International broadcasting icon Sheila O recently hosted Nigerian-born American rapper Tobe Nwigwe and Ghanaian artist Rocky Dawuni in Lagos for a media discussion on the ground-breaking music show Afrozons.
Both Nwigwe and Dawuni have been nominated for the upcoming Grammy Awards, with Nwigwe in the “Best New Artiste” category and Dawuni in the “Best Global Music Performance” category.
During the event, Nwigwe expressed his excitement and gratitude for his nomination, stating, “For me it’s surprisingly overwhelming. And that they would have the audacity to nominate an independent artiste like me especially in this kind of category. I was shocked but it was like a good surprise. We are just extremely happy to be in this position.”
Dawuni, who has been nominated for the Grammys for the third time, spoke about the impact of African music on the world, saying, “African music right now is impacting the world, it has always impacted the world. But the world never acknowledged it because you only have to look at popular music and you know that the influences were more of a cultural conversation between the motherland and the diaspora. But now with the power of the Internet we have seen our music circumvent many of the traditional gatekeepers who used to define what African sound was. I believe this is a new chapter in African music.”
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The event was sponsored by Heineken, and Sampson Oloche, Portfolio Manager of International Premium Brands at Nigerian Breweries Plc, said, “Our goal at Heineken is to ignite our consumers’ passion through partnerships like this; we will continue to facilitate engagement that will ensure that our consumers have the opportunity to meet global artists like Tobe because for us, consumers are our priority.”
Sheila O, who recently earned her PHD in media and communications from Myles Leadership University, Benin, is also a voting member of the Recording Academy and is advocating for the inclusion of an Afrobeats category at the Grammys.