Davido, a popular artist from Nigeria, made comments on the new initiative. Source: @davido on Instagram.

Recording Academy Vows to Support African and Middle East Musicians 

The Recording Academy, best known for the Grammys, is going global - expanding its presence and advocacy efforts to the booming music markets of Africa and the Middle East.

2 mins read

The Recording Academy, best known for the Grammy Awards, is embarking on a new effort to extend its support and services for music creators in Africa and the Middle East. The academy has secured agreements with government bodies overseeing culture in Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, the United Arab Emirates, Rwanda, South Africa, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast. 

Announced on Tuesday, the global initiative serves to align with the Recording Academy’s mission to champion music creators at all levels and advocate for strong intellectual property rights. “The Middle East and Africa represent vibrant, diverse music markets with incredible creative talent,” said Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. “As the Academy continues expanding our international presence, we’re committed to providing a platform for these artists and advocating on their behalf.” 

The new collaboration brings more resources for artists in Africa and the Middle East. The Academy plans to enhance support for existing Record Academy members, advocate for the artists legally, publish reports spotlighting these music markets, and work to establish a more physical Academy presence in these regions over time.

Additionally, the Recording Academy expects its resource expansion to be part of a long-term strategy extending its physical and monetary presence worldwide. In November 2023, the Recording Academy held the first overseas Grammy Awards when it hosted the Latin Grammys in Seville, Spain, reaching the initiative’s goal for other world regions.

The initiative builds off the momentum of Afrobeats exploded in the West this past spring, with hitmakers like Tyla, Burna Boy, and Davido making waves in the music industry. The usage of TikTok and streaming platforms has drastically diversified the music industry, which the Recording Academy seems to accept. With this initiative, artists from the Middle East and Africa will have more access to these global networks.

Davido’s song UNAVILABLE went viral after its release last year, and he held a sold-out show in Madison’s Square Garden this past April. Davido, a musician from Nigeria, said “As an African musician, I’m excited about the Recording Academy’s expansion into Africa and the Middle East.”

His career underscores the booming music markets emerging from Africa. “It acknowledges our vibrant talent and the global influence of African music. This initiative offers a platform for creators, elevating our cultural expressions and uniting us through music,” he said.  

This move comes after the Recording Academy recently partnered with the U.S. State Department to utilize music as a tool for promoting peace and cross-cultural understanding. The initiative represents the Academy’s first phase of an even broader international strategy, to better serve music creators worldwide in the years ahead. 

“Music is the universal language that unites people across cultures,” said Ruby Marchand, the Chief Industry Officer of the Recording Academy. “With these new collaborations, we’re excited to learn from the booming music communities across the Middle East and Africa while sharing the Academy’s resources and learnings as well.”

As the popularity of Afrobeats and African music continues to soar globally, the Academy’s investment in Africa will foster growth for a new generation of music creators to shine globally. 

Leave a Reply