Cassper Nyovest, K.O. and Beatenberg lead nominations for SAMAs

Hip-hop heavyweights Cassper Nyovest and K.O. lead the nominations for the South African Music Awards (SAMAs) in its 21st year, with five nods each, the same number bagged by Capetonian pop trio Beatenberg. The nominations for this year’s awards, branded #SAMAXXI as the event comes of age in a thrilling fashion, were unveiled at a press conference on Thursday 12 March 2015 at The Rand Club in Johannesburg, culminating in a star-studded party later the same evening at Cocoon Lounge in Sandton.

Cassper Nyovest. Photo:
Cassper Nyovest. Photo:

Nyovest is in the running for awards in the Best Rap Album, Best Collaboration, Best Album, Best Male Artist and Best Newcomer categories. Fellow rapper K.O., with two nominations for Best Collaboration, will be competing head-to-head with him in all these categories except Best Newcomer. Making matters even more juicy is the fact that AKA and Duncan are also nominated for three major awards each, ensuring that the XXI edition of the South African Music Awards will be a highly competitive affair, a lip-smacking prospect for TV audiences who will be tuning in to watch the ceremony, broadcast live from Sun City, on SABC1 on 19 April.

The hip-hop heads have some serious competition; flying the pop music flag high at the awards will be Beatenberg, who are up for gongs in the Best Pop Album, Best Collaboration, Best Album, Best Duo/Group and Best Newcomer categories. Prime Circle are proving that after 14 years of music making, they still have new tricks up their sleeve with four nominations for Best Rock Album, Best Music Video, Best Producer and Best Engineer for their album Let the Night In.

Hot on their heels with three nods each are fellow industry veterans Ringo Madlingozi, whose long-awaited new release has earned him nominations for Best African Adult Album, Best Male Artist and Album of the Year, and McCoy Mrubata, who is competing for glory in the categories for Best Jazz Album, Best Engineer and Best Duo or Group. On a poignant note, the late Lulu Dikana, the sister of fellow songbird Zonke Dikana, has received three posthumous nominations for Best R&B/Soul/Reggae Album, Best Producer and Best Female Artist. The Album of the Year category, always a closely fought battle, will see stalwart Ringo slug it out with young guns Beatenberg, Nyovest, K.O. and The Soil. Beatenberg and Nyovest will come up against Duncan, as well as Jeremy Loops (also nominated for Best Alternative Album) and Howie Combrink (a contender in the Best Adult Contemporary Album category), in the Best Newcomer category.

South Africa’s newest Grammy Award winner, flautist Wouter Kellerman, is up for accolades in two categories: Best Classical/Instrumental Album and Best Producer. Last year multiple Grammy Award winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo were honoured with a lifetime achievement award and this year, the XXI Annual South African Music Awards will also be honouring living legends of the local music industry with Lifetime Achievement Awards, announced prior to the awards ceremony.

Things are poised to become even more interesting when the 10 contenders for the KIA Record of the Year (#KiaROTY) are announced on Friday 13 March 2015, during a live transmission of Live Amp on SABC 1 at 21h00, with members of the public asked to vote for their favourite hit song of 2014.

“Apart from charting yet another fantastic year of South African music, this year’s South African Music Awards will be a truly memorable affair, coming of age in spectacular fashion as we salute the legacy that our musical forebears bequeathed to us while looking towards the bright new horizons and opportunities that beckon for our industry,” said Mika Chauke, Head of Communications and Stakeholder Relations for the XXI Annual South African Music Awards.

Prepare for all the red carpet glamour, the nail biting tension and the drama, tears and hugs, as the countdown begins to the most prestigious music awards on the South African music calendar. Use the hashtag #SAMAXXI on social media platforms to rewind to when you were 21 as the XXI Annual South African Music Awards looks back and assesses how far the country and the music industry has come in the 21 years since the advent of democracy, and the birth of the awards.

The XXI Annual South African Music Awards will be broadcast live on SABC 1 from Sun City at 20h30 on 19 April 2015. For more information, visit and find the nominated albums at

The nominees for the 21st annual South African Music Awards are:

Album of the Year

  • Beatenberg - The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg
  • Cassper Nyovest - Tsholofelo
  • K.O.  - Skhanda Republic
  • Ringo Madlingozi - Vulani
  • The Soil - Nostalgic Moments

Duo or Group of the Year

  • Beatenberg - The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg
  • Bittereinder - Skerm
  • BlackByrd - Home
  • McCoy Mrubata - Brasskap Sessions Vol. 2
  • The Soil - Nostalgic Moments

Female Artist of the Year

  • Bucie - Princess of House (Easy to Love)
  • Lulu Dikana - I Came to Love
  • Maleh - You Make My Heart Go
  • Moneoa - Ndim Lo
  • Simphiwe Dana - Firebrand

Male Artist of the Year

  • AKA - Levels
  • Cassper Nyovest - Tsholofelo
  • Jimmy Nevis - The Masses
  • K.O. - Skhanda Republic
  • Ringo Madlingozi - Vulani

Newcomer of the Year

  • Beatenberg - The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg
  • Cassper Nyovest - Tsholofelo
  • Duncan - Street Government
  • Howie Combrink - Eat it While it’s Hot
  • Jeremy Loops - Trading Change

Best Rock Album

  • aKing - Morning After
  • Prime Circle - Let the Night In
  • Reburn - Majestic
  • Taxi Violence - Tenfold
  • Zebra & Giraffe - Knuckles

Best Pop Album

  • Beatenberg - The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg
  • Jimmy Nevis - The Masses
  • Monark - Negatives
  • The Kiffness - KIFF
  • Toya Delazy - Ascension

Beste Pop Album (Afrikaans)

  • Bobby van Jaarsveld - Maak ’n Wens
  • Eden - Nooit Oud Raak Nie
  • Kurt Darren - Lied vir die Vrou
  • Nádine - Skildery
  • Riana Nel - Die Regte Tyd

Best Adult Contemporary Album

  • Arno Carstens - Lightning Prevails
  • BlackByrd - Home
  • Howie Combrink - Eat it While it’s Hot
  • Josie Field - S’bongile
  • Niemand - Back Again

Beste Kontemporêre Musiek Album

  • Adam Tas - Want Jy is Boer
  • Chris Chameleon & Daniella Deysel - Posduif
  • Dewald Wasserfall - #EkEnJy
  • Dozi - Hande Vol Genade
  • Pieter Koen - Wat die Hart Van Vol Is

Best African Adult Album

  • Kelly Khumalo - Back to My Roots
  • Maleh - You Make My Heart Go
  • Max-Hoba - Travelling Man
  • Ringo Mandlingozi - Vulani
  • Simphiwe Dana - Firebrand

Best Alternative Album

  • Bittereinder - Skerm
  • Bye Beneco - Space Elephant
  • Dassie - Mistress
  • Jeremy Loops - Trading Change
  • Tailor - Light

Best R&B/Soul/Reggae Album

  • Afrotraction - For the Lovers
  • Lulu Dikana - I Came to Love
  • Moneoa - Ndim Lo
  • The Soil - Nostalgic Moments
  • Vusi Nova - Did It for Love

Best Rap Album

  • AKA - Levels
  • Duncan - Street Government
  • Cassper Nyovest - Tsholofelo
  • K.O. - Skhanda Republic
  • Reason - Audio High Definition

Best Kwaito Album

  • L’vovo Derrango - The Boss
  • Phi & Ginger - Licence to Hustle
  • Professor - University of Kalawa Jazmee Since 1994
  • Thebe - Legend
  • Trompies - Delicious

Best Dance Album

  • Black Motion - Fortune Teller
  • Bucie - Princess of House (Easy to Love)
  • Cuebur - The Brand New Me: Soul Candi Sessions 2015 (Disc 2)
  • Da Capo - Da Capo
  • DJ Clock - The 4th Tick: A Clockumentary

Best Traditional Faith Music Album

  • Andile KaMajola - Chapter 6 Ujehova Ungibiyele
  • Rebecca Malope - Ama VIP
  • Rofhiwa Manyaga - Victory in the Blood
  • S’fiso Ncwane - Bayede Baba
  • Worship House - Live Project 11

Best Contemporary Faith Music Album

  • Khaya Mthethwa - The Uprising (Limited Edition)
  • Loyiso Bala - Power Love Sound
  • Ndo Dlakadla - Rhythm of Worship
  • Tebello Sukwene - He’s Alive 
  • Word and Life - Freedom

Best Traditional Music Album

  • Botlhale Boikanyo - Spoken Word & Music
  • Brian Finch - Living for Yesterday
  • Imfez’emnyama - Palesa
  • Impumelelo - Isiporoporo
  • Qadasi (David Jenkins) - Uhambo Olusha   

Best Maskandi Album

  • Abakwamnyandu - KoMalume
  • Amawele Ka Mamtshawe - Mhla Uphelamandla
  • Ichwane Lebhaca - Ohulumeni
  • Maqhinga Radebe - iFacebook
  • Thokozani Langa - Igema Lami

Best Jazz Album

  • Herbie Tsoaeli - African Time Quartet in Concert
  • Kyle Shepherd Trio - Dream State
  • Marcus Wyatt & Language 12 - Maji Maji in the Land of Milk and Honey
  • McCoy Mrubata - Brasskap Sessions Vol. 2
  • Nduduzo Makhathini - Mother Tongue

Best Classical and/or Instrumental Album

  • CH2 Guitar Duo - Soos in die Ou Dae
  • Charl du Plessis Trio - Baroqueswing
  • Tony Cox - Padkos
  • University of Pretoria - Phoenix Camerata  
  • Wouter Kellerman - Winds of Samsara

Best Live DVD

  • Benjamin Dube - Renewal in His Presence (producers: Aubrey Peacock & Benjamin Dube)
  • Krone - Krone Live (producer: Ben Heyns)
  • Lira - First Decade (producer: Robin Kohl)
  • Spirit of Praise - Spirit of Praise Vol. 5 (producers: Aubrey Peacock, Benjamin Dube & Oupa Montshiwagae)
  • Various Artists - Innibos is Groot 2014 ‘Live’ (producer: Barry Pretorius)

Best Collaboration

  • AKA ft. K.O. - Run Jozi
  • Cassper Nyovest ft.OkMalumkoolkat - Gusheshe
  • DJ Clock ft. Beatenberg - Pluto
  • K.O. ft. Kid X - Caracara
  • The Soil ft. Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Hamba Uyosebenza

Best Music Video of the Year

  • Alessio Bettocchi (director) - Yaya by DJ Dimplez ft. Dream Team & Anatii   
  • Mzi Kumalo (director) -  Turn You On by Mi Casa
  • Ryan Kruger (director) - Let the Night In by Prime Circle
  • Kyle Lewis (director) - In Defence of My Art by Tumi Molekane
  • Zakes Bantwini (director) - Ghetto by Zakes Bantwini

Best Producer of the Year

  • Lulu Dikana & Powella Tiemo - I Came to Love by Lulu Dikana
  • Ewald Jansen van Rensburg - Negatives by Monark
  • Denholm Harding - Let the Night In by Prime Circle
  • David Scott - KIFF by The Kiffness
  • Wouter Kellerman &  Ricky Kej - Winds of Samsara by Wouter Kellerman

Best Engineer of the Year

  • Brian O’Shea, Crighton Goodwill & Marius Brouwer - Johnny Apple by Johnny Apple
  • Dave Reynolds & Peter Pearlson - The Light of Day by Dave Reynolds
  • Peter Auret - Brasskap Sessions Vol. 2 by McCoy Mrubata
  • Brendyn ‘Rusti’ Rossouw - Let the Night In by Prime Circle
  • Jürgen von Wechmar,  Rogan Kelsey, Ross Fink & Jaziel Sommers - Ascension by Toya Delazy

Remix of the Year

  • DJ Sbu, Robbie Malinga & Mojalefa Thebe - Indlela Yam by DJ Sbu
  • Select Play - Tsiki Tsiki Remix by Duncan
  • Goldfish - Moonwalk Away (Goldfish Moon Landing Mix) Radio Edit by Goldfish
  • Heavy K - Personal Paradise Remix by Heavy K
  • Riky Rick - Amantombazane by Riky Rick

Other category winners will be announced at the awards ceremony, such as: Kia Record of the Year; Special Awards (International Achievement Awards & Lifetime Achievement Awards), Best Selling Mobile Music Download (Best Selling Album, Best Selling DVD, Best Selling Mobile Music Download, Best Selling Ring-Back Tone & Best Selling Full-Track Download); and the SAMPRA Award for Highest Airplay of the Year.


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