The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which is best known for putting on the Grammy Awards, has selected a pan-African headquarters for future shows by tapping five cities to host regional hubs for it. This is a huge move for the African music industry.
These five cities: Abidjan, Lagos, Nairobi, Johannesburg and Kigali will play host to the Grammy Awards’ regional hubs, which will act as creative centers that provide essential infrastructure for artists ensuring that they get paid for their creative work as they “function as the primary point of entry for artists and professionals members and the greater music community.”
A Battle for Recognition and fierce war is waging between African leaders to secure the Grammy Awards for their respective countries.High-level talks took place between African heads of state and representatives of the Recording Academy. Nigerian President Bola Tinubu and Kenyan President William Ruto met with the Grammy delegation during the U.N. General Assembly in September, respectively throwing their hats in the ring for the prestigious awards.
Nairobi, Kenya, has positioned itself at the forefront of becoming Africa’s premier music center. Following high-level discussions in the United States, the Kenyan government teamed up with the Academy to swiftly advance its application, signing a deal just days later. Now, the city is vigorously working to cement its place as a musical mecca, gaining backing from impactful individuals, for instance American business tycoon Meg Whitman and Kenya’s ambassador to the U.S.
A Luminous future for African music as these regional hubs are set to transform the African music landscape by providing musicians access to the infrastructure and support they need to flourish. The Recording Academy’s pledge signals a move towards equitable compensation and royalties for its musicians, another big step towards creating a thriving music industry on the continent.
The first editions of Africa’s own Grammy Awards will take place in 2025 or 2026, serving as the last turning page in the rich history of African music, the one destined to direct the brightest talents Africa has to offer to the biggest stages on the planet.
North Africa has not been included in this initiative, as it falls under the Middle East division, leaving room for further opportunities in the region.