Work by three Arab musicians and one Iranian artist has been recognised in this year’s nominations list for the 65th Grammy Awards spanning global music, Latin music, R&B and hip-hop.
Iraqi-Jordanian violinist and composer Layth Sidiq has been featured on three Grammy–nominated albums.
“A lot of gratitude this evening to know that I’m on three Grammy-nominated categories this year,” Sidiq announced on his Instagram account.
The award-winning violinist, composer and educator, and the current artistic director of the New York Arabic Orchestra, has his work featured on two albums.
Sidiq worked on Panamanian pianist and composer Danilo Perez’s 12th album, Crisalida, nominated for Best Instrumental Composition and Best Latin Jazz Album. Sidiq said in his post that it was “a unique experience playing incredible music by the wonderful Danilo Perez”.
His work on the album Shuruaat by the Berklee Indian Ensemble was also nominated for Best Global Music Album.
The Berklee Indian Ensemble is a musical collective whose global Indian sound, which experiments with melding musical sounds and genres from different cultures and disciplinary art forms, has garnered them more than 300 million views on YouTube.
Lebanese-French trumpeter and composer Ibrahim Maalouf is nominated in the same category for his collaborative album Queen of Sheba with award-winning Beninese singer-songwriter and actress Angelique Kidjo.
The album musically explores and translates the 14th-century epic poem told in Kebra Nagast, the national account from Ethiopia, which details the exchange between the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon.
Iranian-Swedish singer Snoh Aalegra was nominated in the category of Best Traditional R&B Performance for her single Do 4 Love.
The song is a cover of Bobby Caldwell’s 1978 classic What You Won’t Do For Love, where Aalegra mixes emotionally evocative original instrumentals adding a more jazz-inspired vocal delivery and musical arrangement.
Aalegra announced the news of her nominations on her Instagram account and used the opportunity to shed light on the protests happening in Iran.
“So thankful for this nomination! It’s a bittersweet feeling knowing what’s going on in my home country,” she wrote.
“I’m being celebrated for something that is considered a serious crime in Iran. Singing love songs can get you executed! Listening to love songs can get you arrested.”
Palestinian-American DJ, record executive, record producer and rapper DJ Khaled was nominated for five Grammys for work from his 13th studio album God Did. His nominations include Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song and Song of The Year for the single God Did and Best Melodic Rap Performance for the single Beautiful.
God Did is an album that describes DJ Khaled’s journey to relating and praising a higher power for believing in him when others may not have. The DJ has publicly discussed his faith as a Muslim who performs regular prayer.
The 65th Grammy Awards will take place on February 5.