SAMA26 Nominees Announced: Fresh New Gems Unearthed

The SAMA26 Nominees have been announced! Marking a seismic shift in local music, a slew of new artists is claiming its place on the SAMA nominations list, while a few old favourites make their presence felt.



Prince Kaybee, already with four nods in the bag from the Record of the Year (ROTY) and Music Video of the Year (MVOTY) categories announced last week, extends his lead with five more. The dance music DJ is in the running for the coveted Album of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Best Produced Album, Best Dance Album for Re Mmino and Best Collaboration for “Fetch Your Life” featuring Msaki. His total tally for SAMA26 stands at nine, making him the most nominated this year.

The DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small partnership has yielded great gains with them dominating the Best Collaboration category with three nods featuring them on Akulaleki by Samthing Soweto; Love You Tonight by MFR Souls and Tender Love by Sha Sha. Elsewhere their albums, Scorpion Kings and the Return of Scorpion Kings, scored them two spots in the Best Kwaito Album.

SAMA26 Nominees

They are also up for Best Produced Album for Scorpion Kings and Isiphithiphithi by Samthing Soweto along with MFR Souls, Howard, Mas Musiq and Samthing Soweto. Furthermore, their collaboration, Koko featuring Mhaw Keys, already earned them a MVOTY nomination taking them to a total of eight nods.

Samthing Soweto earned five nominations for his album Isiphithiphithi in Album of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Best Produced Album, Best Engineered Album, while his hit Akulaleki with Sha Sha, DJ Maphorisa and Kabza de Small secured him a Best Collaboration nod. With a ROTY nomination already to his credit for Akulaleki his total stands at six.

K.O entered this leg with three nominations in the ROTY and MVOTY categories, and now with nods for Best Hip Hop Album for PTYunLTD and Best Collaboration for “Say U Will” featuring Nandi Madida, he walks away with five nominations overall.

Previous SAMA winners Lady Zamar and Benjamin Dube return to the nominations stakes. Lady Zamar stands at four nods for Female Artist of the Year and Best Dance Album for Monarch and ROTY and MVOTY for This is Love. Dube is in the running for Male Artist of the Year, Best Contemporary Faith Music Album and Best Live Audio Visual Recording for Glory in His Presence

The new crop of artists making a big splash this year is drawn mostly from the jazz and dance genres, and they include MFR Souls who are up for Best Collaboration for “Love You Tonight”, Best Kwaito Album for The Beginning, Best Produced Album for Scorpion Kings and Isiphithiphithi by Samthing Soweto, and their hit, “Love You Tonight” is already nodded for MVOTY putting them at five nominations. Rising jazz star Spha Mdlalose is up for Female Artist of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Best Jazz Album for Indlel’eyekhaya.

Ndabo Zulu & Umgidi Ensemble’s Queen Nandi: The African Symphony earned them the Duo/Group of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Best Jazz Album nominations. Sibusiso Mash Mashiloane for Amanzi Nemifula: Umkhuleko received the Album of the Year, Male Artist of the Year and Best Jazz Album nods. The Afro-pop songbird Ami Faku impressed with her album Imali and secured the Female Artist of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Best Afro Pop Album nominations.

For his efforts in A David Kind of Psalm (Live), gospel crooner Sbu Noah, is in the running for Newcomer of the Year, Best Contemporary Faith Music Album and Best Live Audio Visual Recording. Jazz’s Viwe Mkizwana has staked her claim for Newcomer of the Year and Best Jazz Album for her debut album Tributes.

More info about SAMA26

RiSA announced this month that the annual SAMA will stage its 26th edition over five nights, from 3 to 7 August 2020 at 21:30. In accordance with the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown and social distancing norms, the party has moved from the Sun City Superbowl to be streamed on the My Muze by Vodacom platform and broadcast on Mzansi Magic, DStv channel 161.

Under the theme #ForThaKultcha, five adrenaline filled yet bite-size 30 minute episodes with subthemes #ForThaRoots, #ForThaSoul, #ForThaStreets, #ForThaCraft culminating in #ForThaClub which will be a 45 minutes-long grand finale, will present a unique SAMA26 virtual experience.

Nhlanhla Sibisi, RiSA CEO congratulated the SAMA26 nominees

“This year’s calibre of nominees continues on the proud tradition of the SAMA to identify talent that may otherwise go unnoticed. I’m encouraged by the number of new talent that has earned recognition and they are all worthy of this honour. This will only augur well for the present and the future of the industry. I wish to extend my congratulations to all nominees, the panels of judges and the team at RiSA who worked tirelessly to bring the SAMA26 to life. The stage is set for yet another memorable SAMA year.”

Rehana Hassim, Executive Head for Content & Lifestyle at Vodacom comments

“Again, congratulations to all the nominees for these prestigious awards. This is an exciting time for My Muze to be part of the first ever digital version of SAMA. With the introduction of digital voting, we’d like to encourage South Africans to start voting for their favourite video, song or artist by visiting mymuze.com. As a brand, especially at a time when South Africans are encouraged to practice social distancing in the fight against Covid19, we are excited that we are enabling music fans to vote for their favourite song or video of the year through this platform and without leaving their homes. This in line with our purpose of connecting people to a better tomorrow by creating an inclusive digital society, while encouraging people to heed the call of ‘stay at home and stay safe.”

Nomsa Philiso, Director of Local Entertainment Channels at M-Net comments 

“Music has formed part of our lives and over the years more and more genres have been introduced and celebrated. The display of talent currently being showcased is testament to the fact that local is lekker. SAMA26 affords all of us an opportunity to celebrate and recognise local musicians for their excellence and their contribution to pop culture. On that note, Mzansi Magic would like to wish all the nominees the best as we head into the awards month.”

Check out the full list of SAMA26 Nominees below:

#ForThaRoots

Best Maskandi Album

1. Bawucisha ngo Paraffin by Abafana baka Mgqumeni

2. Hlanga Lomhlabathi by Izingane Zoma

3. Inhloko Nes’Xhanti by Khuzani

4. Inyoka Yodumo by Sgwebo Sentambo

5. Upopayi by Thokozani Langa

Best Traditional Music Album

1. Botshelo by Makopanela Pineng

2. Richang by Tswelelang Cultural Dancers

3. Sialala by Vha Venda Cultural Group

4. Tshimo Ea Tlholwa by Mma Ausi

5. Ungabanaki by Qadasi & Maqhinga

Best Collaboration

1. “Akulaleki” by Samthing Soweto featuring Sha Sha, DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small

2. “Fetch Your Life” by Prince Kaybee featuring Msaki

3. “Love You Tonight” by MFR Souls featuring DJ Maphorisa, Sha Sha and Kabza De Small

4. “Say U Will” by K.O featuring Nandi Madida

5. “Tender Love” by Sha Sha featuring DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small

Best Traditional Faith Music Album

1. Re-Birth by TYGC Family

2. Psalm 103 by Jeffrey Mkansi

3. Praise & Repentance 2nd Offering by Muzie B

4. OkaJehova Akanqotshwa by Deborah Fraser

5. Calvary by Dumi Mkokstad

Newcomer of the Year

1. Sbu Noah for A David Kind of Psalm (Live)

2. Ami Faku for Imali

3. Spha Mdlalose for Indlel’eyekhaya

4. Ndabo Zulu & Umgidi Ensemble for Queen Nandi: The African Symphony

5. Viwe Mkizwana for Tributes

Best African Indigenous Faith Album

1. Uyalalelwa by The General Universal Zion Church of God (Isitimela)

2. Thobela Morena by Matsobane Maifo

3. Themba Lami by Amagoduka

4. Modula Sione Ore Utlwe, Mookamedi by Wacha Mkhukhu Wachumlilo

5. Lona Ba Ratang Ho Phela by Amadodana Ase Wesile

Best Jazz Album

1. Genesis of a Different World by Steve Dyer

2. Indlel’eyekhaya by Spha Mdlalose

3. Queen Nandi: The African Symphony by Ndabo Zulu & Umgidi Ensemble

4. Tributes by Viwe Mkizwana

5. Amanzi Nemifula: Umkhuleko by Sibusiso Mash Mashiloane

Beste Kontemporere Musiek Album

1. Coenie 2.2 by Coenie de Villiers

2. Boomhuis by Elandré

3. Jou Huis by Elvis Blue

4. Pure Plaas by Ricus Nel

5. Sterker by Riana Nel 

Rest of Africa Award

1. Blossom by Sha Sha (Zimbabwe)

2. I Love Girls With Trobul by Sarz and WurlD (Nigeria)

3. Metamorfose by Isabel Novella (Mozambique)

4. YPSZN2 by PsychoYP (Nigeria)

5. A Good Time by Davido (Nigeria)

#ForThaSoul

Best Afro Pop Album

1. From Bongo With Love by Bongo Maffin

2. Imali by Ami Faku

3. Isiphithiphithi by Samthing Soweto

4. Selimathunzi by Mthunzi

5. Umuthi by Blaq Diamond

Best Alternative Music Album

1. Zeno by Muzi

2. The Calling by James Deacon

3. Ndim Nani by Zu.

4. June by Manu Grace

5. Cult Pop by Lo-Ghost

Best Reggae Album

1. From the Low Land by Skeleton Blazer

2. Impilo Kantanga by Jeremiah Fyah Ises

3. The Revealer by Botanist

4. True Stories by Bongo Riot Di Dancehall Wakanda

5. Vision 2020 by Fruitystar

Best Contemporary Faith Music Album

1. A David Kind of Psalm (Live) by Sbu Noah

2. Friends in Praise, Vol.2 by Neyi Zimu and Omega Khunou

3. Glory in His Presence by Benjamin Dube

4. Project 17 Live at Carnival City by Worship House

5. Seasons, Volume II by We Will Worship

Best R&B/Soul Album

1. Elements by Elaine

2. God Decides by Tellaman

3. My Heart to Your Soul by Lungisa Xhamela

4. Pink Panther by Tshego

5. Promised Land by Yanga Sobetwa

Male Artist of the Year

1. Benjamin Dube for Glory in His Presence

2. Samthing Soweto for Isiphithiphithi

3. Prince Kaybee for Re Mmino

4. Sibusiso Mash Mashiloane for Amanzi Nemifula: Umkhuleko

5. Bongo Riot Di Dancehall Wakanda for True Stories

Best African Adult Contemporary Album

1. Toro ka Mmino by T.S

2. S.G 2.0 by Tlale Makhene and Ziyawa Ka Zitha

3. Power of Dreams by Judith Sephuma

4. I Write What I Dream by Ntsika

5. Folklore: Chapter 1 by Pilani Bubu

Best Adult Contemporary Album

1. Swansong by Lance James

2. Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue by The Parlotones

3. Power by Amanda Black

4. In a Different Light by Wouter Kellerman

5. Africa by Ndlovu Youth Choir

#ForThaStreets

Best Kwaito Album

1. Baby Boy III by Vigro Deep

2. Ikhenani by DJ Tira

3. Scorpion Kings by DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small

4. The Beginning by MFR Souls

5. The Return of the Scorpion Kings by Kabza De Small and DJ Maphorisa

Beste Pop Album

1. Elektrisiteit by Dewald Wasserfall

2. Hou Vas by HANCO

3. #Partytjiedier by Kurt Darren

4. Patriot by Appel

5. Swaeltjies by Danny Smoke

Best Pop Album

1. Deep Breath by Deep Breath

2. Ghost by Matthew Mole

3. Here I Am by Christian Heath

4. Lifeline by Josh Wantie

5. Solitude by Mike Stent

Best Hip Hop Album

1. 3T by YoungstaCPT

2. Becoming a Pop Star by Yanga Chief

3. Injayam Vol.2 by DJ Sliqe

4. PTYunLTD by KO

5. Ungqongqoshe Wongqongqoshe by Big Zulu 

#ForThaCraft

Best Produced Album

1. Swansong by Matthew Fink

2. Scorpion Kings by MFR Souls, DJ Maphorisa, Vigro Deep and  Kabza De Small

3. Re Mmino by Prince Kaybee

4. Isiphithiphithi by DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small, MFR Souls, Howard, Mas Musiq and Samthing Soweto

5. In a Different Light by Wouter Kellerman

Female Artist of the Year

1. Ami Faku for Imali

2. Riana Nel for Sterker

3. Lady Zamar for Monarch

4. Manu Grace for June

5. Spha Mdlalose for Indlel’eyekhaya

Best Live Audio Visual Recording

1. A David Kind of Psalm (Live) by Sbu Noah

2. Calvary by Dumi Mkokstad

3. Glory in His Presence by Benjamin Dube

4. Krone 6 Live by Krone Various Artists

5. Your Word Alibuyi Lilambatha by Kholeka

Best Engineered Album

1. Write What I Dream by Robin Walsh

2. Isiphithiphithi by Samthing Soweto, Pete Maher and Mas Musiq

3. Promised Land by Kurt Michael

4. The Return of the Scorpion Kings by Mas Musiq

5. Into Dust/Waltz for Jozi by Peter Auret

Best Classical Album

1. Vignettes for Violin by Kristel Birkholtz

2. Die Tale Van My Hart by Wilhelm Lichtenburg

3. Freehand by Charl du Plessis

4. Andaluza – Music of Spain III by James Grace

5. Africa Celebrates by University of Limpopo Choristers and the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra

Best Produced Music Video

1. “Akulaleki” by Yolanda Hlakula and Paul Ramaema

2. “Whipped” by Kyle White

3. “SMA” by Kyle White

4. “Pearls to Swine” featuring Tresor & Kid X by Msaki

5. “Fetch Your Life” by Ofentse Mwase

#ForThaClub

Best Rock Album

1. Until The Last Prayer by Gunshot Blue

2. The Bright Blue Orchids by The Plastics

3. Sins of the Father by Black Pistol

4. Plastic Kids by The Tazers

5. Dagdrome in Suburbia by Francois van Coke

Duo or Group of the Year

1. Malumz on Decks for “Find Your Way”

2. Worship House for “Project 17 (Live at Carnival City)”

3. Ndabo Zulu & Umgidi Ensemble for “Queen Nandi: The African Symphony”

4. We Will Worship for Seasons ,Volume II

5. Qadasi & Maqhinga for “Ungabanaki”

Album of the Year

1. Isiphithiphithi by Samthing Soweto

2. Re Mmino by Prince Kaybee

3. Seasons, Volume II by We Will Worship

4. True Stories by Bongo Riot Di Dancehall Wakanda

5. Amanzi Nemifula: Umkhuleko by Sibusiso Mash Mashiloane

Remix of the Year

1. “Shay’inumber (Deep Sen)” by Oscar Nyathi

2. “Utatakho Remix” by Yanga Chief featuring Boity, Dee Koala and Riky Rick

3. “Sad To Think (Fka Mash Glitch Dub)” by SculpturedMusic

4. “Culture Vulture (Remix)” by 25K

5. “When Jazz Meets House (The Squad Remix)” by DJ General Slam featuring Bruno Soares Sax

Best Dance Album

1. Akhiwe by Oskido

2. Find Your Way by Malumz on Decks

3. Monarch by Lady Zamar

4. Re Mmino by Prince Kaybee

5. Vibez by DJ Mshega

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the SAMA26! South Africa truly has a mixed bag of amazing artists! I wish you all the best!

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

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Henno Kruger

Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf's Rant

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