The Grammy Awards nominations have sparked a wave of discontent among South African music fans. The heart of the controversy lies in the omission of South Africa’s Amapiano maestros, Kabza De Small and DJ Maphorisa, popularly known as the Scorpion Kings, from the prestigious music awards’ nominations list. This perceived snub has led to an outcry on social media, with fans and netizens voicing their dissatisfaction over the Grammy’s recognition of Nigerian Amapiano artists over their South African counterparts.
The Scorpion Kings, revered for their pivotal role in popularizing the Amapiano genre, a blend of deep house, jazz, and lounge music characterized by synths, airy pads, and wide basslines, have been instrumental in bringing this South African sound to a global audience.
Despite their significant contributions and widespread acclaim, their absence from the Grammy nominations, particularly in the Best African Music Performance category, has raised questions and sparked debates about the recognition and representation of African music genres on the global stage.
In contrast, Nigerian Amapiano artists, including Asake and Olamide, have received nominations for their contributions to the genre, further fueling the debate. Fans have taken to social media platforms like Twitter to express their views, with many calling the omission of Kabza and Maphorisa an injustice and a sign of disrespect towards the true pioneers of Amapiano.
Amidst the controversy, there is a silver lining for South African music. Tyla and Musa Keys, two other South African artists, have secured nominations in the same category. Tyla’s hit single “Water” has gained international recognition, while Musa Keys’ collaboration with Davido on “Unavailable” has also earned critical acclaim. Their nominations have been met with cheers and support from fans, highlighting the growing influence and appreciation of South African music on the world stage.
As the debate continues, the situation underscores the complexities and challenges of representing diverse music genres and artists in global award platforms. The Grammy Awards, while a symbol of musical excellence, are now at the center of a conversation about inclusivity and recognition in the ever-evolving landscape of world music.