Monday, 11 May 2015

Why Femi Kuti has never won a Grammy and may never win (gramaphone clipart by kaciieleven)

Femi kuti has been nominated for the Grammy Awards like ten times? Oh, sorry four times in 2003, 2010, 2012 and 2013 for the World music category but never won! Aw, too bad!
I would be very surprised if he won,
not because he's never made a song that deserves a Grammy award or his saxophone playing is just not distinct, but because the Grammy finally decided to create a sub Grammy in which the yard stick for judging nominees will be reduced to let 'these' Africans win.                                                                                 
Every year I read on Linda Ikeji that Femi Kuti was nominated for a Grammy award but didn't win, my subconscious response was always— shrug my shoulder,  raise my eyebrows and force an ugly grin ...His songs are a rare commodity on radio anyway! I can remember growing up and wondering why people loved Fela, I hated his music, because to me it wasn't melodically pleasing with soul-- it sounded too brassy and busy like a terrible Nyanya Abuja traffic. Not until i went to the University and studied music did i start to appreciate Fela and the intricacies of making a musical instrument sing. Femi has carved a niche for himself following the footsteps of his father Fela.

I went on a Femi Kuti music listening spree to catch up! I dug into all his songs available online (online? yes it’s the Internet-we live there) He released a recent Album (not so new, but I just found out) called NO PLACE FOR MY DREAMS in 2013 under Knitting Factory Records. The Album sounds like Fela, but the Pidgin English sounds like that German mixed with Igbo? 

 I came up with one discovery on why his songs aren't so popular anymore here in Nigeria (I know he does Afro beat— a sound Created out of a cross-breeding of Funk, Jazz, Salsa and Calypso with Juju, Highlife and African percussive patterns, it is a sub-genre of  the genre world). He is not so popular here in Nigeria because his music is not Pop— it is not your regular everyday popular music. (Jazz smells funny— it is for rich people who sip on 900 Naira “Eva water” at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja they say!).

 FEMI KUTI hasn't won a Grammy award yet, not because his lyrics suck or his Music is wack and smells like antique dolls or his sound has refused to evolve from what his Father Fela Kuti made, he hasn't won a Grammy award because the Grammy is not everybody's standard to announce or proclaim who a great musician is. He hasn't won because the Grammy is an American thing and acts like American music is all there is to music, and charity they say begins at home.

Let’s not even talk about the
 Headies (A Nigerian Music award fashioned like the Grammy Awards, but with a head statue as the trophy), that thing is a pool where mediocre musicians come to play. Have you seen a live performance at the Grammy? The lights and performances are huge, it is not a terrible lip sync contest—artists really perform, the lights, stage, and sound is well fixed, no Church-like feedback, it’s really glitzy, the glory of an award show resides at the Grammy....let’s not talk about the Headies today.

... And the winner for best world music act goes to? ... Hold up, hold up! (in Kanye West’s Voice)  y'all should give it to Beyonce! 


  1. Thanks for sharing! Very informative!

    1. Thank you for commenting! I really do appreciate. Glad you liked it.

  2. Thanks for sharing! Very informative!