Kenyan Genge Music and Tanzanian Bongo Flava added to new Grammy Category


The prestigious Grammy Awards are set to embrace the vibrant sounds of Africa with the introduction of a new category called ‘Best African Music Performance’ for the 2024 ceremony. This exciting development was recently announced by the Recording Academy, signifying a significant recognition of the growing influence and popularity of African music on the global stage.

Celebrating Genge Music and Bongo Flava

Among the genres to be honored in the new category are Genge music from Kenya and Bongo Flava from Tanzania, showcasing the rich musical diversity of the continent.

Genge music emerged in the early 2000s in Kenya, characterized by its energetic tempo, catchy melodies, and often thought-provoking lyrics. Esteemed artists such as Mejja and Juakali have played pivotal roles in shaping this genre.

Bongo Flava, on the other hand, originated in Tanzania in the early 1990s and represents a fusion of hip-hop, R&B, taarab, and traditional Tanzanian music styles. Known for its infectious melodies, lively beats, and socially conscious lyrics, Bongo Flava has captivated audiences worldwide, with artists like Alikiba and Diamond leading the way.

A Boost for African Music and Artists

The inclusion of the ‘Best African Music Performance’ category at the Grammy Awards is a remarkable stride forward for African music. It not only highlights the artistic brilliance of Genge music and Bongo Flava but also provides a global platform for African artists to showcase their exceptional talents and cultural heritage.

This recognition serves as a significant boost for African artists and for the nations of Kenya and Tanzania, who are ambassadors of the Swahili language through their music. The introduction of this category will further propel the growth and appreciation of African music on an international scale, celebrating its unique rhythms and melodies.

In addition to the ‘Best African Music Performance’ category, the Recording Academy has also announced the introduction of two other exciting categories, namely ‘Best Alternative Jazz Album’ and ‘Best Pop Dance Recording’, further expanding the Grammy Awards’ diverse musical landscape.