Plenty of surprises at the 21st annual SAMAs

I live in Nelsparta, but here we also love watching the SAMAs (even though SABC 1 only shows like half of the show – it’s a super long show after all. We make popcorn, whip out the hot chocolate and check who is walking away with the honours.

Now, most people don’t think the SAMAs (South African Music Awards) is worth its name, others think it’s just a way for corruption in the music industry to be glorified or the ideal opportunity to show who’s the boss, but before you start rambling, remember: “The Cats” AKA The Black Cat Bones were nominated 2 years ago. Things have changed if you ask me.


You should watch the SAMAs if you love SA music, even if you only support a band or two. A lot of Hip Hop, R&B and rap artists were leading the list with 7 nominations but then new boys on the block, Beatenberg were also nominated for 7 awards. Not bad for 3 laaities from Cape Town.

My general feeling of the 2015 SAMAs was that it was full of surprises. I expected a lot of the Cassper’s and AKA’s to win but it turns out you don’t have to be a wired guy with a pony tail or someone with gold teeth like Lil Wayne to win a SAMA. Perhaps, the judges finally realized what they were missing out.

Lately aKING has come under a lot of criticism for their new album, “Morning After”. Since I got the album it’s been or repeat in my CD player and iPod. To me this album is their finest work to date. It seems like the boys grew up and when they were announced as the winners of the Best Rock Album (beating Taxi Violence, Prime Circle, Reburn and Zebra & Giraffe) I was freaking out on the chair like someone had just whispered “big ass spider” into my ear.

The joyous look on the band member’s faces was priceless. Here is a band that hasn’t put out a new album in a few years and win a SAMA for their latest album. It’s not album of the year, but well done to aKING. Take that and shove it into those critic’s faces and remember: your fans love you.

Beatenberg were the big winners of the night, walking away with no less than 6 SAMAs. If you have never watched Beatenberg live or if you’re not the biggest fan around then you should make an effort to get to know the band’s music. These 3 Cape Town boys have fused house music and rock music together, made love to it and created their own unique style.


Beatenberg won Album of the Year, one of the top 5 categories to win at SAMAs and I think they were more surprised that Cassper Nyovest and AKA didn’t win it. To me this is proof that every single upcoming band out there grafting out in their garage or at the clubs and gig venues around the country can one day win a SAMA. Hard work pays off, enough said.

Jeremy Loops, what has changed you? You were nominated in two categories (including newcomer of the year) but your performance on stage was a bit, erm “wired” ? The SAMA ceremony has become famous over the years for  collaborating artists, but somehow “Down South” didn’t really pick the crowd up as it normally does. Team Jeremy teamed up with Black Motion (the winners of the Best Dance album SAMA) and Xolim. Well, maybe it was different at the awards, but on seeing his performance on the TV the response I got from the people watching with me was “Huh? Is this the Loops guy you’ve been raving about?”. Yes, I had to defend being a fan and it was hard. I’m sorry you didn’t win Jeremy, you should have won in that category if you ask me.

Prime Circle had the multi-cultured SAMA ceremony attendees on their feet. Starting with just Ross Learmouth singing to a backtrack of their Best Video SAMA song “As time goes by” it was a little wired. Then the band jumped on stage and it was explosive! Then to make things more interesting they had Cassper (dressed in a white jacket) jumping on the beautiful white grand piano (something that should not be done to such a beautiful instrument) and gave that crowd the show of their life.

Prime Circle adjusted their song to Cassper’s song and it was mind blowing, guitar solos and all. I was like “Fuck dudes, make a concert together!” If Wonderboom and Mandoza could pull it off at Mieliepop last year, so can you. I must admit that I was a little sad when it was over.

The host this year was HHP. He was much loved but I just think that whoever dressed him shouldn’t shop at the “Khaki R Us” store again. He’s a cool guy, but that outfit made him look bulky. A suit and tie would’ve worked just as well, just saying.

There are a lot of people moaning that a lot of genres are not being recognized and yes it’s true. The Blues genre should really be recognized and let’s face it: You can have a whole 3 hour award show just for mobile downloads (yes, the legal ones) because there are a lot of people doing that, but the SAMAs are now 21 years old. They’ve grown up so much. You can’t please everyone, but I do hope the SAMA committee starts looking at other genres as well instead of just sticking to their guns.

The fan box right in front of the stage was an awesome one, but it just needs to be promoted a little bit better next time (or it should be a little bigger). Fans love their bands and artists, give them an opportunity to support them in full. Well done to this year’s team for organizing a better show than last year. One could sense that a lot of folks actually showed up for rehersals this time around.

Congratulations to all the winners and the nominees. If you didn’t win, see it as a challenge. Don’t give up! If Wouter Kellarman can win a Grammy and 3 SAMAs then so can you. Here’s a list of the winners:

Album of the Year: Beatenberg – The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg

Duo or Group of the Year: Beatenberg – The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg

Female Artist of the Year: Bucie – Princess of House (Easy to Love)

Male Artist of the Year: AKA – Levels

Newcomer of the Year: Cassper Nyovest – Tsholofelo

Afrikaans Pop Album: Riana Nel – Die Regte Tyd

Best Adult Contemporary: Joe Niemand – Back Again

Beste Kontemporere Musiek Album: Dewald Wasserfal – Ek en Jy

Best Traditional Music Album: Botlhale Boikanyo – Spoken Word & Music

Best Maskandi Album: Thokozani Langa – Igema Lami

Best Jazz Album: McCoy Mrubata – Brasskap Sessions Vol. 2

Best RnB Soul Reggae Album: Afrotraction – For The Lovers

Best Rap Album: K.O. – Skhanda Republic

Best Kwaito Album: Professor – University of Kalawa Jazmee Since 1994

Best Dance Album: Black Motion – Fortune Teller

Best Classical and/or Instrumental Album: Wouter Kellerman – Winds of Samsara

Best Traditional Faith Album: Sfiso Ncwane – Bayede Baba

Best Contemporary Faith Music Album: Loyiso – Power Love Sound

Best African Adult Album: Maleh – You Make My Heart Go

Best Alternative Album: Bittereinder – Skerm

Best Live DVD: Robin Kohl for First Decade by Lira

Music Video of the Year: Ryan Kruger for Prime Circle – Let The Night In

Best Producer of the Year: Wouter Kellerman and Ricky Kej for for Winds Of Samsara by Wouter Kellerman

Best Engineer of the Year: Brian O’Shea, Crighton Goodwill & Maruispopplanet for Johnny Apple by Johnny Apple

Best Collaboration: K.O. ft. Kid X – Caracara – we thought DJ Clock ft Beatenberg’s “Pluto” would win this

Remix of the Year: DJ Sbu, Robbie Malinga – Indlela Yam by DJ Sbu & Mojalefa Thebe

KIA RECORD OF THE YEAR (public vote): Caracara – K.O. ft KiD X

International Achievement Award: Wouter Kellerman

Lifetime Achievement Awards: M’du Masilela, Mandla Mofokeng aka Spikiri, Zim Ngqawana

Best Selling Album: Riana Nel – Die Regte Tyd

Best Selling DVD: Vol. 18 One Purpose – Joyous SA

Best Selling Mobile Music Download: Pluto – Beatenberg and DJ Clock

Best Selling Ring-Back Tone: Pluto – DJ Clock ft Beatenberg

Best Selling Full-Track Download: Pluto – DJ Clock ft Beatenberg

SAMPRA AWARD: Highest Airplay of the Year – “Pluto” DJ Clock ft Beatenberg

I’m looking forward to next year’s SAMAs. 2015 is still going and I’m glad that there’s still plenty of time to bring out new music

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


Alice Green

A green cow, part of a heard of plastic / latex cows, spread between Nelspruit, Sabie and Cape Town. My owner adopted me when I only could speak Chinese, now I'm fluent in Afrikaans, English second language and cow.

Leave a Reply