By NAN ET Editor
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. July 10, 2020: A 22-year-old Caribbean-born soca singer has been invited to join the Recording Academy, which is responsible for the Grammys Awards. Here are 10 things to know about her:
1: She is Nailah Blackman, a San Fernando-born, Trinidad singer and songwriter most strongly associated with the soca genre.
2: Blackman began singing regularly and entered her first Calypso competition two years later. Her professional career then began at the age of 11.
3: She is not only classically trained in voice but also in various instruments including the guitar and keyboard and is the granddaughter of the late Garfield Blackman, also known as Lord Shorty or Ras Shorty I, who invented the style of music known as Jamoo and is also credited with inventing soca as a means of reinvigorating calypso music. Her mother, Abbi Blackman, is a hit-making calypso star in her own right and her aunt is Avion Blackman, lead singer of the Los Angeles-based Christian-reggae band Christafari and Nehilet Blackman.
4: In 2016, Blackman performed her song “Runaway Train” for Movie Towne’s Pixel Play showcase. This performance raised her national profile and helped to garner buzz in advance of her 2017 releases.
5: She collaborated with the internationally successful soca act Kes on the song “Workout,” which became a massive hit during the 2017 Trinidad Carnival season and continues to enjoy lasting popularity. “Workout” took Blackman to the finals of the 2017 International Soca Monarch competition.
6: In 2018, the most popular of Blackman’s songs were released, including “O’ Lawd Oye” and “Badishh,” the latter featuring the Jamaican dancehall singer Shenseea.
7: Her rising star earned her candidacy in BET’s 2018 “Best New International Act” viewer’s choice competition.
8: In August 2019, she released her debut EP “The Reel” which features the single “Sweet & Loco.”
9: Blackman was nominated by label reps from Universal Republic Records for membership in the Recording Academy. This membership, she said, was the third phase of her three-year plan to get international recognition.
10: “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 Trinidad Newsday on Monday. 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.
See more from ‘Sweet And Loco’ here.