February 11, 2012

Femi Kuti gets third shot @ The Grammy

Femi Kuti performing

As the count down begins for the 54th edition of the American Grammy award taking place on 12th.Febuary 2012 in California USA, Nigerian fans of Femi Kuti who is nominated in the World Music Category pray that he is third time lucky this time around.

Femi picked up his third ever nomination in the World Music Category for his ‘Africa for Africa‘ album on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 when the list was unveiled at the ‘Grammy Nominations Concert Live!‘ in Los Angeles, US. An excited Femi who was monitored by Showtime on a cable TV station said, the news was totally unexpected.

*Femi Kuti

“I was shocked when I heard the news. The surprise here, is that, I didn’t expect an album recorded  and produced here in Nigeria studios could be nominated for the Grammy. I can understand it, if the album like the previous ones (that gained nominations) was recorded in Europe.

If the organisers decided, it was good to gain a Grammy nomination, it then show just how much our production competence has risen in Nigeria”, Femi disclosed.

Is expecting to win the Grammy this time, we sought to know?

“Well, we are keeping our fingers crossed. But the truth is that a mere nomination is enough to excite any musician worth his/her salt

In 2003, Femi, eldest son of late Afrobeat pioneer Fela Anikulapo Kuti, picked up his first ever Grammy Award nomination but lost out to Panamanian salsa singer, Rubén Blades.

He similarly lost in 2010 when he was nominated in the same category. US banjo player Bela Fleck walked away with the award.

His recent nomination sees him up against Latin/Roots music band AfroCubism, South African male choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and Malian band Tinariwen.

‘We’re extremely happy, and hoping they give him this time around‘ Femi’s elder sister and Positive band veteran Yeni Kuti told us the week over the phone. ‘It’s his third time and he has really worked hard. I can’t say if he’ll attend or not, but I hope he will. He did not attend last year,” Yeni says.

US rapper Kanye West leads the pack with seven nods, making it the second year in a row a Hip-hop artiste has reached that feat. (Eminem topped the nominees list in 2010, with 10nods. He walked away with two wins).

Kanye is closely followed by UK singer Adele who is tied with Foo Fighters and Bruno Mars with six nods each. But the controversial rapper-producer was, surprisingly missing on the biggest award category ‘Album of the Year’.

Other notable acts that missed out on the big prize are Taylor Swift and veteran singer Tony Bennett.

The awards ceremony is billed to hold on February 12, 2012, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.