It is that season of the year for pomp and circumstance of the music industry, and popular awards platform often dubbed ‘Nigerian Grammy,’ The Headies, is returning for its 14th edition. The longevity of The Headies as well as relative acceptability has made many critics and analysts alike rank it the most reputable in the awards industry in Nigeria.
The last edition of the awards saw many music stars look away and choose to party with Wizkid on Starboy Fest at O2 Arena in London rather than join the applause session at Eko Convention Centre on Victoria Island.
This once again brought the reputation of the awards under scrutiny as music fans ensured that Starboy Fest dominated the trends over Headies. The clash also highlighted that Nigeria and Africa by extension still had a long way to go before it could start dreaming of having a globally-acclaimed award.
With another award fest round the corner, it is normal that expectations have begun to rise concerning the self-acclaimed Nigeria’s biggest awards and some of these expectations are noted below.
Quest for Grammy integrity
The Headies is arguably Nigeria’s most popular award brand and many critics still stake their bet on it as the platform with the brightest chance to attain the heights that the like of Grammy Awards has attained. While last year’s edition underlined how unpopular The Headies is among many artistes, this year will present another opportunity to convince them and their loyal fan base of their credibility and their commitment to redefining the African music culture.
Songwriter award inclusion
This year’s edition will feature more categories as the ‘songwriter of the year’ award joins the existing fold. The nature of our music industry leaves little space of spotlight for songwriters while the singers often take all the accolades. This award should help reshape the notion and give songwriters due credit for their music brilliance.
To go virtual or not?
Awards in other climes which held recently have explored virtual sessions, with performers and presenters in different locations united by the coalescing power of technology. BET, which had Burna Boy perform ‘Monsters you made’ alongside Chris Martin, is an instance. While the challenges are sure to be daunting, it remains to be seen the direction The Headies organisers would want to go, given the continued onslaught of COVID-19 and the need to reduce congregate events to the minimum. Whichever their choice, it will be interesting to see how they conform to the new reality.
Kola Muhammed has imprint across local and international media. He is passionate about trends in the domains of culture, communication and technology.