The Recording Academy, the organization that hosts the Grammy Awards, has announced two new categories for the 2024 awards show: Best African Music Performance and Best Alternative Jazz Album.
The Best Pop Dance Recording category has also been expanded to include more genres.
The Best African Music Performance category will recognize recordings that incorporate unique local expressions from across the African continent.
The category includes but is not limited to, the following genres: Afrobeat, Afro-fusion, Afro Pop, Afrobeats, Alte, Amapiano, Bongo Flava, Genge, Kizomba, Chimurenga, High Life, Fuji, Kwassa, Ndombolo, Mapouka, Ghanaian Drill, Afro-House, South African Hip-Hop, and Ethio Jazz.
The addition of Highlife and Drill music to the Best African Music Performance category is a major victory for Ghanaian musicians.
Highlife is a genre of Ghanaian popular music that originated in the early 20th century, while Drill music is a subgenre of hip hop that originated in Chicago in the early 2010s. Both genres have gained international popularity in recent years.
The announcement of the new categories has been met with mixed reactions on social media. Some people have expressed excitement about the opportunity to see more African music represented at the Grammy Awards.
Others have criticized the Recording Academy for not including Hiplife, another popular Ghanaian genre, in the Best African Music Performance category.
Despite the criticism, the addition of Highlife and Drill music to the Grammy Awards is a positive step for African music. It is a recognition of the diversity and richness of African music, and it is a sign that the Recording Academy is committed to celebrating African music on a global stage.
Check the tweet below
Our goal at the #RecordingAcademy is to recognize and honor the very best in music from across the globe.
Today, we’re proud to announce a new category for the 66th GRAMMY Awards – Best African Music Performance.
— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) June 13, 2023