By Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo
Scowl at anybody that says Grammy is not important, has no benefits or adds nothing to the life of an artiste. That fellow is a dilettante and an ignoramus!
The only true Ghanaian artiste to have Grammy nod is Rocky Dawuni, which means, until another Ghanaian achieves such a feat, he remains that blueprint that defines how his fellow countrymen can also attain such height.
In an interview on Max24 last week, Rocky gave some interesting insight on the workings of the Grammys. First, he disclosed that he is a voting member of the Academy, a group that determines the eventual winners of the scheme.
In another disclosure that has rarely been highlighted in the never-ending discourse of the Grammys, he talked about how having a number of members on the Voting Academy can help shift the narrative on who wins what.
In a bid to give these Ghanaian artistes some reprieve over their inability win the Grammy, it is also important to throw light on how other stakeholders can also get involved in the grand scheme of the awards.
The Recording Academy offers three types of membership; Voting Membership for recording creators, Professional Membership for music businesspeople and ‘GRAMMY U’ for the next generation aspiring to a career in the music industry.
Voting Membership is for performers, songwriters, producers, engineers, instrumentalists, and other creators currently working in the recording industry. Voting Members determine GRAMMY winners each year.
Professional membership is for music businesspeople whose full-time, primary business activity directly supports music creators such as music executives (e.g., labels and label distributors, publishers, promoters, performing rights organizations), creator representatives (e.g., agents, managers, lawyers, publicists), industry writers (e.g., authors, journalists), and music educators (e.g. college/university educators, music/trade school educators).
Students currently enrolled full-time in a college, university, or trade school with a desire to work in the recording industry upon graduation.
How to Join the Academy
Recording Academy membership is community-driven and peer-reviewed on an annual cycle. In order to be considered for an invitation to join, these are the steps;
Get two strong recommendations from music industry peers. The Recording Academy does not accept self-recommendations. Applications with self-recommendations will be considered incomplete and will not be processed.
After your recommendations are received by the Academy, you need to give more information about your career.
A new member submission includes two recommendations and a complete profile. (Profiles can only be completed after recommendations are received.) New member submissions are considered by the Recording Academy’s Peer Review Panel each spring.
If approved by Peer Review, candidates are invited to join the Recording Academy by July and have until that year’s GRAMMY Awards voting deadline to accept. The Recording Academy approves membership at its sole discretion based on its assessment of the submission
Recommending New Members
In his analysis of the Voting Membership, Rocky also stated that, the Recording Academy permits the recommendation to the Academy, other qualified personnel. What he failed to mention was whether he has also recommended any Ghanaian music professional to the Academy and whether the person(s) were accepted.
The point is; music connoisseurs in Ghana, who have years of expertise in music, from production to performance to education – can also help the cause of Ghanaian acts getting mentioned at the Grammys by applying to be part of the Voting Academy.
All Hands on Deck
Much has been said about how Nigerians are aggressive and connected in pushing their agenda, especially in the arts industry. Nigerians have grounding at certain key places and ensure that their own is promoted and seen. They are part of the top brass at big record labels, part of the establishment like BET, MTVBase and other channels that project their own better.
There’s a high possibility that these Nigerians are also part of the Voting Academy of the Grammys that has seen quite a number Nigerians get nominations over the years.
There are many Ghanaians out here who have the required skill to get into the Grammy membership and ensure that our own, who have the qualification and validation are also seen and heard.