The Grammys are considering adding an Afrobeats category to the main show, music and culture editor Ian Cohen said Saturday.
Cohen is trying to add a category in a bid to promote Afrobeats and other African styles to younger music fans.
“This category would help fill what is a void when it comes to younger audiences,” he said, “to introduce some of these cultures and languages to young people so they have access to a lot of different music.”
“Afrobeat is not going anywhere anytime soon, and I think we need to embrace this genre, not just for music, but to show them how music relates to their lives.”
Cohen added that the Afrobeats category would be an “exciting possibility” for the Recording Academy.
The Recording Academy is currently trying to develop a new category for R&B or Motown, but Cohen believes the award will be more useful than any of those formats.
“[The Recording Academy and the Grammys are] working together to bring a new category, a category that has always been a necessity,” he said.
“When the Grammys were introduced, it was to represent the great songwriters of the past…it’s going to be an exciting category for the entire music industry.”
In a press release, Music Director Terence Blanchard had suggested Afrobeats would be a worthy category.