The 2018 Groove Awards Rwanda edition have returned with a new format, which will see the winners determined by a panel of judges instead of the fans as it was in the past editions.
The annual awards recognising the best gospel musicians, choirs, journalists, producers, and promoters of gospel music have returned for the 6th edition with 23 categories.
New categories include, Collabo Song of the Year, Ministry/ Group of the Year, Afro-Pop Song of the Year, Upcountry Artiste of the Year and Upcountry Choir of the Year.
Registration has kicked off and will go on for three weeks. Only works produced between October 1, 2017 and October 2018 will be eligible to enter the competition.
According to Evans Mwendwa, commonly known as DJ Spin, the head of Groove Awards Rwanda, the new changes are meant to make the awards more inclusive and competitive.
“We have a panel of judges which will determine the winners instead of the fans. We will get people with experience to select well deserving winners,” Mwendwa said
“We arrived at this decision after getting consistent reports that some artistes mobilised voters and won, while more deserving artistes who didn’t have the resources to mobilise votes missed out,” he added.
Evans Mwenda (right), Groove Awards 2018 chairperson, gestures during a news briefing at Mattina Hotel on October 10. / Frederic Byumvuhore.
Journalists and DJs in the gospel music industry will also contribute to the decision through a vote.
The judges will include Noel Nkundimana, Jeannine Mukabacondo, commonly known as Mama Kenzo, Peace Nicodem Nzahoyankuye, and Issa Noël Kalinijabo who are all media practitioners.
The panel of judges will consider a number of aspects and compare with the submissions of journalists and DJs to arrive at the decision. Organisers say the process to select winners will be more transparent.
On October 28, the finalists will be announced and will take part in two concerts before the ultimate winners are announced.
Groove Awards are organised by Kenya-based MoSound Events Ltd which has been running the awards since 2004, and started the Rwanda edition in 2013.