The 12th Annual Groove Awards with Safaricom has unveiled this year’s nominees at a high profile red carpet event held at The Chandaria Center Auditorium, University of Nairobi Towers.
The event, which marked over a decade of historic achievements in the gospel music industry, saw 156 nominees revealed in 26 categories, with a line-up that featured both established and upcoming artists.
Leading the nominations with six nods are Recapp, who have been nominated for the Group of the Year, Hip-Hop Song of the Year, Album of the Year and Video of the Year categories.
This year’s contenders for Male Artist of The Year include Daddy Owen, Eko Dydda, Guardian Angel, Kris Eeh Baba, Pastor Anthony Musembi and Pitson, while Alice Kimanzi, Evelyn Wanjiru, Kambua, Princess Farida, Size 8 and last year’s winner Mercy Masika will battle it out for Female Artist of The Year.
Also featuring prominently in the list of nominees are Kelele Takatifu and Kambua, who have been nominated in four categories each. While many categories see the return of last year’s contenders, this year’s New Artist/New Group Of The Year category features a fresh line-up, which includes: Ben C, Dar Mjomba, Sharon, Slejj, Stonee Jiwe and Weezdom.
The unveiling of the nominees follows an intensive one-month exercise that involved the participation of 130 Groove Academy members and a seasoned panel of judges representing the various industry stakeholders.
“We are very excited to be kicking off another season of Groove with the Nominations Night. Selecting the nominees was not easy, but we are thankful for the guidance and leadership provided by our Academy members and stakeholders and are confident that this list represents the best among us,” said Kevin Mulei, Groove Awards Director. “The Gospel industry is growing and we are hu a platform from which Gospel artists can be celebrated both locally and beyond our borders.”
Title sponsor Safaricom has invested over KShs 100 million in the Gospel music property over the years, maintaining its tradition of supporting the industry that has spawned some of Kenya’s most popular Gospel musicians.
“We are glad to be associated with the success enjoyed by the Groove Awards for over a decade, and remain committed to supporting the growth of the gospel music industry,” said Sylvia Mulinge, Director for Consumer Business – Safaricom.
“This platform continues to contribute significantly to the growth of the gospel entertainment industry, challenging the artists, performers, writers, producers and others in the ecosystem to not only do better, but be better, and transform lives. This transformation of lives is something that we at Safaricom truly believe in, and we are honored to be in a position to sponsor a property that is not only entertaining; it is meaningful,” she said.
Groove Awards with Safaricom is the only property of its kind in Kenya and enjoys local, regional and international recognition. The awards are a celebration of the Gospel music industry’s talent and progress and provide an opportunity for the public to celebrate their favorite artists.
Nominated artists will perform during the Groove Tours set to begin on 14th May, during which they will get to meet fans in different parts of the country including Machakos, Eldoret and Karatina. These tours will provide an opportunity for the artists to drum up support in a bid to win in their respective categories before the Groove Awards Gala event, which is scheduled for 1st June 2017 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre. The Tours will thereafter resume and visit Meru and Kakamega.