MTN Liberia Music Awards announced nominees for the 2018 edition weeks ago and the awards ceremony will hold on the 22nd of December, 2018 at Executive Pavilion, Monrovia, Liberia.
Today, Asafrican.com takes a look at the International African Artiste category, which saw top five artistes in Africa ; Davido, Kwame Eugene, Flavour, Iyanya and Serge Baynaud competing for the crown.
Several arguments on the International African Artiste at MLMA 2018 have been heard and seen on various social media platforms as well as entertainment shows. This brings the question: who deserves to be crowned “International African Artiste of the Year” at the 5th edition of the MTN Liberian Music Awards?
The category seeks to award a non-Liberian musician but it is not clear how the winner would be arrived at. Are organizers awarding an African musician who did well on the continent or awarding an African musician who performed well in Liberia? The organizers may have to come out and explain all the various award categories to give music fans a clear idea of how winners would be arrived at.
Let’s take a look at all the nominees and their chances:
The Nigerian pop star has been on a streak this year, it’s been from one ground breaking feat to another. Davido recently became the first African artiste to receive an award on the BET main stage, having won the prestigious award in June of this year.
The “Fall” hitmaker visited Liberia for the very first time and had a successful concert at the S.K.D Sport Stadium, with several A-List artistes from Liberia sharing stage with the popular singer.
Davido is also set for the remix of Kobazzie hit single titled “Bounce”.
Despite having a very siccessful year in Africa among the nominees, Davido hasn’t had enough impact on the Liberian music industry in the year under review compared to other nominees in the category. Davido’s visit to Liberia has now created the Liberia link for him. He’s set to feature several of the top musicians in Liberia. Depending on the definition of the award category, Davido would win hands down if they award based on success chopped in Africa, but will lose if it’s based on performance in Liberia.
The highlife artiste signed onto Lynx Entertainment has had a very good year, that has see him scoops numerous awards after breaking through with several hits singles like “Angela” “Confusion” and “Wish Me Well” featuring Ice Prince. The sensational singer will also be in Liberia for the first time having been billed to perform at the 5th edition of MLMA, and he was also featured on Jaredo new release single titled “Ur Waist”.
Though Kuami Eugene is the most popular Ghanaian musician in Liberia, he’s not the most popular African musician. When it comes to impact he’s had on the continent as a whole, Kuami Eugene still comes below Davido and if we consider his performance in Liberia under the year under review, he comes no where closer to the likes of Iyanya and Flavour.
Kuami Eugene has now started recording with Liberian musicians and he’s visiting the country for the first time. What happens after his visit may see him as the best recipient of this award next year. For this year, his chances are very minimal.
Nigerian superstar Flavour became the toast of the country when he signed young Semah G. Weifur to his record label. He released numerous hit songs featuring the sensational gospel act like “Power and Glory” “Vindicate” and “Most High” which received nomination at this year MLMA Gospel Song of the Year category and with Semah also receiving nomination for the Gospel Artist of the year category.
With all the above, it will come as no surprise if Flavour wins this award if organizers are looking at the performance of the musician in Liberia. Flavour only loses out if the award seeks to recognize the musician who performed best on the entire Africa continent.
The “Kukere” crooner who came to limelight when he won the 2008 MTN Project Fame has done extremely well by helping push Liberia’s growing entertainment industry forward by releasing songs and videos with A-List artistes from Liberia. Both CIC and Stunna are few to be mentioned.
“Weekend” that eventually became a hit song also got nomination at MLMA for songs of the year category, and Stunna’s “Balance” equally received nomination for best video at MLMA. Iyanya is also one of the musicians featured on CIC yet-to-be released album titled “19NINETY4”.
Iyanya’s contribution to the Liberia’s music industry cannot be overlooked. He’s the perfect recipient for this award if the organizers are not looking beyond artiste’s performance in Liberia.
Ivorian singer, songwriter and music producer, Serge has had a stunning 2018 that see him release several song including “Na Big Love” “Bakamboue” and “Babatchai” among others.
Just like Kuami Eugene, Serge had a great year in his home country but his influence in Liberia or on the entire Africa continent makes him lose the award to others in the category.
The question now is, who wins the International African Artiste of the Year at MLMA 2018?
If the award seeks to recognise the musician who performed well in Africa, then Davido deserves it.
If it’s about who had a good year in Liberia, then it’s between Flavour and Iyanya.