Rocky Dawuni in historic​ nomination for 58th​ Grammy Awards

Rocky Dawuni Photo by Farah Sosa

Branches of The Same Tree, the latest album of the celebrated Ghanaian Afro roots artist Rocky Dawuni has been nominated for a Grammy award in the Best Reggae Album category in the 2016 Grammy awards. The Grammy Award which was originally called Gramophone Award first begun in 1959 in the USA.

The album, which is Rocky’s sixth studio album was released in March 2015 on Cumbancha. The artist embarked on international tours to promote the album throughout the year that took him to countries like Denmark, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, the UK, Canada and across the USA where he makes his second home.

In an interview with #TheAfricanDream from his Los Angeles base in the USA, Rocky told this writer that he is: “humbled by the Grammy nomination. It is a victory for all great Ghanaian musicians upon whose shoulders I have nurtured my inspiration. It’s a good day for Africa and positive music too.”

On December 18, 2015, Dawuni will perform at his “Homecoming Concert and Album Celebration” concert at Alliance Francaise in Accra, the capital city of Ghana; his home country. He will be joined by acclaimed Ghanaian and African award winning artist Wiyaala and others.

A few other globally recognized artists with African lineage that were also nominated for the 2016 Grammys include The Weeknd, of which Canadian-born Ethiopian musician Abel Tesfaye is a member. They were nominated 8 times, one under the R&B category for their song Earned It which was sang by Tesfaye in the soundtrack for the movie Fifty Shades of Gray.

Under rap song of the year, the single All Day from the seventh studio album by Kanye West titled SWISH also earned a Grammy nomination. Kanye credited over 20 artists for writing songs on this album, one of which is Victor Kwesi Mensah popularly known as Vic Mensah; a Chicago Illinois based hip hop artist with a Ghanaian father.

Two-time Grammy winning artist Angelique Kidjo from the West African nation of Benin first won a Grammy in 2008 for her eighth studio album titled Djin Djin, then again in 2014 at the 57th annual Grammy Awards for her album Eve in the World Music category. She gets another taste as she is this year nominated again!

Rocky Dawuni’s first Grammy nomination which makes him the first Ghanaian nominated in his genre also finds him competing for the prestigious global award with Reggae greats like Morgan Heritage, Jah Cure, Barrington Levy, and Luciano. Winners will finally be announced at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, USA , on Monday, February 15, 2016, during the 58th annual Grammy Awards.

South African all-male chorus Ladysmith Black Mambazo with 15 Grammy nominations and 4 wins in their 50-year career have been nominated for “Best World Music” for their album Music From Inala. Their recent win was 2013 for their album Live: Singing For Peace Around The World. The Zomba Prison Project made of recordings by prisoners at the Zomba Central Prison at the border of Malawi and Mozambique is also nominated in the category.

Nigerian-American singer Jidenna got his first-ever nomination for hit single “Classic Man” in the category of “Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.” Some of his contenders are Nicki Minaj, Kendrick Lamar, and Common. Wouter Kellerman, a South African artist is nominated for “Best Contemporary Instrumental Album” for his work Love Language while his compatriot Neville Diedericks earned a nomination for “Best Gospel Performance/Song” for his part in Israel & New Breed’s “How Awesome Is Our God (Live).”

In 2005 Senegal’s Youssou N’Dour won his first Grammy Award in the category of ‘Best contemporary world music album’ for his work titled ‘Egypt’. N’Dour helped to develop a style of popular Senegalese music known in the Serer language as mbalax.

American artist Kendrick Lamar strongly leads the 58th Grammy nominations with 11 potential awards, he is followed by his compatriot Taylor Swift who is trailed by the multinational group The Weeknd. Find the full list of nominees here.

Source: Oral Ofori

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