Bramwell, who was nominated for a Grammy back in 2014, said that like many Jamaicans, he grew weary of the lack of diversity in the nominations for the annual Reggae Grammy Award and decided to do something about it.
The producer, who days ago got confirmation that he has joined the small pool of Jamaicans with votes on the committee, is now urging fellow Jamaicans to also become members.
“Me always wonder how the Grammy thing go and so me go do me research. Me realise say nuff people a Jamaica nuh educated about the Grammys and the process and that’s why we nuh have plenty of our own people on the voting committee. The information is there but people are unwilling to access it. Every year we always hear the argument bout a one set a people a win the Grammy but me realise say without a vote, you don’t have a chance,” he said.
Bramwell said that he applied with his two required recommendations and the Academy promised to respond by June.
“A few days ago me a go through me email and me see say me been accepted. Dem send me a form fi pay for the membership and I paid for it, US$100 for the year,” he said. “Now being a member me can vote, me can submit me projects and me really think say more Jamaicans, more musicians and artistes should join the Grammy, instead a siddung and a bash people and a wonder why certain people nah get nuh nomination or win. If we the people of Jamaica nah show nuh interest inna di Grammy, how we a go make a change or a contribution?”
He expressed that the process was a fairly easy one which saw him being approved in the space of two months.
He said the most difficult part of the application process was obtaining the two recommendations required by the Academy.
That was challenging because there is only a small fraction of Jamaicans with membership.
“We still need to have a stronger presence in the Academy. We must form a body from Jamaica so we can participate more in the Grammys. The more people join, the more votes we have,” he said.
In a 2015 interview with online magazine Reggaeville, Grammy-nominated music producer and music veteran Cristy Barber shared similar sentiments.
“The solution is that the people who represent reggae music 24/7, that have the creative credentials to do so, should register to vote,” she said.
She added that those with ‘recognisable names’ go the extra mile to promote their work and encouraged other artistes to also get that involved.
“Ziggy (Marley) is a registered voter with the Academy. Ziggy also does Grammy-U which is the Grammy University thing where during his sound-check he’ll have these students that are part of Grammy-U, come in and answer questions. He gets involved with the Academy, so he makes sure he lets the voters know ‘I’ve got a record coming’. All artistes can do that as well,” she said.
According to the Recording Academy’s website, along with the two recommendations, candidates must complete career profiles reflecting their background and accomplishments. New member submissions are due by March 1.
Applications are then reviewed by the Peer Review Panel which convenes in April. Successful applicants are then sent invitations they must accept before the voting deadline for that year’s Grammy Awards.