What The Headies’ U.S. Awards Mean For Afrobeats, The Music Industry

The Nigerian social media space received with mixed reactions the announcement by Ayo Animashaun, creator of the Headies Music Award, that the 2022 ceremony would be held in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Some of the commentators claimed that it was a money move and one that resulted in a move away from Afrobeats culture. Some fans described it as a bold move aimed at taking the Nigerian music industry to new heights.

We take a look at the highs and lows of the series’ very first run through the western world.

The place

Atlanta is considered the hip-hop capital of the United States by the New York Times. Atlanta rap group Migos and rapper Future have topped Billboard’s charts since 2016. Plus, Atlanta’s Lil Yachty, 21 Savage, 2 Chainz and Young Thug are all over streaming platforms. .

“The melodies, the cadences in the raps, the sounds are everywhere,” says Atlanta music critic Stephen Dacres.

Stepping into a framework like this could be an opportunity for local musicians to develop sounds that could lead to collaborations with these overseas artists, as well as capitalize on each other’s genre and push streaming numbers across the ceiling.

While some thought the location in the US was a good idea, others thought the UK was a better country to host the event as it is more receptive to Afrobeats.

For Motolonia Alake, a music media practitioner, however, the United States remains the most receptive to Afrobeats.

“ABC news called Afrobeat the new pop there’s about 4 Afrobeats documentaries going on and that’s because Afrobeats is so hot now and because it’s so hot if we’re not careful they’ll create it (awards) for us and start hosting it in the U.S. And if we’re not careful, our own story won’t belong to us anymore,” Alake said.

He also gave an example of hosting Latin Grammys in the United States with the latest edition hosted in Las Vegas.

The American Consulate

The US Consulate, Netflix, CBS CNN and BBC1 are all sponsoring the Headies this year.

Benefits of partnering with the U.S. Consulate include ease of logistics of U.S. visa arrangements and other relevant travel affairs with the support of the Headies, as well as travel and accommodation arrangements.

A spokesperson for the US consulate in Nigeria told a press conference that the embassy supports the project as Nigeria is clearly the entertainment capital of Africa. He also notes that the awards ceremony would result in job offers.

Also Read: The 15th Annual Headies Awards will be held in the United States, for the first time outside Nigeria

“We are very proud to see Nigeria and its relationship with the United States. It is the year of Nigeria with arts and cultures, music, cinema and even sports. Three Grammy winners in Nigeria. I’m sure it will attract American talent as well,” the rep said.

Over the years, there have been complaints about the poor quality of the broadcast of the event. However, media partnerships with CBS, CNN and the BBC, knowledge transfer and training of the media team will be facilitated, allowing them to replicate their experiences at home, experts say.

“Everything that is new and good for the Nigerian music industry only exists because the economy is good because someone has found a way to do it for themselves and attract funds in their pocket and by doing this service, many other people like artists, music journalist will also benefit from this service,” said Oyinkansola Fawehinmi, a music lawyer.

Predictable results?

Hosting an African show in the United States is not an easy string to pull. BusinessDay has learned from previous attendees of these shows that only the winners of each nominated category are transported to the events and the rest are left behind.

This could mean that the winners of the prizes are predictable, given that the person who went there is most certainly the winner of said category.

Managing the logistics of flight, hotel accommodation and food in a foreign country is not as easy as handling it on home soil. Some of these artists would like to be there with their family or their managers or anyone they feel has had an important role to play in the growth of their art, but the question most people would like to know is whether the academy can meet these demands for everyone. nominees.

According to Joey Akan, the host of the event, there could be backstage conversations to let artists know who will be getting the honors at the show. There may also be agreements for the artist to perform, and because these artists’ schedules would be interrupted for these events, these kinds of discussions are necessary.

Transparency – The Core Academy and Voting Academy

The core members of the academy are those who handle the running of the entire event and are considered the regulating group behind the Headies; they are also responsible for the strategic planning and execution of the event.

Voting Academy members are drawn from seasoned music professionals who focus primarily on the current year. They sort through the nominations, create a list of nominees that will always be watched closely by core members of the Academy, publish it, and voting will begin and essentially select the winners of each category. The academy will trust these certain people as people with the expertise, knowledge and insight to know who has made a certain impact, who deserves to be on the list.

The independent audit partner is Deloitte. They ensure that there is a certain level of professionalism and credibility in the outcome of the vote, which is always overseen by Core Academy Members and Voting Academy Members.

Created by Ayo Animashaun, The Headies (originally called the Hip Hop World Awards) is a music awards show established in 2006 by Nigeria’s Hip Hop World Magazine to recognize outstanding achievements in the Nigerian music industry.

The list of venues where the award has been given includes Shell Hall at MUSON Center in Onikan, Lagos, 2008 at Planet One in Maryland, Lagos, 2009 at the International Conference Center in Abuja, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 at Eko Hotel and Suites in Victoria Island, Lagos, 2013, at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos, 2015 at the Landmark Events Center in Victoria Island, Lagos, 2016, 2019 at the Eko Convention center, and La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort in 2020.

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