Hit Songs and YouTube Views Won’t Win Us Grammys, Octopizzo on Lessons Learnt

March 13, 2018
Octopizzo at Times Square in New York in January

Kibera’s finest rapper Octopizzo last year became the first Kenyan artist to get an invitation to attend the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, which were held on January 28, 2018, at the Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Read: How Octopizzo Plans to “Take” Late Parents to the Grammys After Getting Rare Invite

Besides the invitation, Octopizzo had also submitted three songs for consideration, but unfortunately, none got nominated. The ‘Red Namba Plate’ rapper, however, did not come out empty handed and brought back some valuable lessons.

“I just realised that we are here doing music but we are so far from being recognised at the Grammys. I realised that people there submit a hot song of the year. I realised that there are people who won Grammys and they have a thousand views on YouTube. I was like, how did that happen? But I realised that people submit even instrumentals, you get nominated for arrangements, for like supporting an artist. It’s not about this is the biggest song or you have like 20M views on YouTube.”

He added, “It is the musical essence of that song. For me the best thing is to meet people who have been there in that kind of global industry and as to understand the levels and who to work with. In fact, in my album everyone has been given credit, even my driver who dropped me at the studio.”

He continued, “It was more of production because I realised that with American market, they are not ready for this outside market. They are not ready to bring us in but on a production level like videographer, music producers those ones they are ready to work with us.”

The rapper further advised, “Africans we just have to go to Europe if we want to sell our music because there is too much content in the States. Every two blocks there is over 100 rappers who are dope, so like Wizkid doing collabo with Drake but they still do not play them there. I did not see any day Wizkid set up an arena in states, they are on their own and they are supporting their own.”

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