into the United States mainstream market despite the heavy weight features on the project.
Here’s one for thought. Davido is first and foremost a decade-old musician, who’s not new to experimentation, he’s done it in the past and him taking a new approach to his music was always going to happen whether he’s got desperate Grammy dreams or not.
While the Afropop icon may have been one of the major proponents of the “Pon Pon” sound which had a record breaking run in 2018 with Fall and IF, it doesn’t take anything away from the fact that the Afrobeats genre is now global and for any musician who wants to play at this level, constant reinvention must be embraced to ensure that the sound accommodates more than just the local, or African market in general.
This is a period where artists like Fireboy and Ckay are Billboard Top 40 artists and they’re not nearly as big as Davido who’s never charted as high as the Hot 100 or Top 40.
At the end of the day, this switch was always going to happen, and of course the fan base of his two greatest rivals will spare no bounds with their dragging as a result of his earlier claims concerning the direction of Afrobeats.
Now that Davido is ready to make his fans feel every bit of emotion that goes into his music making process, the world can rest assured that Nigeria is about to skyrocket another viable Hot 100 and Top 40 artist who’s gonna get all the recognition due to him at the Grammys. And of course, there’s nothing wrong with an artist aiming for the most prestigious music award in the history of mankind so far.
Written by AfrobeatsMerije.
Bisi-Taiwo Chukwumerije is a blood-bound Nigerian writer & Music Executive.
Tweet your favourite, random, mind-boggling songs, EPs, LPs, Albums, & music projects to him; @AfrobeatsMerije.