You can now vote for your favourite gospel musicians as the nominees for the 11th annual Groove Awards with Safaricom were unveiled last week. Artists have been nominated in 26 categories.
Daddy Owen has the most nominations. He has been nominated for the Male Artist of the Year, Collabo of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Afro Pop Song of the Year and Video of the Year. JFam & Recapp, have four nominations each. Jfam bagged nominations for Male Artist of the Year, Ragga/Reggae Song of the Rear – in which he received two nominations – and Collabo of the Year. Recapp received nods for Group of the Year, Hip Hop song of the Year, Collabo of the Year and Video of the Year. Read Recapp’s interview on Mics and Beats here.
Evelyn Wanjiru and Eunice Njeri have 3 nominations each. They have both been nominated for the Female Artist of the Year and Worship Song of the Year awards. Evelyn Wanjiru has also been nominated for the Collabo of the Year award, while Eunice Njeri is in the running for Album of the Year.
New contenders for the Artist/Group of the Year category include Bonz Mzalendo, Cliché, Mash Mwana and P31, Kenya’s newest all-female gospel trio that has also been nominated for Hip Hop Song of the Year. Eric Smith and Laura Karwirwa are also in the running for Artist/Group of the Year, with each receiving nominations in other categories namely Worship Song of the Year and Video of the Year respectively.
Voting is open until 31st May 2016. Fans can vote by dialing *811# and following the prompts, or via the website www.grooveawards.co.ke. The winners will be announced on the 1st of July at the Gala Awards ceremony.
The nomination process followed a rigorous process of reviewing and evaluating entries. One of the things to note is that any artist found to be canvassing for votes in an unethical manner will be disqualified. This includes paying people to vote and also buying credit for people for them to keep voting.
The theme of this year is “Come as you are.” God loves you as you are. The focus is God’s love, grace and forgiveness, and encourages unity in the face of divisions that threaten to divide the nation.
“Through this platform, we have been able to not only reach out to the youth with positive messages that harness the power of music, but to promote the gospel music industry in Kenya, the East African region and
further afield,” said Sylvia Mulinge, Director – Consumer Business Unit, Safaricom. “Wholesome music is transforming the lives of Kenyans everywhere by giving inspiration and hope, and uniting us against various divisions.”
The regional Groove tours kick off today in Machakos. The tour will see nominated artists going around the country to meet their fans.