As part of SKPop's GRAMMYs roundup, here is a look at Best Global Music Album.
While the Best Global Music Album originated so that international performers exhibiting "non-European, indigenous traditions" could be recognized, the category now represents global albums outside the GRAMMY category umbrella that make a splash with the Western diaspora.
The category has seen a diverse array of competitors, from the daughter of an Indian Classical maestro (Anoushka Shankar) to a South African gospel group (Soweto Gospel Choir).
It is the perfect category for a gateway to eclectic music.
A brief glance at the nominees for this year's GRAMMY Awards for Best Global Music Album
Rocky Dawuni–Voice of Bunbon (Vol. 1)
Rocky Dawuni hails from Bunbon, a tiny town in arid Ghana. His twinkling, smooth voice spreads warmth through the listener while touching an emotional core. The album feels like a peaceful bonfire night.
In just eight tracks, Rocky touches upon faith (Difference), love (My Baby), empowerment (Beautiful People), current events (Ghost Town), hope (Born To Win) and the little joys of life (Gonna Take It Easy).
Daniel Ho & Friends–East West Players Presents: Daniel Ho & Friends Live in Concert
Daniel Ho is an exponent of Hawaiian music, and through a mixture of piano, ukelele, slack key guitar and a variety of local instruments, he has become universally adored. His music is only sparsely available online, and his live shows are where the magic truly happens.
In this live album, Ho switches his on-stage talk between anecdotal explanations of his songs and technical explanations of the rhythms, harmony and forms at work. This mixture of an easygoing vibe and positively beaming music is a winning formula.
Angélique Kidjo – Mother Nature
Beninese-American Grammy-winning polyglot Angélique Kidjo, who holds the record for most wins in this category, released Mother Nature in 2021, with songs about her home continent and the importance of preservation.
Collaborating with artists like Sampa the Great, Mr Eazi, and Burna Boy (who took the GRAMMY crown in this category last year), Africa's premier diva builds a profound pan-African musical vision that celebrates the power of community.
Femi Kuti & Made Kuti–Legacy+
Femi is the eldest son of late Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, and his music resonates with the influence of the great musician. In 1986, Femi started his band, Positive Force, to establish himself as an artist independent of his father's legacy.
But on Legacy+, Fela Kuti's spirit seems to lead Femi and his own eldest son Made, as the 58-year-old passes his father's legacy to his son via the trademark mixture of afrobeats, Yoruba chants, jazz and funk, which immortalized Fela.
Wizkid–Made in Lagos: Deluxe Edition
Made In Lagos: Deluxe Edition is an extended series of classic afropop and R&B bangers from Nigerian star Wizkid, who has risen to fame since his collaboration with Drake on One Dance. Right from Reckless to the remix of Essence, Wizkid serves up some seriously infectious melodies.
Essence, a sensual song featuring fellow Nigerian singer Tems, is the first song from the country to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, opening the door for West African pop in the global arena.
Who do you think will take the Best Global Music Album GRAMMY home?