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American music guru and a member of the Grammys Recording Academy who has remained absolutely committed to the crusade of promoting African music to the world, for over ten years, Richardine Bartee through her Grungecake blog site has given a tip on how African artistes can make the Grammys.
According to her in a recent interview, the answer is simple “Make sure you’re making music that can resonate with audiences beyond your culture.”
Truly many African artistes are guilty of this. When making their music their major reoccupation is their immediate surrounding and the prevailing trend. Perhaps, this may be a viable reason most so called street music artists who wallow in local dialectical slurs in their songs may never make the Grammys.
Making the Grammys has little or nothing to do with a public vote or based on charts. It’s a peer award dependent on a bunch of music professionals of whom one is Richardine Bartee. The Grammy vote begins with its 21,000-strong membership (industry personnel, singers, musicians, producers, engineers, conductors, songwriters, arrangers, art directors, music video artists and technicians) of whom only 12,000 are eligible to cast ballots because they meet the criteria of six total credits on a physical music release or 12 on digital.
Richardine also explains what up and coming artists can do to attract international collaborations and recognition.
“I think new artists should focus on building networks of music professionals and other artists in their musical genre(s). It’s imperative, vital, and crucial to have powerful allies. It cuts the time of figuring it out and cold-emailing people who are busier, and more overwhelmed than you can imagine. Fast-rising artists should have people who can vouch for them when it’s time for collaborative outreach.
“Any artist of high-value will check for those things. If it’s not the artist checking, their management teams are researching the new act. It’s easier to break through and achieve your goals when you have these kinds of co-signs, and systems made for success. If someone that I respect and value comes to me and says, “You should check this person out. I think you will like them” I’m more likely to do it. It may not be that day, but I will because of who they are,” she said, adding that the genre of music has little influence on her, although Afrobeats seems to have struck a cord in her.
“For me, the genre doesn’t matter. It’s about the product, the market, and setting real expectations. I listen to hear if the artist has the potential to garner a large audience. It’s important to me if I’m looking to take them on as an emerging act and make an impact. Otherwise, we are wasting each other’s time. Next, I want to know if the artist and their team are clear communicators and easy to work with. That also matters, just as much as the talent,” she said in a recent interview with kuulpeeps.com.
Richardine Bartee has worked with major American record labels (“The Big 3”). Some of the other labels or imprints include Roc Nation, Group, Interscope Records, Quality Control, RCA, Epic Records, etc., and some international labels to give feedback about their artists frequently.
She also used to write for MTV, where she covered international multi-language speaking artists and had a focus on Hip-Hop and EDM. She has also written feature articles for Myspace, The Source and Hot 97’s DJ Enuff, who was Biggie’s DJ.
She is a member of the Recording Academy, a GRAMMY U Mentor, part of Complex Day Ones, which is an exclusive community to help make complex experiences better. She’s also a part of the Female Founder Collective.
Her blog “Grungecake” has been recognized as the number 3 blog to find new Hip-Hop tracks on Hypebot. Before forming “Grungecake” ten years ago, she founded two-three other companies. One of them was a graphics design business called Booby Trap Design and another was 9267 Studios, which spells out YAMS on the dial pad.
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