July 15, 2020

Blackman Receives Coveted Invite

SOCA songstress Nailah Blackman is now eligible to win a Grammy. The 22-year-old performer announced on her Instagram on Saturday she was invited to join the Recording Academy.

The Recording Academy is responsible for the Grammys Awards. A person cannot win or vote for the Grammys unless they are a part of the academy. This year, more than 2,300 music professionals were invited into the coveted membership.

“This is the next step, the whole process I set off on three years ago. It has always been our goal to win a Grammy. This is just one step towards that goal…. I am now eligible to be nominated for a Grammy and I am now eligible to vote to get someone nominated for a Grammy,” Blackman told Newsday on Monday.

In 2018 she was flown out by record executives from Def Jam Recording to meet with them.

She was nominated by label reps from Universal Republic Records for membership in the Recording Academy.

“I’ve been working on music for the sole purpose to make music for life, make music for Trinidad, make music for Carnival, make music for the entire world. Where we see our music going is the international realm.”

This membership, Blackman said, was the third phase of her three-year plan to get international recognition. She’s been working on music not just for Carnival, but for the people who’ve never heard of Carnival, never heard of TT and never heard of soca music.

“We’ve been creating this music to get into those new markets.”

She’s been playing around with her sounds and apart from her soca songs she’s been creating a hybrid of soca with Afrobeats, reggaeton and pop music.

Nailah Blackman: “Over lockdown, I’ve connected a lot more with my fans on the internet.”
– Roger Jacob

“We have been sparing on when and how we release things. When I start back to release music, we are not going to stop. It is just going to be song after song. To keep the momentum going into 2021. When and how everything will be released is still in motion, but we are well prepared in terms of music.”

She and her team are not sure if they are going to release a new album or singles.

She’s also been quietly working on collaborations with international artists. She was hesitant to name drop many people except for Adekunle Gold, a prominent Nigerian singer.

“We did a video together during this whole lockdown, in separate locations, so that video should be coming out this month. That’s the next big international project you all can look forward to.”

She had another collab with a US artist she is keeping under wraps.

“They are also quite popular as well, and they would bring a whole new market to me. We are throwing in everything I’m doing in an international direction, but still staying true to soca music.

With the borders closed and physical distancing ensuring interactive performances for musicians being placed on hold, Blackman got a chance to rest, recuperate and also used the time to work on her music.

In the past three years, Blackman has been super busy pumping out music and performing across the globe. She’s flown to more than 46 places including Jamaica, Guyana, St Lucia, New York City, Miami, Boston, Vancouver, Canada, Suriname, Belize, Paris, London and Australia.

“I felt like I needed time to recuperate. I’ve been going like a machine for the last three years. I’ve spent more time on a plane than anywhere else. It was important to regroup, find myself and have a direction because I know the next time I connect with my fans, it would not be at the same level that I did before.”

Though she’s had to physically distance herself from her fans, she’s kept in close communication with
them through Instagram. She posts frequently to the platform for her 368,000 followers.

“People feel as if they always want to see an artist perform, but they only get to know the artists as artists but not when they are home, what are they doing and their family.

“Over lockdown, I’ve connected a lot more with my fans on the internet a lot more than when I was just performing all the time. I think they are seeing a different side of me. It has brought us a lot closer.”

Source: Rachael Espinet for Trinidad and Tobago Newsday



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