There was drama at the Groove nomination party after controversial gospel singer Willy Paul started throwing tantrums because his name was missing from the nomination list.
As has become ritual, one would have expected him to receive at least one nomination after releasing a couple of songs that had the public talking all year round (Fanya, Tiga Wana and the collabo I Do, with Alaine) but the Groove organisers had other ideas.
The jury is still out, perhaps, on whether these songs are even gospel... With his name conspicuously missing from the nomination list, he was visibly disappointed. Many observers believe that the ‘character is a factor’ principle could have locked him, and other artistes, out of the nomination list.
And so with the rest of the gospel family celebrating, a clearly disheartened Willy was venting his frustration towards paparazzi whom he stopped from snapping him, his team creating a human shield around him. Character, they say, makes a man and for sure the Groove organisers had spoken.
But that was just but the more interesting side of the Tuesday evening nomination party that has many talking about the usual names tossed out of this year’s awards slated for June 1.
With the gorgeous radio presenter Kerry Kagiri and James Muhia of Kelele Takatifu steering matters up as the MCs of the night, the ceremony built up to a good tempo. They clicked well and could read the mood of the crowd.
There were performances by spoken-word artiste Teardrops, Njugush and Ecko Dydda who showed up on stage with his children.
Then, the drums started rolling.
The big nomination slots; Male Artiste of the Year and Female Artiste of the Year did not spring any surprises as they went to popular names Daddy Owen, Ecko Dydda, Guardian Angel, Kris Eh Baba, Pastor Anthony Musembi, Pitson and Alice Kimanzi, Evelyne Wanjiru, Kambua, Mercy Masika, Princess Faridah and Size 8, respectively.
Ironically, Pitson had earlier indicated that he would decline any nomination this year to allow others get a chance to grow.
Song of the Year nominees are Bamba Mbaya - Kelele Takatifu, Bazokizo - Collo ft Bruz Newton, Huyu Yesu - Angel Bernand ft Mercy Masika, Kutembea Nawe - Rebekah Dawn, Pale Pale - Size 8 and Thitima Anthem - Kymo and Stigah.
The New Artiste category went to Ben C, Dar Mjomba, Sharon, Sledge, Stonee Jiwe and Weezdom while Worship Song of the Year nominees were announced as Jehova by Frank, Let Praises Rise by Alice Kimanzi, Rebekah Dawn’s Kutembea Nawe, Patakatifu Pako by Eric Smith, Tuma Mvua by David Adede ft Sarah K as well as Israel Ezekia’s Umetukuka.
Hip-hop Song of the Year nominees are Stonee Jiwe – Thitiima, Holy Dave – Ushai Notice, Worldwide – Recapp, You – Churchill King ft Recapp, Vidole – Ecko Dydda, Yesu ndo Kusema – Scooby ft Ecko Dydda .
The Album of the Year slots are being held by Natamani Nikuone by Laura Karwirwa, Ambition by Recapp, Matendo by Evelyne Wanjiru, Optimo Worship by Pastor Anthony Musembi, We Well Rule by Mwanga Band and Nguvu Mpya by Florence Mureithi.
Others are Ragga or Reggae Song of the Year; General by Hope Kid, Godly Love by Manasseh, Holy Ghost Party by Alemba ft DJ Sadic and Guardian Angel.