Reggae icon Kabaka Pyramid has done what many artistes dream of and gotten himself a Grammy win at the 2023 Grammy Academy Awards on his first nomination. The Jamaican singer was awarded the Best Reggae Album of 2023 for his second album, The Kalling.
Kabaka Pyramid, who is a Kingston, Jamaica, native, is well-known by his stage name, but his birth name is Keron Salmon. He adapted his moniker from the Ugandan word for king (Kabaka) and referenced the spiritual powers of the pyramids.
The ceremony for the 2023 Grammy Awards was held at the Microsoft Theater in the city of Los Angeles, California, on the 5th of February. The announcement of the artiste’s success was done by presenter Arturo O’Farrill. This year’s celebration marks the ceremony’s 65th staging.
The album, titled The Kalling, reached its peak at number 8 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart after it was released in September 2022. It was released by Ghetto Youths International and Bebble Rock Music, and it was known that the album was destined for greatness when it sold 600 units in the United States within the first week that it was released there.
By the end of 2022, the album had accumulated 4,100 sales in the United States, which included 4.7 million audio and video streams.
The 2023 award ceremony was Kabaka Pyramid’s first year of nomination for the title of “Best Reggae Album.” He came in ahead of Shaggy, who was nominated for his album Com Fly Wid Mi; Sean Paul for his Scorcha album; Protoje’s Third Time’s The Charm; and Koffee’s album Gifted.
Kabaka Pyramid gave his speech along with his mother, Marcia Salmon, whom he thanked, and a few other people on stage. He expressed gratitude to the Recording Academy and the other nominees who were selected for the category and who were also representing his home island, Jamaica.
He went a bit further to thank everyone who supports reggae music and described it as conscious music. In his speech, he also thanked both Damion and Stephen Marley for producing and appearing on his album and dedicated his award to the late Jo Mersa.
Artistes such as Peter Tosh, Protoje, Buju Banton, Damion, Stephen Marley, and Jesse Royal made appearances on the album. According to music journalist Nicholas Nam, the artiste poured out cascades of wisdom with tracks that fused spiritualism with a realistic outlook on life and provided listeners with forward-facing positive music to delve into.
Kabaka Pyramid’s first studio album was Kontraband, which was released in 2018.