Grammy 2024 Nominees: A Look At Best African Music Performance

Five impressive Afrobeats and Amapiano singles are up for the first-ever award.

BYDemi Phillips
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grammy 2024

On November 10, the highly-anticipated 2024 Grammy nominations were announced. As artists and fans held their breaths, many impressive names and projects were revealed to be up for the gold. However, the 2024 Grammys will also include three new categories, including Best African Music Performance. In previous years, African acts like Femi Kuti and Angélique Kidjo were up against other Global acts in the Best Global Music Performance.

This time, the category has been set to highlight the amazing musical talents straight out of the African continent. As expected, the Grammy-winning Burna Boy makes an appearance in the new category. After all, his most recent album, I Told Them… has been lauded by fans and critics alike. Nonetheless, some new faces have now received their first-ever Grammy nods this year. From Afrobeats maestro Davido to the South African starlet Tyla shaking things up, here are the nominees for Best African Music Performance for the 2024 Grammys.

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“Amapiano” - Asake & Olamide

Evidently, Asake is arguably the biggest breakout act out of Africa this decade so far. The Lagos-born singer, songwriter, and dancer has come a long way. From studying theatre at his alma mater, Obafemi Awolowo University, to lighting up major stages, including the O2 arena, he has become an unstoppable force. Today, he’s one of the most recognizable faces in Afrobeats and has received widespread acclaim for performing in his native tongue, Yoruba. His first-time Grammy nod comes as no surprise.

In 2022, Asake signed to Nigerian musical icon, Olamide’s record label, YBNL Nation. Soon after, he began to make serious waves. His second album, Work Of Art, released less than a year after his debut, houses the track “Amapiano.” The upbeat single, which features Olamide, was released to a positive reception and is one of the standout songs from the project. Furthermore, it’s a nod to the genre of the same name created in South Africa. With “Amapiano,” both Asake and Olamide have received their first-ever Grammy nominations.

“City Boys” - Burna Boy

In 2021, Burna Boy took home the Grammy Award for Best Global Music Album for his fifth studio album, Twice As Tall. Fast forward to the 2024 Grammys, and he’s earned an impressive four nods. His nomination for Best African Music Performance is for his lauded Afro-fusion single, “City Boys.” The party staple has a slick, bass-heavy beat, and samples the single, “Birthday Sex” by Jeremih. The use of the sample garnered criticism after Burna Boy’s controversial comments about Black Americans but undoubtedly contributed to its success. Overall, “City Boys” has quickly become an anthem among fans, who join the star in professing their love for women, money, champagne, and marijuana.

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“UNAVAILABLE” - Davido Ft. Musa Keys

Davido’s Grammy nods have been a long time coming, and fans can’t help but celebrate the star’s success. His 2017 record, “Fall,” was the first ever African record to receive a Gold certification in the United States. It also didn’t take long for his other record, “If,” to achieve the same feat. Evidently, his success was only a matter of time, and at the 2024 Grammys, the Nigerian Afrobeats legend will be up for three awards.

His nomination for Best African Music Performance is for his worldwide hit, “UNAVAILABLE,” which features South African producer, Musa Keys. The impressive, anthemic dance track is a declaration of a life of peace. After a series of highs and lows in his life, the star has retreated greatly from the limelight, preferring to make his music and steer clear of drama. The single’s catchy chorus has made it a party staple and even led to multiple, delicious remixes, featuring Latto and Sean Paul.

“Rush” - Ayra Starr

Nigerian superstar Ayra Starr burst onto the scene with the conviction to be the best. Clearly, she is on the right track, as she becomes the first Nigerian female artist to earn the nod for Best African Music Performance. Her 2022 single, “Rush,” was a hit upon release in her native Nigeria. However, by 2023, the song began to make waves on TikTok. 

The 21-year-old singer and songwriter has been dominating the music scene since she first emerged in 2021. Since then, she has collaborated with many notable international acts, including Kelly Rowland, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and fellow Grammy-nominee, Tyla. Known for her powerful vocals, eclectic, sexy fashion choices, and charming personality, it didn’t take much time for Ayra Starr to capture the hearts of millions. “Rush” has since charted in numerous countries, particularly reaching a peak of 24 on the UK Singles Chart.

“Water” - Tyla

The South African starlet Tyla has been making waves for quite some time now. However, she broke the glass ceiling with her worldwide hit, “Water,” and also broke records along the way. She and Musa Keys are the South African artists that are up for the Best African Music Performance at the 2024 Grammys.  “Water” became a viral sensation on TikTok thanks to its impressive choreography, which features sensuous waist and hip movements. 

Tyla is now the youngest South African to ever chart on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching a peak of 21. Furthermore, she is the first South African solo act in 55 years to enter the chart as well. As aforementioned, “Water” took over radio around the world, and has charted in several countries, reaching an impressive peak at the fourth spot on the UK Singles Chart. It also remarkably topped the New Zealand charts.

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About The Author
Demilade Phillips has been a Features Writer for HotNewHipHop since 2023. The self-proclaimed music fanatic deals with most things Hip Hop and R&B, while also covering film, television, and the entertainment industry at large. When he’s not working, the International Relations graduate is either binging anime, immersing himself in the underground EDM scene, or crafting up original pieces.