Angelique Kidjo bagged the World Music Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards 2016 in Los Angeles.
Kidjo is a New York-based singer who got awarded for her Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg collaboration, Sings. The album is a fusing between African songwriting and rhythms with the European classical instrumentals. Kidjo has made a name for herself in merging Africa with European songs.
She describes her album as an artistic challenge given traditional bands in Africa tend to follow the lead of the soloist rather too closely compared to the European orchestras that have playoffs with more or less refined scores. This award is Kidjo’s second consecutive Grammy Awards, and she is considered as one of Africa’s best musicians.
Kidjo has previously worked with acclaimed world artists like Philip Glass; a US leading composer, whom she has worked with for an extended period. When she was receiving the award, Kidjo made a heartfelt tribute to the African continent.
“Africa is positive, Africa is joyful,” said the elated Kidjo while collecting the World Music Album award.
“I want to dedicate this Grammy to all the traditional musicians in Africa, in my country, to all the young generation.”
Kidjo says she is striving to change the image of Africa people have in their mindset. She wants to inculcate a more positive image of Africa that will remain in people’s mind for a long time. She believes music could serve as one of the best tools to achieve that and help connect Africa to the rest of the world.
She was awarded after beating other nominees for that category that included South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Malawi’s Zomba Prison Project.
The African continent seems to have had a fair share of representation at the Grammy Awards 2016. Even US artists like Kendrick Lamar’s and Beyoncé’s performances at the Grammys alluded to Africa. Lamar had dancers dressed traditional African dancing clothes, with an ending featuring a big image of the African continent. While Beyoncé dancers wore Black Panthers a movement that fought the oppression of the African American community in the dark days of the US race history.