2018 South African Music Awards (SAMA) Nominees announced

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Top South African bands Mafikizolo and Mi Casa and elegant songbird Simphiwe Dana proved their staying power when they swept the boards at the 2018 South African Music Awards (SAMA) nominees announcement last night.

Lost&Found, Prime Circle, Shortstraw, Willim Welsyn and Fokofpolisiekar will be battling it out for the Best Rock Album SAMA. Mafikizolo, superstar Afro-pop band has bolted ahead of the pack with three nods in Best Afro Pop Album, Best Engineered Album and Best Produced Album for 20, their milestone release.

They are tied with Mi Casa, the accomplished dance trio also boasting three nominations in Best Dance Album, Best Produced Album and Best Engineered Album for Familia. Simphiwe Dana vies for top honours in the Best Live Audiovisual, Best Jazz Album and Best African Artist for Simphiwe Dana Symphony Experience.

The 2018 South African Music Awards (SAMA) nominations were unveiled at a glittering function held at Birchwood Hotel in Ekurhuleni last night, attended by industry heavyweights and the stars that make the South African music industry sparkle the brightest.

Hot on the heels of Mafikizolo, Mi Casa and Simphiwe Dana with two nominations each are dance duo Distruction Boyz; rappers Kwesta, Riky Rick, Rouge and Shane Eagle; DJs Mobi Dixon and Prince Kaybee; vocalists Shekhinah, Benjamin Dube and Zoe Modiga; and instrumentalist Nduduzo Makhathini.

Distruction Boyz got a nod for Best Collaboration for their anthemic Omunye featuring Benny Maverick and Dlala Mshunqisi and Best Engineered album for Gqom Is The Future. Kwesta walked away with two nominations for Best Collaboration and Music Video of the Year both for Spirit (featuring Wale).

Riky Rick is up for Best Hip Hop Album for Stay Shining and Best Remix of the Year for Buy It Out (featuring Youngtsa CPT, KLY, DaLes, Frank Casino, J Molley and Stilo Magolide). Rouge made the cut for Best Hip Hop Album for The New Era Sessions and Music Video of the Year for Arumtumtum much like Shane Eagle in the same categories for Yellow and Let It Flow respectively. Mobi Dixon earned two nods in Best of Remix of the Year for Lake By The Ocean and I Got You.

Prince Kaybee is in with a chance in the Best Produced Album and Best Dance Album for I Am Music. Shekhinah is in the running for Best Produced Album and Best Pop Album for Rose Gold. Gospel powerhouse Benjamin Dube sits with two nods in Best Contemporary Faith Music Album and Best Live Audiovisual for Victorious In His Presence with Benjamin Dube. Zoe Modiga is up for Best Jazz Album and Best African Artist Album for Yellow The Novel. Nduduzo Makhathini snatched Best Jazz Album and Best Engineered Album nods for Ikhambi.

Comedian Mashabela Galane made history as the first comedian to be nominated for a South African Music Award in the Best Kwaito Album for his Bona That Rural Dream. He faces tough competition from Busiswa (Highly Flavoured), Chomee (Do Mo Squats), Team Mosha (So fa Silahlane) and Trendsetters (Ska Ba Hemisa).

The late Robbie Malinga’s last self titled album earned him a spot in the Best Afro Pop Album to face Mafikizolo (20), Zahara (Mgodi), Ntando (Mayibue) and Blaq Diamond (Inqola). Lady Zamar with her album King Zamar takes on the boys DJ Ganyani (Ganyani’s House Grooves 10), DJ Merlon (Pure Black Album), Prince Kaybee (I Am Music) and Mi Casa (Familia) in the Best Dance Album category.

The Best Contemporary Faith Music Album is a holy duel between Nqubeko Mbatha (Heaven’s Ways), Benjamin Dube (Victorious In His Presence with Benjamin Dube), Swazi (The Alabaster), Bongani Nchang (Wonders of Mercy) and Sicelo Moya (Solid Rock) while in the Best Traditional Faith Music Album category titans Andile KaMajola (Andile KaMajola Chapter 8 Sekwanele), Sipho Makhabane (Sinekhaya), Dumi Mkokstad (Eganmeni LikaJesu), Omega Khunou (Worship in Spirit & In Truth with Omega Khunou) and Women in Praise (Live in Johannesburg) compete.

Wouter Kellerman (Symphonic Soweto) takes on Janie Bay (Miscellany), Josie Field (Indie Soul), Charlie Finch (Life’s Journey) and Swing City (Now Listen Properly) for the Best Adult Contemporary Album gong. Beste Pop Album sees the best of Afrikaans musicians Kurt Darren (Laat Die Dansvloer Brand), Karlien van Jaarsveld (Sing Vir Liefde), Brendan Peyper (Hy Loop Oop), Ray Dylan (Uitbasuin) and Lianie May (Iemand Om Lief Te Hê) lock horns.

Old favourites Joe Nina (Time II Time), Siphokazi (Siphokazi) and Tribute Birdie Mboweni (Tribute Birdie Mboweni The Deluxe Edition Album) return to the SAMAs to slug it out in the Best African Adult Contemporary Album with newcomers Siseko Pame (Ilanga) and Serame Sediti (Based On A True Story).

The Best R&B/Soul/Reggae Album sees Idols SA alumni Thami (Never Lost) going head to head with Afrotraction (Relationships), Thabsie (Songs About You), Cici (Busisiwe) and The Nameless Band (The Greatest Hits).

It’s a smorgasbord of sounds in the Best Alternative Album which has Bongeziwe Mabandla (Mangaliso), Jack Parow (Afrika 4 Beginners), Francois van Coke (Hierdie Is Die Lewe), Josh Kempen (The Morning Show) and Louis Lvndn (Your Princess Is In Another Castle) as nominees.

The Best Maskandi Album award sees Abafana Baka Mgqumeni (6 to 6), Shwi noMtekhala (Emkhathini), Khuzani (Isixaxa Samaxoki), Uqhosha Ngokwenzakwakhe (Miss South Africa) and Mbuzeni (Wavuma) fight it out.

RiSA CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi congratulated the nominees: ‘This has been a particularly formidable year. And the competition was exceedingly tight. We applaud those who have made the cut and wish them the best going to Sun City. The SAMAs remains the most prestigious accolade our musicians aspire to possess and we are committed to a fair and credible process of selecting worthy winners.’

Nominees in the top five categories of Male Artist of the Year, Female Artist of the Year, Duo/Group of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Album of the Year will be announced early next month.

The SAMA24 nominee announcement is supported by the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation. The award ceremony will takes place at Sun City in the North West province on the 2nd of June 2018.

Watch this space for regular updates in the Music category on Running Wolf’s Rant.

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