Young stars dominate as nominees revealed for SA Music Awards

The nominees for the 22nd annual South African Music Awards (SAMAs) were revealed this week in Soweto, Johannesburg.

Nathi and Zonke Dikana have received four nominations each for the upcoming SAMAs.
Nathi and Zonke Dikana have received four nominations each for the upcoming SAMAs.

With a wide variety of genres sharing the spotlight, five acts lead the pack with an impressive four nominations each: Afro-soul newcomer Nathi, house supremo Black Coffee, rising rappers Riky Rick and Emtee and sultry songbird Zonke Dikana 

Young blood features strongly in this year’s nominations, with three of the five Album of the Year nominees being breakthrough artists - Emtee, Nathi and DRC-born pop-folk sensation Tresor - who willl be competing against seasoned campaigners Francois van Coke and Black Coffee. The same three young guns will also vie against Riky Rick and Fifi Cooper in the Best Newcomer category.

Artists and bands that have been singled out for creative excellence this year by bagging three nominations each include jazzman Marcus Wyatt and the ZAR Jazz Orchestra, house trio Mi Casa, DJ Mobi Dixon, Afro-soul songstress Zahara, Tresor and Afrikaans rockers Van Coke and Karen Zoid.

The race for Best Male Artist is guaranteed to be a closely fought one, with globe-trotting superstar Black Coffee and influential rock rebel Van Coke hoping that experience will see them triumph over newbies Nathi, Riky Rick and Emtee. In the Best Female Artist category, the three Zs – Zoid, Zonke and Zahara – will battle it out for top honours with Fifi Cooper and Judith Sephuma.

Adding a pan-African spin to this year's awards, West African stars Burna Boy, Patoranking and Stonebwoy feature on tracks nominated in the Best Collaboration category.

In the Best Music Video of the Year category, ‘Ayadelela’ by iFani and ‘Fuseg’ by Riky Rick ft. Cassper Nyovest and Anatii are up against videos from Al Bairre and PH Fat (‘Caviar Dreams’), Jack Parow and Freshlyground (‘Army of One’), and Monark's ‘Negatives Deluxe’


The contenders for this year’s awards were announced amid great excitement and anticipation in Soweto, Johannesburg on Thursday 21 April.

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), official transport sponsor of the SAMAs, ferried the VIP guests and media on the Metrorail Business Express to the Soweto Theatre, a landmark venue in Jabulani in the heart of Soweto, for the nominations “reveal”. Guests were escorted into the venue and then entertained by young performers from the Morris Isaacson High School, the school that 40 years ago played a major role in the Soweto Uprising of 1976.

SAMA Chairperson Refiloe Ramogase welcomed everyone with a poignant speech about the stance that the annual awards have taken this year with the statement that “The Future is Here”. “Soweto not only serves as a reminder of the selfless bravery of our youth 40 years ago, but also reminds us that actions motivated by yesterday, taken today, set the course for the tomorrow. If one is bold enough, one can change not only the course of history, but the course of the future," said Ramogase.

“This is the dawn of a bold new horizon within the Industry: the mass adoption of technology, the rise of the independent label, the endless stream of new distribution channels, seemingly limitless opportunities for cross-genre collaboration, virtual reality concerts on your phone, digital maskandi, urban Gospel - all indicators of the transformation of our musical landscape,” added Ramogase.

Hosted by the Recording Industry of South Africa (RISA), the 22nd annual South African Music Awards will take place on Saturday 4 June for the first time in Durban, at the coastal city's International Convention Centre (ICC),

Durban’s mayor James Nxumalo said: "For us as the City of Durban, we are very excited to host the SAMAs. The City of Durban has worked hard to build its brand, and our partnership with the SAMAs will further strengthen the position of Durban as the number one tourism destination in the country and one of the best in the world. As the City of Durban we are ready to welcome the music and entertainment industry to Durban, the warmest place to be!”  

 The full list of nominees for the 22nd SAMAs are as follows:

Album of the Year

  • Francois van Coke  - Francois van Coke    
  • Emtee - Avery 
  • Nathi - Buyelekhaya  
  • Tresor - VII
  • Black Coffee - Pieces of Me

Duo or Group of the Year

  • Desmond & the Tutus - Enjoy Yourself
  • Witness the Funk - Finding Nomusa        
  • Marcus Wyatt & the ZAR Jazz Orchestra - One Night in the Sun
  • Junior Taurus & Lady Zamar - Cotton Candy
  • Big Nuz - For the Fans   

Female Artist of the Year

  • Judith Sephuma - One Word      
  • Zahara - Country Girl    
  • Fifi Cooper - 20Fifi  
  • Karen Zoid - Drown Out the Noise 
  • Zonke - Work of Heart

Male Artist of the Year  

  • Nathi - Buyelekhaya  
  • Black Coffee - Pieces of Me  
  • Riky Rick - Family Values
  • Emtee -  Avery 
  • Francois van Coke - Francois van Coke

Newcomer of the Year

  • Riky Rick  - Family Values
  • Emtee - Avery 
  • Tresor - VII       
  • Fifi Cooper  - 20Fifi  
  • Nathi - Buyelekhaya  

Best Rock Album           

  • Desmond & the Tutus - Enjoy Yourself
  • Francois van Coke - Francois van Coke
  • Shortstraw - Youthless
  • Karen Zoid - Drown Out the Noise
  • Saarkie - Reisiger                 

Best Pop Album 

  • Tresor - VII
  • Lakota Silva - Pop: The Mix Tape
  • Loki Rothman - The Way Back
  • Can Skylark - Overdrive
  • Vincent Bones - Shaded Soul

Beste Pop Album (Afrikaans)   

  • Karlien van Jaarsveld - My Hartjie
  • Brendan Peyper - Stop, Wag, Bly Nog ’n Bietjie
  • Vaughan Gardiner - Sit Vanaand op Herhaal
  • Pierre Rossouw - In my Bloed
  • Suzanne - Vuurbestand                               

Best Adult Contemporary Album        

  • Judith Sephuma - One Word
  • Watershed - Watch the Rain
  • Karen Zoid & Various - Republiek van Zoid Afrika Vol. 2
  • Kahn - Salt
  • Josie Field & Laurie Levine - Tigerlily                

Beste Kontemporêre Musiek Album   

  • Elvis Blue -  Êrens in die Middel van Nêrens
  • Andriëtte - Pêrel vir ’n Kroon                   
  • Neil Somers - Hierdie Hande
  • Bok van Blerk - Sing Afrikaner Sing
  • Stiaan Reynierse - Sonde

Best African Adult Album         

  • Dizu Plaatjies & Friends - Ubuntu: The Common String
  • Kabomo - Sekusile
  • Thiwe -  Soul Therapy
  • L’wei Netshivhale - Mudzimu washu
  • Jessica Mbangeni -  Busisiwe: Tribute to the African Heroines       

Best Alternative Album 

  • Petite Noir - La Vie Est Belle/Life is Beautiful
  • Sannie Fox - Serpente Masjien
  • The Plastics  -  In Threes
  • Moonchild Sanelly - Rabulapha!
  • Die Heuwels Fantasties - Ja. Nee. Lekker (Deluxe)                   

Best R&B/Soul/Reggae Album

  • Nathi - Buyelekhaya
  • Zonke - Work of Heart
  • Olwethu - Imbewu
  • Zahara - Country Girl
  • The Muffinz - Do What You Love                   

Best Rap Album 

  • Emtee - Avery
  • Kid X - 3 Quarter Pace
  • Da L.E.S - North God
  • Riky Rick - Family Values
  • Zakwe - Impande               

Best Kwaito Album        

  • Big Nuz - For the Fans
  • Dbn Nyts - Believe
  • Kabelo Mabalane - Immortal Vol. 3
  • DJ Bongz - Game Changer
  • Mzansi - North Coast Vibe                                

Best Dance Album         

  • Black Coffee - Pieces of Me
  • Mi Casa - Home Sweet Home
  • Mobi Dixon - Tribal Soul Special Edition
  • DJ Merlon - Original Copy
  • Junior Taurus & Lady Zamar - Cotton Candy                                 

Best Traditional Faith Music Album    

  • TYGC Family - The Journey Begins
  • Worship House -  Project 12 Praise Live
  • Worship House - True Worship 2015
  • Dumi Mkokstad - Ukhona Uthixo
  • Various Artists - Women in Praise                           

Best Contemporary Faith Music Album         

  • Ntokozo Mbambo - Spirit and Life
  • Mark Counihan - To the Brave Ones
  • Mahalia Buchanan - Redeemed to Worship
  • 24 Skies - Endless Anthem                    
  • Benjamin Dube - Sanctified in His Presence                                                 

Best Maskandi Album

  • Imithente - Ichakijana
  • Thokozani Langa - Khuzeka Mshana
  • Shwi no Mtekhala - Bazali Bami
  • Buselaphi - Gabi Gabi
  • Phuzekhemisi - Woze Durban                 

Best Jazz Album

  • Marcus Wyatt & the ZAR Jazz Orchestra - One Night in the Sun                                         
  • Nduduzo Makhathini - Listening to the Ground
  • Benjamin Jephta Quintet - Homecoming             
  • Amandla Freedom Ensemble - Bhekisiwe
  • Bokani Dyer - World Music                              

Best Classical and/or Instrumental Album

  • Wouter Kellerman - Love Language
  • Guy Buttery - Guy Buttery
  • Deep South - Heartland
  • Cape Consort - Christoph & Sebastian           
  • KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra - Mintirho ya SJ Khosa           

Best Live Audiovisual Recording

  • Jimmy Dludlu - Live at Emperors Palace
  • Krone - Krone 2
  • Ntokozo Mbambo - Spirit and Life
  • Neyi & Omega - Friends in Praise
  • Benjamin Dube - Sanctified in His Presence              

Best Collaboration

  • Dbn Nyts ft. Zinhle Ngidi & Trademark – ‘Shumaya’
  • Shekinah x Kyle Deutsch – ‘Back to the Beach’
  • AKA ft. Redsan, Burna Boy & Stonebwoy – ‘All Eyes on Me’
  • Major League DJz ft. Cassper Nyovest, Okmalumkoolkat, Riky Rick & Carpo  - ‘Slyza Tsotsi’
  • Khuli Chana ft. Patoranking - No Lie                                      

Best Music Video of the Year

  • Jack Parow & Freshly Ground  - 'Army of One'
  • Riky Rick ft. Cassper Nyovest & Anatii - 'Fuseg'
  • Al Bairre & PH Fat - 'Caviar Dreams'
  • iFani - 'Ayadelela'
  • Monark - 'Negatives Deluxe'                                   

Best Produced Album of the Year

  • Zahara - Country Girl
  • Mi Casa - Home Sweet Home
  • Sannie Fox - Serpente Masjien
  • Mark Counihan - To the Brave Ones
  • Zonke - Work of Heart                                 

Best Engineered Album of the Year

  • Black Coffee - Pieces of Me
  • Brendan Peyper - Stop, Wag, Bly Nog ’n Bietjie
  • Zonke - Work of Heart
  • Mi Casa - Home Sweet Home
  • Marcus Wyatt & the ZAR Jazz Orchestra - One Night in the Sun                 

Best Remix of the Year

  • DJ Sliqe - 'Do Like I Do' Remix
  • AKA - 'Baddest Remix'
  • Mobi Dixon - 'My Sugar'
  • Mobi Dixon  - 'Never Let Me Go' Remix
  • The Fraternity - 'Bheka Mina Ngedwa' Amplified

The shortlist of nominees for the Amstel Record of the Year will be announced on SABC1’s Live Amp this Friday 22 April, with the public being invited to vote for their favourite song of 2015.

Certain other categories don’t have nominees and their winners will be announced at the awards ceremony. These include the special International and Lifetime Achievement Awards, the Best-Selling Mobile Music Download categories (Best Selling Album, DVD, Mobile Music Download, True-Tone, Ring-Back Tone and Full-Track Download), as well as the SAMPRA Award for Highest Airplay of the Year.

For updates and more details, visit the SAMA website.


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