Reggae artist Kabaka Pyramid says he is overjoyed by the announcement that he earned his first Grammy nomination.
The Grammys on Tuesday revealed the nominations list for the 65th Annual Grammy Awards, and the Best Reggae Album list had one newcomer, Kabaka Pyramid, whose real name is Keron Salmon. The artist’s project The Kalling was the first to be named in the category, followed by Gifted by Koffee, Scorcha by Sean Paul, Third Time’s The Charm by Protoje and Com Fly Wid Mi by Shaggy.
Speaking with Urban Islandz, Kabaka Pyramid shared that the nomination comes after more than two decades of hard work and perseverance.
“It’s my first nomination and i just feel honoured and overjoyed,” he began. “Reflecting on the many years of trial and error with this music ting, nuff fight we get, but we pulled through,” he added.
The artist also humbly shared that he dedicated his nomination to the many other legendary artists who made great music but never got the recognition, like being nominated for a Grammy award. “I think about all the legends who never got this opportunity when they deserved it. This is for them as well,” he said.
The Best Reggae Album category was heavily scrutinized earlier this year after a California-based band, SOJA, won the 2022 Best Reggae Album Grammy. This led to widespread criticisms and condemnation of the Recording Academy and also some artists over the quality of music they released.
Kabaka Pyramid grew up making music as a child, but he had his first formal exposure in 2007 after scoring a spot on a mixtape by Hip Hop DJ Green Lantern, and shortly after, he issued his first mixtape, ‘The Transition, Vol. 1‘. He followed up with The Transition, Vol. 2 after working with Kingston-based label Bebble Rock.
Throughout his career, he has worked with artists Five Steez, Keznamdi, fellow Grammy-nominee Protégé, Grammy-winner Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley, and Romain Virgo. He has even worked as a producer for the likes of Ashanti and Massyka.
In 2011, the artist who had a flair for dancehall, reggae, and hip-hop music released his debut EP Rebel Music EP. Over the past two decades, he released his first album Lead the Way in 2014, followed by his debut album Kontraband in 2018, which featured Grammy-winning artist Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley, as well as Grammy nominees Protoge and Chronixx. He released two mixtapes, The Lyricist and Accurate, for Livity Movements and Walshy Fire, respectively.
His notable achievements include two Jamaica Reggae Industry Association Awards (JARIA) for Lead The Way and a Juno Award for Best Reggae Album in Canada.
The artist also has more than two dozen singles that have been released over the course of his career.
On Tuesday, the artist also responded to his colleagues and fans celebrating him. “Dem doh even kno di levels my brother,” he commented on a congratulatory post.
While announcing the album in September, the artist shared that he was proud of the work done on his second studio album and thanked Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley, who produced the project.
“I am really proud of this amazing body of work and I hope you will be as well,” Kabaka Pyramid wrote. “Thanks to @damianmarley for sacrificing many nights to help me along my musical journey. It’s truly a blessing when you get to work with someone who inspires you and who set the blueprint for your career.”
The artist also shared his appreciation for reggae veterans Stephen Marley and Buju Banton for paving the way for good music. There are 15 tracks on the album, which are all produced by Damian Marley, while the album is a joint release from Ghetto youths international / Bebble Rock Music.
On his Instagram account, Kabaka also shared a lengthy message thanking all the members of his team and expressing his feelings about the nomination.
“Truly honoured!! #TheKalling has been nominated for the Reggae Grammy alongside my brother @protoje, legends like @duttypaul and @direalshaggy and the lyrical goddess @originalkoffee,” he said.
He also shouted out the writers and persons from his label that facilitated the album’s production, including Duane McDonald and Abishai from Bebble Rock, Grammy Award Winning Producer/Musician Sean Diedrick of Young Pow Production, mixing engineer Marc Lee, writer Ali Darvish, Shiah Coore, Stephen Marley, Julian Marley, Jo Mersa Marley, Tifa, Jemere Morgan, Answele, Protoge, Jesse Royal, Busy Signal and Ranoy Music among many others.
“Far we a forward from and we have a long way to go!” the artist wrote.
In the meantime, fellow nominee Protoge also responded to Kabaka Pyramid’s excitement. “Why it look like you did have dah speech ya put down how long congrats bro,” Protoje wrote with laughing emojis.
Among those who congratulated the artist were Tifa, Romeich Major, Yendi Phillipps, Christopher Martin, Alaine, Dre Island, producers Dunwell, Jordan Chimney, and many others.
The album was also co-signed by past Grammy nominees Jesse Royal who wrote, “Congrats Bro! Solid body of work!” and Gramps Morgan, who said, “So Proud This Album is a great listen top to bottom.”