For the first time ever, Malawi has been nominated for the 58th Grammy Awards, revealed on Monday and are scheduled to take place in Los Angeles in February.
Interestingly, it is no celebrated musician nominated from Malawi, but a prison music group known as Zomba Prison Project.
This is a band from the Zomba Maximum Prison, certainly a group not known by many music followers on the local scene.
It is their project “I Have No Everything Here”, recorded in prison, which has been nominated for the “Best World Music Album”.
The album, released in January this year, will be competing against Brazilian icon Gilberto Gil’s “Gilbertos Samba Ao Vivo”, Beninese singer Angélique Kidjo’s “Sings”, South African Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s “Music From Inala” and Indian Anoushka Shankar’s “Home”.
The nomination is historic as they become the first Malawian artists to be nominated for the Grammy Awards, dominated by the world’s top musicians, songwriters, producers and engineers.
There are 83 categories making the Grammy Awards 2016 and some of the world’s hottest musicians like Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar received nods for their outstanding work this past year.
Swift took home nominations for “Record of the Year”, “Song of the Year” and many others, while The Weeknd also dominated in categories like “Album of the Year” and “Best Pop Solo Performance”. But it was Lamar who led the way overall with 11 nods.
Zomba Prison Project’s “I Have No Everything Here” album, which features 16 singer-songwriters, was produced by Ian Brennan, an American Grammy award-winning producer.
All the songs were written by the inmates, and many have tellingly personal titles like: “Give Me Back My Child,” “I See the Whole World Dying of AIDS” and “Don’t Hate Me.”
According to online sources, Brennan first entered Zomba in 2013 and he was not sure he would be allowed access to record. But after meeting with the head of the prison, the producer and his wife, Marilena Delli, were allowed to set up a small mobile recording studio.
See the full list of the Grammy Awards 2016 nominees: http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/grammys/6785974/grammy-nominations-2016-full-list
Zomba Prison Project’s music is available for sale here: https://zombaprisonproject.bandcamp.com.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :