Nominations open for Zambian Music Awards

Zambia’s finest musical talent will be honoured at the upcoming Mosi Lager Zambian Music Awards (ZMA), to be held in Lusaka on Thursday 28 April.

Zambian artists BFlow, Njoya Tee, Abel Chungu and Maureen Lilanda celebrate the launch of the 2016 Zambian Music Awards.
Zambian artists BFlow, Njoya Tee, Abel Chungu and Maureen Lilanda celebrate the launch of the 2016 Zambian Music Awards.

The awards ceremony, which has grown to be the highlight of the Zambian music industry calendar in the last four years, will bring together the nation’s best performers, producers and artists for a celebration of all genres, ranging from hip-hop to kalindula.

In a move that aims to wider the audience participation of the annual celebration of music, arts and culture, the awards will for the first time be combined with the Mosi Day of Thunder music festival in Livingstone on Saturday 30 April.

Speaking at the launch event on Friday 26 February at Rhapsody's restaurant in Lusaka, Stephen Mwansa, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Arts, said: “Music is about collaboration and partnership between musicians working in harmony. The Mosi Lager Zambian Music Awards mirrors that spirit of partnership between the public and private sector.

“The Mosi Lager Music Awards brings together two exceptional aspects of being Zambian: our music and the Mosi-o-Tunya Falls. They are part of our heritage. In that sense, the Mosi ZMAs and the Mosi Day of Thunder are an embodiment of the Zambian experience.

“Today marks the beginning of yet another season of the Mosi Lager Zambian Music Awards. During this period we celebrate Zambian music. In essence, the Mosi ZMAs are collaboration among artists, the public and the music itself. Through the awards, a dialogue is held which appreciates and applauds our heritage and shapes the future. The awards epitomise the Zambian spirit, which strongly holds that together we can change our world and make a difference,” said Mwansa.

Zambian Breweries Marketing Director Thomas Kamphuis added: “The Mosi Day of Thunder will centre on performances as a way of championing the amazing talent we have in this country. Music is an important and extremely useful tool in society and to deny its power is a waste of a truly wonderful resource… Music penetrates almost every part of our lives: our rest, our entertainment, our education and our worship. Throughout history, it has celebrated the triumphs and tragedies of life. As Plato said: ‘Music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination’.”

The awards are sponsored by Zambian Breweries in a partnership with the National Arts Council of Zambia, with support from the Zambia Adjudicators Panel and the Zambia Association of MusiciansLast year’s top winners were Chef 187 and Abel Chungu, who won seven trophies between them.

Nominations and voting

This year’s awards will focus on 18 categories. Fans are able to nominate their favourite artists, with a panel of industry adjudicators following a set of strict criteria in order to assess the winners in each category. Unlike most other music awards on the continent, the Zambian awards pay tribute to the best instrumentalists, regardless of genre. Adjudicated awards are thus given to the Best Lead Guitarist, Best Bass Guitarist, Best Keyboard Player, Best Drummer, Best Song Writer and Best Studio Music Producer. The jury also selects the winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Best Live Recording Album.

Categories decided by public vote include the more conventional award categories:  Best RnB/Dancehall Album, Best Hip-Hop/Rap Album, Best Traditional/Kalindula Album, Best Female Radio DJ, Best Male Radio DJ, Best New/Upcoming Artist, Best Female Artist, Best Male Artist and Best Album. The special Mosi Lager Song of the Year award goes to the song of the past year (released after 17 December 2014)

In the run-up to the fourth annual Zambian Music Awards on 28 April, the organisers are currently calling on music lovers to nominate their favourite entertainers. To nominate artists in the various categories, simply fill out the online nomination form on the ZMA website. All you have to do is fill in the name of your favourite Zambian artist in any category and they are automatically entered into consideration for the awards.

Once all nominations have been received, the organisers will announce the three finalists in each category. Then the public will be asked to vote again, this time for the winner. Nominations close on 15 March, and voting for winners opens on 31 March.

For more details visit the ZMA website.

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