2 Canadians Vie For a GRAMMY!
By: Natasha Von Castle
The GRAMMY Awards, issued by The Recording Academy, is one of the most prestigious awards given to music creatives. The peer-to-peer honor is coveted in part because the awardee is determined by the number of votes received and not by marketing dollars.
Category 54, Best Reggae Album, is one of the most competitive categories. For 2022, 135 projects were submitted for consideration, and of those 135, 2 are Canadian – Ammoye’s album ‘Water’ and Exco Levi’s album ‘Black Creek.’
Both Ammoye and Exco are JUNO Award Nominees and, Exco Levi is the winningest winner of Best Reggae Recording. The JUNO’s are the Canadian equivalent to the GRAMMY’s; unlike the American counterpart, the JUNO’s require one great song to win the award where as the GRAMMY’s requires a great album.
Those within the Canadian Reggae fraternity applaud Ammoye and Exco for taking the step of submitting their bodies of work for the GRAMMY honor. Richard Banton of VIBE 105 FM in Toronto says “I am not surprised that Ammoye and Exco have submitted their projects. They are both leaders in the genre in Canada and both are able to take the Canadian voice to an international level. This is a natural progression, and this is the step that they need to take.”
Marketing Canadian-based album releases can help popularize artists and their singles. Shania Twain, Bryan Adams, Celine Dion and MAGIC! Have benefited from significant marketing investments and thus their success in winning GRAMMY Awards or earning a nomination. Papa Richie from CHUO 89.1 FM in Ottawa views this aspect of the business with a little more weight saying “there is no question that Ammoye and Exco Levi are two of the most talented voices we have in Reggae in Canada but do they have a hit record and the marketing budget to support those hits? That is an important part of the equation.”
Both radio presenters agree that being eligible for consideration is a great step for Canada and should encourage fellow musicians to aim for both the JUNO Awards and the GRAMMY Award. Both are based on votes from their peers and both give everyone a fair chance to win.