An Overview of the Artists and Albums Selected…
by M. Peggy Quattro
The Recording Academy’s 2022 GRAMMY Award nominations are selected from 22,000 entries and awarded by its approximate 12,000 voting membership. Now, and going forward, GRAMMY nominations will be determined by a majority, peer-to-peer vote of Recording Academy voting members. So, if you want to have a voice, contribute, and vote, *Become a Recording Academy member here*
I recently had the pleasure of speaking on-air with Deon Mattis, host of “Home Run” on Jamaica’s The Edge 105.3 FM radio program. The topic centered on the 2022 Best Reggae Album nominations. In my view, 2021 was the year of collaborations and indie labels. To be clear on why, here’s my overview of the six nominated albums, artists, and labels.
The Six Nominees are:
- PAMOJA – Etana – on U.S.-based Freemind Music
- Etana is a gifted singer, songwriter, and 2018 Reggae Grammy nominee.
- She has earned her fanbase through consistent quality recordings and performances since 2008.
- On this album, Etana displays how progressive and in-touch she is with today’s market.
- In addition to old school Reggae and new school Trap/Dancehall, there’s a notable Afrobeat influence, as heard in her collabs with several African and international artists.
- Not to mention, her collabs with such Reggae greats as Damian Marley and Albarosie.
- POSITIVE VIBRATION – Gramps Morgan – on U.S.- & Canada-based Halo Entertainment Group
- I was there in ’94, when the unknown Morgan Heritage made their debut Sunsplash performance on a small stage. They blew everyone away and were invited to perform on the big stage on international night. The tight, pop-sounding group was immediately signed by MCA Records as they departed the stage.
- Over the next 20 years, Morgan Heritage received two (2) Reggae Grammy Awards.
- Gramps lives in Nashville these days, and the influence of the acclaimed-music city is unmistakable on this album. The songs are fun, romantic, country, and Reggae.
- The collabs with Shaggy, India.Arie, his father Denroy, and son Jemere are awesome additions.
- On this album, Gramps reminds me of a Reggae Jimmy Buffet.
- LIVE N LIVIN’ – Sean Paul – on JA-based Dutty Rock Productions (his own label)
- Inarguably, this Dancehall pioneer is the most well-known, recognizable, award-winning artist in this category.
- A Reggae Grammy winner in 2004, Sean Paul has been nominated many, many times.
- He is the performer, songwriter, and producer on this album…but he’s not alone on it. There are nearly 20 artists jammin’ with him… from Buju and Movado, to Damian and Mutabaruka.
- You know it’s Sean Paul when you hear the first track…his distinct Dancehall style is unmistakable.
- With the generous smattering of new and legendary DJs, this album is a sure-fire party hit!
- ROYAL – Jesse Royal – on U.S.-based Easy Star Records
- The youngest artiste in this category is a 21st century Roots Rasta Reggae messenger.
- Jesse Royal is member of the Reggae Revival era, a fusion of the ‘80s & ’90s Conscious Reggae with hardcore Dancehall beats.
- He is joined by fellow revivalist Proteje, Kumar, Stonebwoy, Samory I, and oddly, by Dancehall’s Vybz Kartel, a convicted murderer serving a life sentence.
- The songs are filled with social commentary, Rasta, Jah, herb, and living in a positive way.
- Jesse Royal has a distinct singjay style and his popularity is constantly growing.
- BEAUTY IN THE SILENCE – SOJA – U.S.-based ATO Records
- This American Reggae band has been recording & performing since the ‘90s.
- This is their third Reggae Grammy nomination.
- The only full-on 8-member band in this category, SOJA consistently records, performs, and tours, most often landing on the U.S. Reggae charts.
- Collabs on this album include other American acts, such as Slightly Stoopid, Rebelution, and J Boog, all delivering a variety of songs and cool vibes.
- SOJA continues their mission to deliver Roots Reggae music with a positive, uplifting message.
- 10 – Spice – on U.S.-based VP Records
- This debut studio album by Jamaican Dancehall queen, Spice, has been in the making for more than a decade.
- This is a hardcore Dancehall album, is reminiscent of the ‘80s & ‘90s Dancehall divas. A few songs are older tunes, but work on this album.
- It is well produced and co-written by Grammy winner Shaggy, and one track features Shaggy & Sean Paul! What a combination, eh?
- Although most songs, for me, are kinda raunchy, there are a couple that feature positive messages for her female fans
- This is a must-have party album for all Dancehall kings and queens.
Final Round Voting: Monday, Dec. 6, 2021 — Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022
The 2022 GRAMMY Awards show will air Monday, Jan. 31, on CBS and stream live and on-demand on Paramount+ from 8—11:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT.
Note: The 64th GRAMMY Awards recognize recordings released between Sept. 1, 2020 & Sept. 30, 2021.