Nico hopes for Grammy 'Gift'

GUITARIST Nicholas "Nico" Groskopf is one of the musicians who worked on Koffee's Gifted, which is nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Reggae Album category.

The ceremony is scheduled to take place at the Arena in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Groskopf's lead guitar can be heard on the songs X10, Lonely, Where I'm From, and Run Away.

"It is a great honour, really, to be part of a Grammy-nominated project and I give God thanks for this. I've had the honour of working with Koffee on her debut album," Groskopf, 28, told the Jamaica Observer's Splash.

"If Gifted doesn't win the Grammy, even though I wouldn't mind if it does, I hope its message is received the way it should be," he continued.

Gifted, however, is not the first Grammy-nominated project which Groskopf has loaned his expertise. He was part of Raging Fyah's Everlasting, which got nominated in 2017.

On Everlasting, he played on the songs Live Your Life, Dash Wata, Ready for Love, Get Up, Would You Love Me, Happiness, and Getting Dread.

"I bring vibes and versatility, not only guitar playing, but I am also a studio engineer and producer as well. I so love to have fun and chill out as well, so you might say it's not boring around me," he said.

"I've also worked with many other productions, like Beautiful to Me by Romain Virgo, Young by Stalk Ashley, Jesse Royal's Lily of the Valley album, and Still Blooming by Lila Ike, among others," he continued.

Some of his co-productions include Run Away, Where I'm From, and Lonely by Koffee.

He also shared what he enjoys most about making music.

"I'll give you two things. I love seeing how music impacts people and seeing how it puts a smile on their face or touches their heart. Also, it's amazing how music can take you to many different places around the world to experience life in ways you could not normally," he continued.

Groskopf shared the genesis of his musical journey. He said that his mom gave him an electric guitar for his birthday while he was still in high school.

"Since I began playing in high school, I mostly taught myself through watching videos on YouTube and through a bunch of rock songs I used to listen to at the time. Thereafter, I began studying at the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts in St Andrew and that's where I got more formally trained in music," he continued.

Hailing from Sandy Bay in Clarendon, the guitarist attended Wolmer's Prep and Meadowbrook High in Kingston.

He has been 'on the road' as a touring musician with Romain Virgo, OMI, Koffee, Tessanne Chin, Raging Fyah, and Jesse Royal among others.

Groskopf said that, while Jamaican musicians are respected, he, however, would like to see the Government do more to improve the music sector.

"I always feel there is more that could be done on the Government side of things to better the music industry to create structure and normalise it as a proper working sector," he said.

In addition to Koffee, the other nominees in the Reggae Grammy category are: Kabaka Pyramid for The Kalling; Sean Paul (Scorcha); Protoje (Third Time's the Charm); and, Shaggy (Com Fly Wid Mi).

Nicholas Groskopf
Kevin Jackson

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