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“My Album Deserved To Win, But The Grammys Is Very Political”, Femi Kuti

Femi-KutiHe may have said he isn’t upset about losing out at this year’s Grammys. However he opened up in detail to Encomium on why he didn’t win and why his sister represented him.
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It is understandable because if you listen to the album, No Place For My Dream, you will realize it is worth the award. The album deserved to win but I know what it takes to win. Grammy is very political, the voting process is complex. There was an argument last award where it was said some people were robbed. The person who won the Best World Music Album had to apologise later that, he is not supposed to win. A lot of voting are involved and if you play the political game very well you would win. From Lagos here, I don’t have the means to play that political game. I have no intention to play along. My record company doesn’t have the financial muscle to play the game, to put your album in every radio station in America, to make sure everybody who wants to vote listens to that album.
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It is very complex and if you don’t have what it takes to do all that, you stand no chance of winning. However, I won’t allow that to make me lose focus on why I started music. I have to move on. I am not heart-broken. It is not a love affair like my wife left me. On my Twitter, many people were upset I didn’t win. The Gipsy King were nominated six times before they won; the band from South Africa, they have been nominated about five times before they won.
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They have been winning in the traditional music category before it was abolished and they were moved to World Music category. None of them turned up for the award. They too were bitter that anytime they turned up they never won. It was their management that was at the awards. My music is political, I attack the government and it’s very difficult to get it across everywhere. I know what it takes to maintain the band. For 30 years now, we are going strong. Many people said I didn’t attend, it will cost me $4,000 to get me to the Grammy and imagine if I spent that and I didn’t win, that would have pained me. People were sad but the person involved is calm and refreshed. My problem now is how to do another album better than No Place For My Dream. It is a great album that is difficult to beat, and if I get nominated for the fifth time I would open a bottle of champagne and celebrate.
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But you sponsored your sister, Yeni to the awards?
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She was already going for the opening of a very big documentary in Salt Lake City, USA for my father. We were supposed to go together but we had an agreement, both of us must never leave the country at the same time. If I am away, she stays and vice versa. Before the Grammy, we had already delegated her to go and represent the family. I had no intention of going there. The duration is too long for me. I won’t be making money. So, I would rather be here to take care of my family, so it costs me nothing.

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