Kenyan gospel singer L-Jay Maasai has succeeded gospel bigwig Bahati as the Male Artiste of the Year in 2016 Groove Awards.
In a category that boasted of iconic gospel artistes, L-Jay Maasai floored Daddy Owen, Eko Dydda, Pitson, JFAM, and Guardian Angel to emerge the victor.
Groove Awards 2016 winners were unveiled on Wednesday, June 1 at the Safaricom Indoor Arena at Kasarani in Nairobi.
“I give all glory to God. It is not about L-Jay Maasai, it is about the ministry and God. I was really shocked, but I am humbled. The win has opened my eyes, and made me realise that I have bigger responsibilities. The world is waiting – and the Groove award is just a stepping stone,” L-Jay Maasai told eDaily.
L-Jay Maasai says the secret to his win is hard work and her mum’s prayers.
“My mum is a very prayerful person. When she says: ‘let’s close our eyes and pray’, I just look for a wall to lean on because the prayer will be lengthy. She is not exaggerating. It is the power of prayer that made me triumphant. I give it all to God and my mum,” L-Jay Maasai said.
What does he say about beating gospel heavy-hitters to the win?
“I watched Daddy Owen’s Tobina when I was in Form Two, I watched Eko Dydda’s Niko Na Reason around the same time. I used to listen to Pitson’s songs back then. All these people do amazing work. I was very humbled to be nominated alongside them. At least Kenyans recognise what I do,” he said, adding: “At the end of the day, there can only be one winner.”
Below is the full list of winners of the Groove Awards 2016.
- Female Artist of the Year-Mercy Masika.
- Male Artist of the Year-L-Jay Maasai.
- Songwriter of the Year-Pitson
- Worship Song of the Year-Nikufahamu by Everlyn Wanjiru.
- Collabo of the Year- Everlyne Wanjiru Feat Vicky Kitonga, Tulia.
- Nyanza Counties Song of the Year-Abasani B’ Omusunte by Femmy Kerubo.
- Ragga/Reggae Song of the Year- Wave by Jfam Feat Omari.
- Central Counties Song Of The Year- Githe Tiwe by Phyllis Mbuthia.
- Western Africa Artist of the Year-Sinach, Nigeria.
- Audio Producer of the Year-Saint P.
- Radio Presenter of the Year-Eva Mwalili,Milele FM.
- Eastern & Central Africa Artist Of the Year- Christina Shusho.
- Western Counties Song of the Year-Njigula by Timothy Kituyi.
- Coastal Counties Song of the Year-Ushindi by Faith Mwikali.
- Dance Group of the Year-Jims & Dims.
- Rift Valley Song of the Year-Ashe Mpapa by Pastor Samuel Somorei.
- Album of the Year-Emmanuel by Mercy D Lai.
- Eastern Counties Song of the Year- Ni Ngai Niwukilasya by Stephen Kasolo.
- Video of the Year-Afadhali Yesu, Size 8.
- HipHop Son of the Year-Easy by Maluda Feat. Juliani.
- Gospel Radio Show of the Year-Gospel Sunday, Milele FM.
- Video Producer of the Year-Sammy Dee, True-D Pictures.
- South Africa Artist of the Year-Joyous Celebration.
- Talent To Watch-DJ Covenant, Rurumuka,Inooro TV.
- Skiza Ring Back Tune of the Year-Mwema by Mercy Masika.
- Afro-Pop Song of the Year-Ayaya by Majik Mike Feat. Kris Ee Baba.
- DJ of the Year-DJ Ruff.
- TV Show of the Year- The Switch, K24.
- New Artist of the Year-Mash Mwana.
- Group of the Year-Kelele Takatifu.
- Song of the Year-Nikupendeze by Mercy Masika.