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Does Eddy Kenzo stand a chance at the Grammys?

by Editorial Team
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By Hussein Kiganda

It has been hype and praise for Uganda’s Eddy Kenzo since he received a Grammy nomination for his collabo “Gimme Love” with American singer Matt B, in the category-Best Global Music Performance.

Kenzo(real name Edirisa Musuuza) has been hailed as the biggest Ugandan musician of this time following this landmark. What bothers the public is if the “sitya loss” singer will actually win the accolade considering the competition he faces.

“Gimme Love”, competes with “Last Last” by Burna Boy,  “Neva Bow Down” by Rocky Dawuni and Blvk H3ro,  ” Bayethe” by Nomcebo Zikode, Wouter Kellerman, and Zakes Bantwini and “Udhero Na” by Arooj Aftab and Anoushka Shankar.

Weighing In On Competitors

Arooj Aftab won the same award this year, 2022 for his song “Mohabbat”. Being a winner, he is an immediate threat, more like a defending champion. If cards are thrown in favour of history, he and Anoushka Shankar could walk away with it.

The reggae song “Neva Bow Down” by Rocky Dawuni and Blvk H3ro has been another trending song in Jamaica and many Caribbean countries. This is Rocky’s third nomination and he is hopeful that this time Karma could be on his side. Blvk H3ro who features in the song is just shocked and overwhelmed by his first nomination just like Kenzo.

Matt B and Kenzo are up for a Grammy. Internet Photo

“Bayethe” is a collective effort by Nomcebo Zikode, Wouter Kellerman, and Zakes Bantwini with typical South African contemporary beats. Nomcebo Zikode and Zakes Bantwini are first-timers on the Grammys nominee list. South African 62-year -old legendary flutist, producer, and composer, Wouter Kellerman, is the power of the two. He won the Grammy Award for Best New Age Album at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards for his 2014 album “Winds of Samsara”, a collaboration with Indian composer and producer Ricky Kej. If “history repeats itself”, these three could also pocket it.

No doubt! “Last Last” is the biggest threat in this category. Burma Boy has had Karma on his side and has managed to scoop several global awards. Going by the numbers(121 million views on YouTube), the singer is by far more likely to take this to Lagos. In 2021, Burna Boy won Best Global Music Album for his album, “Twice as tall”. This is Burna’s 6th nomination. Considering  the words on the streets that “Last Last” was co-written and composed by Grammys CEO Harvey Mason Jr, this could be a plus at the decision-making table. If the odds stand by his side, he could raise into it.

Eddy Kenzo faces competition from Burna Boy for the Grammy Award. File Photo

Well, “Gimme Love” is good enough to compete with the above. Kenzo has had successful global shows and tours and has gathered enough fans across the globe. He is Uganda’s first BET winner and perhaps he could be the country’s first Grammy winner. In Uganda, he has been nicknamed “God’s Chosen One”, following his ” from grass to grace” story. A street kid who never had shelter upon his head to a Grammy nominee! He is probably the meaning of “Everything is possible”.

Matt B(real name Matthew David Benson) is another plus to this song. Word on the streets is that he and his wife are affiliated with the Grammys. 

“Gimme Love” managed to penetrate into the Top 50 on the Billboard U.S. Afrobeats Songs Charts, garnered over 5 million streams across platforms, and has taken home top prizes at the MUSE Creative Awards, Global Music Awards, LIT Talent Awards, and New York International Film Awards. Such success is a signal that the two could take it home.

What People Say

Eddy Kenzo’s nomination has received many comments from music analysts in Uganda. Some of them think he is facing greater competitors yet others think he is good enough to take them down.

DJ Crim

To Eddy Kenzo, it’s a milestone, and being he is a go-getter it means he has set a pace for most African artists especially our very own Ugandan acts because being just nominated is a big thing to him and the Ugandan industry. Grammy CEO being he wrote “last last” doesn’t stop Eddy from winning. He’s been lucky in this music industry. On the other side, Burna has what it takes to scoop all awards from numbers, likes, shows, albums, performances, stages, and so much more. So, luck just has to be on Eddy’s side as it is said and proved Burna is the real African Giant.

DJ Ali Breezy

Kenzo will win because he is one of the luckiest and most hardworking people I know.

King Mats

Everything is possible if you believe and everything has a beginning. It could be Kenzo to begin the line of grammy winners in Uganda. Burma Boy’s Last Last being co-written by the Grammy’s CEO could be a challenge in case the Grammy’s ain’t authentic but since they have a legacy to protect, I am sure they would make the right decision depending on the board’s integrity.

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