Wiyaala, a Ghanaian singer, has been officially welcomed into the GRAMMY Academy Class of 2022 | WATCH


Wiyaala has finally been welcomed into the GRAMMY Academy Class of 2022

Wiyaala has been officially welcomed as a member of the GRAMMYS 2022 New Member Class, after receiving an invitation from the Recording Academy.

Harvey Mason Jr., President, and CEO of the Recording Academy announced the announcement during his annual address on Friday (September 9), in which he welcomed almost 2,000 different musicians, including the Ghanaian Afropop singer-songwriter, and other music industry professionals into its ranks.

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The membership allows her to celebrate, represent, and give back to music and its artists.

According to a new report released alongside the announcement, 47% of this year’s inductees are under the age of 40, 32% are women, and 44% are people of color. New members had the option of not disclosing any demographic information, with 16% declining to share their gender, 13% declining to share their age, and 24% declining to self-report their ethnicity.

“We now actively recruit prospective members and we extend invitations to people who will help us have a more diverse, engaged, and relevant membership base,” Mason said during the session. “We strive for diversity not merely to give certain groups of people or musical genres space at the table [that has been] historically denied them—though that’s definitely part of our motivation. The truth is whenever you have diverse inputs into a decision-making process, you tend to arrive at better outcomes.”

“After years of listening, learning, and putting in the work, we’re beginning to see results of our efforts to diversify the Academy’s membership come to life,” Mason said in a statement shared with Pitchfork. “Our members are the lifeblood of this organization, powering everything we do from the inside out. When we have diverse people representing all corners of the industry contributing unique perspectives, progress is achieved at a rapid pace. The journey is just beginning, and I can’t wait to work alongside our new and existing members to build on the Academy’s commitment to effecting real, meaningful change.”

Wiyaala is from the Upper West Region of Ghana. After winning two VGMAs and three AFRIMAs, she launched her solo career in 2013 and released her self-titled first album a year later.

Her second album, Sissala Goddess, was released in 2018. She is also a member of the international female band GRRRL. In August, she co-headlined SummerStage, New York City’s popular outdoor performing arts festival, with Shatta Wale.

Last year, the Recording Academy inducted over 3000 people, including British performer Tiana Major9, Nigerian-American talent manager Jonathan Azu, Jamaican reggae musician Skip Marley, and Ghanaian dancehall and reggae singer Stonebwoy.

Juls, a British-Ghanaian DJ and producer, and Bankulli and DJ Spinall, two Nigerian musicians, will join the academy in 2020.

Watch the annual Academy Membership address from Harvey Mason jr below


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