The GRAMMY Awards established 62 years ago are the most prestigious music award show featured each year. The GRAMMYs are presented by The Recording Academy and recognize musicians of every age and every genre. Zimbabwe has had a few artists / composers who have been nominated, featured on nominated projects or awarded but most of these are living abroad and are seldom celebrated at home. earGROUND decided to put together a compilation of these amazing creatives and celebrate their strides and recognition. To have your works mentioned or be included on a Grammy nomination is already a huge achievement. We hope we did not miss out anyone.
By Plot Mhako
Grammy award winning Zimbabwean songwriter and record producer who is based in the United States of America (USA). He won three awards at the 2014 edition of the Broadcast Music Inc (BMI) R&B/Hip-Hop Awards for composing Beyonce’s song Drunk in love in 2014 and a Grammy for his production efforts in the same project.
American-Zimbabwean R&B songbird Tinashe Kachingwe won an award at the this year’s 63rd annual Grammys awards ceremony.
Born to a Zimbabwean father and a Norwegian mother Michael and Aimie Kachingwe in Lexington, Kentucky and raised in Los Angeles, California, she began her career as one member of the five-piece girl band The Stunners before embarking on a solo career.
Apart from music, Tinashe is known for her acting. She has appeared in films like Cora Unashamed (2000), The Polar Express alongside actor Tom Hanks as well as starring in Akeelah and American sitcom Two and a Half Men among many others.
US based artist King Isaac was possibly the first Zimbabwean artist nominated for the prestigious Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 2010 which he collaborated with the late Reggae icon Gregory Isaacs.
King Isaac is a Reggae singer, songwriter and a professor of Ethnomusicology at Michigan State University, USA. As a lyricist, he writes catchy and meaningful love songs of outstanding quality. He is a deep and thoughtful songwriter, and this is reflected in the passionate and engaging lyrics in his songs.
Fondly known as the girl with the African thumb piano (the mbira) Piwai wows audiences across the globe with her soulful voice and genre fusing melodies. Decorated by her many great achievements Piwai played percussion on 4 songs featured on Fantastic Negrito’s 2017 Grammy-winning album Last Days of Oakland.
Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Piwai’s love of music is influenced by her multicultural Southern Africa and gospel exposure in early childhood.
Tinashe Sibanda AKA Bantu is an LA-based producer turned Afro-pop artist from Zimbabwe.
Bantu hasn’t been a stranger in the industry, producing and writing for major worldwide artists such as Jason Derulo, French Montana, Maroon 5 and A$AP Rocky. His most recent career highlight being a feature on Grammy-nominated single ‘Familia’ with Nicki Minaj and Anuel Aa, taken from Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.
Bantu and Dr. Chaii were nominated for a Grammy® for the soundtrack album ‘Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse’ which features their song “Familia.”
Carrington Simbarashe Chiwadzwa popularly known by the stage name Nutty O is one Zimbabwean artist whose resolve to make it on the international stage was set from day one. He continues to make strides in defiance to naysayers who always discouraged his style and approach. Through his refined voice, hard hitting but moving lyrics Nutty O mirrors his life, resilience and international music dream through his music. A path he has already been walking.
In 2019 Nutty O was featured by top Jamaican Reggae artist Etana on the song No Money No love which was on the Reggae Forever album, the album jumped to number 1 on the Reggae Worldwide Billboard as well as number 1 on the iTunes World Wide Reggae Top 200. The Reggae Forever Album was also nominated as the Best Reggae Album at the Grammy Awards in 2019.
Endorsed by the Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum music producer, composer, arranger, songwriter, and recording artist Teddy Riley, top African artists such as StoneBwoy and Patoranking, the young artist remains one of our best foot forward on the global stage.
Philip Kembo, known as “Dr. Chaii”, is a Grammy Nominated record producer and songwriter. He has co-produced and co-written for Sean Paul, Pitbull, Chris Brown, Camila Cabello, Jason Derulo, Dua Lipa, French Montana and many others. Born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe, Chaii started making beats at the age of 13 when a good friend introduced him to the program FL Studio. He went on to pursue a degree in Marketing & Advertising while making music as a hobby.
Chaii completed his undergraduate degree at Lancaster University and went on to obtain a masters degree in Advanced Marketing Management. Soon after graduating Dr. Chaii relocated to Los Angeles and was signed to Artist Publishing Group in August 2016.
Together with Bantu they were nominated for a Grammy® for the soundtrack album ‘Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse’ which features their song “Familia.”
Relatively unknown Zimbabwean producer, DJ and bassist Robert Ndabezinhle Magwenzi, professionally known as Evoke, is among the handful of talented African artists featured on this album. Evoke co-wrote and co-produced Find Your Way Back, which has been one of the fan favourites on the album, alongside Spirit and Brown Skin Girl.
Evoke’s career as a producer took off after he was involved in the production of Manu WorldStar’s hit single, Nalingi.