The Grammy 2020 nominations list is out and there’s some good news! This year, ‘Tales of America’ by J.S Ondara, a US-based Kenyan singer, got nominated for a Grammy under the Best Americana Album category.
The 27-year old was born in Kenya but moved to Minnesota,USA in 2013 after winning in the green card lottery. As a lifelong fan of music great Bob Dylan, J.S Ondara chose to stay in Minessota because that’s where he could get lose to his music icon and get inspired by him. ‘Tales of America’ is his debut album which was released in February 2019 through the Verve Music Group. It tells the story of life in America from an immigrant’s perspective. Even though Ondara wrote more than 100 songs for the album, only 11 made it into the final tracklist.
Apart from being nominated for the Grammy 2020, J.S Ondara was also nominated for Best Emerging Act at the 2019 Americana Music Honors & Awards.
Leading the Grammy 2020 nominations list is Lizzo, and it’s not hard to see why! The extremely talented singer and rapper walked away with eight nominations in total, across multiple genres. 2019 has been a great year for Lizzo, and it doesn’t look like it’s stopping anytime soon!
Another artiste who had a great year is Lil Nas X. Due to his hit song ‘Old Town Road’, he was undoubtedly the breakout star of 2019. His heavy social media presence and likability made him a favorite for young people all over the world. Lil Nas X got six nominations in total, even beating out other music heavyweights for an Album of the Year slot.
Apart from the Kenyan nomination, other African acts were also not left behind! Burna Boy earned his place on the Grammy 2020 nominations list for his album ‘African Giant’. Trevor Noah also got a nomination for the Best Comedy Album category. Other African artistes like Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Mr. Eazi, Yemi Alade and Shatta Wale were nominated alongside Beyoncé for their work on The Lion King soundtrack album.
Other huge international acts that got nominations in several categories include Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish. One huge act that completely missed out on the Grammy 2020 nomination is global music phenomenon BTS. Also left out in the nominees list was the women of rap, including Megan Thee Stallion who had a lot of musical influence in 2019. These and other bad choices by the Grammy selection committee raised a lot of questions over the credibility of the voting process and the criteria used to determine the nominees in different categories.
If you want to see the full list of the Grammy 2020 nominees, you can find it here.
Featured Image Courtesy: GRAMMY