For the first time ever, The Headies, brewed in the bustle of Lagos and replete with an authentic representation of African music culture, goes to the United States of America, consolidating the place of Nigerian and African music as a trending export and global force.
The Headies Music Awards has recognised and celebrated outstanding achievements in the Nigerian music industry for years. The 15th edition, “a celebration of the men and women who have taken our sound to the greatest of heights”, will be held tomorrow, September 4, 2022, at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, Georgia.
Themed “Join the Movement”, the event features a lineup of stars such as Davido, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Fireboy DML, Asake, Ayra Starr and many more. It also incorporates new categories, including the Artist of the Year, Best Inspiration Single, and Digital Artist of the Year. The award show features foreign nominees such as Chris Brown, Drake, Nas and Beyoncé, while some of the homegrown nominees include Tems, Adekunle Gold, Teniola, The Cavemen, Blaqbonez, Bella Shmurda, Tiwa Savage and many more.
Recently, African talents have graced American award shows. From Burna Boy’s Grammy win in 2021 for best global music album to Wizkid, Tems and Justin Bieber’s best collaboration win at the 2022 BET Awards. Indeed, a “great thing is happening out of Africa right now, and the light is on everyone there,” Tems said during her BET Awards acceptance speech.
Simultaneously, Nigerian music has seen an influx of international collaborations in recent times. Foreign acts are exploiting our numerical strength, trending sound and streaming numbers. All these suggest that African music is seeing the most global recognition it has ever seen. The need to build upon and consolidate this global entry, therefore, forms the basis of hosting The Headies away from the shores of Africa.
Ayo Animashaun, founder and executive producer of The Headies, gave the rationale behind hosting the award show outside Africa for the first time ever.
“Afrobeats is not just about our own music anymore. We need to take centre stage, where there are so many artists doing Afrobeats that nobody’s gonna see if you do not create opportunities like this. There’s so many now that a lot of people don’t know yet, and they are so talented,” He said.
“Having the awards in Nigeria, in Africa, the same old way, will not open new doors for this talent. That’s part of the reason why we moved it here…. [and] Atlanta is like the Black entertainment capital of the world.”
The Headies has been instrumental in the venture of Nigerian music into the mainstream. With the music now finding a massive audience and tremendous success on foreign airwaves, hosting The Headies in Atlanta this year can not be better timed. It does not only consolidate the efforts of the artistes behind the wheels of the musical export but also exposes Nigerian art, music and culture to the world.
Catch the event live on Hiptv (Ch. 324 on DStv & Ch. 74 on GOtv) and follow the live updates on The Headies and thenetng social media pages.