Looking Forward to the Grammys, Part III


Today we’re exploring the nominees for the Grammy for Best Global Music Performance. This is an interesting category, sounds we may not be used to.

Mohabbat sung by Arooj Aftab (Pakistan):

Do Yourself performedby Angelique Kidjo (Benin) and Burna Boy (Nigeria):

Pà Pá Pà performedby Femi Kuti (Nigeria):

Blewu performed by Yo-Yo Ma (France, USA) and Angelique Kidjo (Benin):

Essence by WizKid featuring Tems (both from Nigeria):

How to judge these? Because the Grammys are awarded by the Recording Academy, an American entity, and voted on by its members, is it appropriate to judge world music with American ears? I love Yo-Yo Ma, but his collaboration with Angelique Kidjo comes off as kind of a weird Western/African fusion. The first two appeal to my white ears the most, but it’s hard for me to choose between the plaintive vocals and introspective accompaniment of Mohabbat and the energetic rhythms and African exuberance of Do Yourself. I think if I have to choose, I cast my vote for Mohabbat.

Now it’s your turn. Which of the five nominees for Best Global Music Performance should get the Grammy, and why? Share in the comments below.

Have you seen the other parts of this series? Part I: Best Music Video. Part II: Song of the Year.

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