South Africa: Kabza De Small Looms Large as SAMA27 Nominees Are Announced


Kabza De Small, the diminutive Amapiano superstar, walked away with the most nominations after the SAMA27 finalists were announced tonight.

His album I Am The King of Amapiano: Sweet & Dust proved to be prophetic as he walked away with nods in Album of the Year, Male Artist of the Year and Best Amapiano Album. Once Upon A Time in Lockdown, his collaboration with DJ Maphorisa (Scorpion Kings) also secured nods in Duo / Group of the Year, Album of the Year and Best Amapiano Album bringing his tally to six nominations.

Hot on the heels of Kabza De Small is Sun-El Musician. He proved his versatility with three projects earning him five nods in Male artist of the year (To the world and beyond),Best Dance (To the world and beyond), Best Live Audio Visual of the Year (A Journey To The World And Beyond); Best Produced Album of the Year (Tugela Fairy: Made of Stars by Simmy); and Remix of the Year (Sala Nabani).

Gospel supernova Bucy Radebe took home four nominations for Sofnfree Female Artist of the Year, White Star Newcomer of the Year, Best Traditional Faith Music Album and Best Live AudioVisual Recording of the Year for Spiritual Encounter.

Bucy faces fierce competition in the Sofnfree Female Artist of the Year category where she competes with Reign Africa (On The Frontline); Sho Madjozi (What a Life); Nomcebo Zikode (Xola Moya Wam’); and Hle (Your Kingdom on Earth).

On the White Star Newcomer of the Year front Bucy goes up against Xolly Mncwango (Jesus is Enough); Reign Africa (On The Frontline); BandaBanda & the Crocodiles (Africado); and Azana (Ingoma).
Reggae vocalist Bongo Riot earned three nominations for Album of the Year, Male Artist of the Year and Best Reggae Album.

Amapiano artist Junior Taurus booked a spot for himself in Album of the Year for his album Back to Love is in the running for Album of the Year up against Persistence (Bongo Riot); The Healers: The Last Chapter (Black Motion); Once Upon A Time In Lockdown (Kabza De Small & DJ Maphorisa (Scorpion Kings). Junior Taurus is also up for Male Artist of the Year alongside Sun-El Musician (To The World & Beyond); Bongo Riot (Persistence); Kabza De Small (I Am The King of Amapiano: Sweet & Dust); and Oscar Mbo (For the Groovists).

One of the new categories introduced at SAMA27, Best Amapiano Album, yielded a competitive race with Junior Taurus (Back to Love) taking on MFR Souls (Musical Kings); Kabza De Small (I Am The King of Amapiano: Sweet & Dust); Kabza De Small & DJ Maphorisa (Scorpion Kings) (Once Upon A Time In Lockdown); and Mas Musiq & Aymos (Shonamalanga). At three nominations, Junior Taurus is one of the most nominated artists.

Best Gqom Album sees Babes Wodumo (Idando Kazi) take on Que (We Don’t Play the Same Gqom); Mshayi & Mr Thela (Make Cape Town Great Again); DragerNation (Isiqalo); and Zinaro (InzaloYekwaito).

The Best Hip Hop Album category is a clash of the titans as Boity (4436) goes to battle with Nasty C (Zulu With Some Power); Yanga Chief (Popstar); Nadia Nakai (Nadia Naked II); and Zakwe & Duncan (Zakwe & Duncan).

In the Best Dance Album Nomcebo Zikode (Xola Moya Wam’) takes on an all male line up of Sun-El Musician (To The World & Beyond), Oscar Mbo (For The Goovists); Black Motion (The Healers: The Last Chapter); and Mi Casa (We Made It).

Thandi Ntuli (Live at Jazzwerkstatt) is the only woman nominated for the Best Jazz Album. She goes up against BandaBanda & The Crocodiles (Africado); Linda Sikhakhane (An Open Dialogue); Sibusiso Mash Mashiloane (iHubo Labomdabu); and Nduduzo Makhathini (Modes of Communication: Letters From The Underworlds).

New talent shines the brightest. Reign Africa, enjoyed an impressive streak with three nods for Sofnfree Female Artist of the Year, White Star Newcomer of the Year, Best Reggae Album for On The Frontline. Hle bagged Best Contemporary Faith Music Album, Sofnfree Female Artist of the Year and Best Live Audio Visual Recording of the Year for Your Kingdom on Earth. Azana vies for White Star Newcomer of the Year and Best Afropop Album for Ingoma while Xolly Mncwango stakes her claim in White Star Newcomer of the Year and Best Contemporary Faith Album for Jesus is Enough.

The SAMA27 nominees were announced on SABC1 at intervals between 6pm and 9.30pm.

Dichaba Phalatse, SABC Video Entertainment: Marketing Manager commented: ‘SABC1 is excited to bring the most prestigious music awards in South Africa to millions of South Africans in a meaningful way, not only through the broadcast but also through our shows such as Live AMP and RGB that will unpack the road to SAMA 27.’

Mokhele Makhothi Marketing Manager at White Star said: ‘For over 20 years, music has always been embedded in the DNA of White Star. Many will remember our catchy jingle back then, on which we collaborated with South Africa’s promising young artists. Since then, White Star has continued to enjoy a long and mutually fruitful relationship with local music; through our support of various music festivals and events around the country. Last year, during the height of the pandemic, White Star recognised that many artists, particularly young and emerging artists, felt the brunt of not having opportunities to perform and earn a living, and for that reason launched the Shayna ngeWhite Star campaign. With this campaign emerging local artists were given opportunities to perform and earn a living, while shining their light into the lockdown gloom and beyond and to keep the beat of the local music scene alive.

‘Furthermore, it brings me great pleasure to note that some of the artists featured in the Shayna ngeWhite Star campaign have also been nominated in this year’s SAMAs, particularly those in the White Star Newcomer of the Year category. I congratulate all the nominees; I know it is a tough one, if the talent featured in our campaign is anything to go by. All the best to you all.’

Sofnfree’s Brand Team commented: ‘We are truly honoured to be part of SAMA27, representing a category that recognises girl power, excellence and creativity. Sofnfree celebrates the value of both hair and music as incredible tools of self-expression, and we look forward to redefining, reinventing and reimagining together. Best of luck to the nominees for Female Artist of the Year, we are rooting for you.’

RiSA CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi congratulated the nominees: ‘We are delighted with the calibre of nominees for SAMA27. This is a reflection of the music industry and the movers and shakers who made an impact in 2020/21, a very difficult period in which the industry had to deal with a crippling global pandemic. It was through music that life became bearable and for that we thank our artists who continue to redefine, reinvent and reimagine their business. We also wish to thank our hard-working panel of judges and the team at RiSA who facilitated the crucial judging process with great diligence and integrity. A special note of thanks to our sponsors and partners who have supported us this far. We extend our best wishes to all of the nominees and look forward to seeing who will emerge victorious in each category.’

SABC is the official broadcast partner of SAMA27

The SAMA are organised by the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA)

Sponsors for SAMA27 are Department Sport, Arts and Culture; Sampra; White Star; Sofnfree; Capasso; Drip and Proudly South African.

Below is the full list of all the nominees:

Album of the Year
Persistence – Bongo Riot
The Healers: The Last Chapter – Black Motion
Once Upon A Time in Lockdown – Kabza De Small & DJ Maphorisa (Scorpion Kings)
I Am The King of Amapiano: Sweet & Dust – Kabza De Small
Back to Love – Junior Taurus

Duo / Group of the Year
Ama Roto EP – Reece Madlisa & Zuma
Musical Kings – MFR Souls
Once Upon A Time in Lockdown – Kabza De Small & DJ Maphorisa (Scorpion Kings)
Shonamalanga – Mas Musiq & Aymos
We Made It – Mi Casa

Sofnfree Female Artist of the Year
On the Frontline – Reign Africa
Spiritual Encounter – Bucy Radebe
What a Life – Sho Madjozi
Xola Moya Wam’ – Nomcebo Zikode
Your Kingdom on Earth – Hle

Male Artist of the Year
To The World & Beyond – Sun-El Musician
Persistence – Bongo Riot
I Am The King of Amapiano: Sweet & Dust – Kabza De Small
For the Groovists – Oscar Mbo
Back to Love – Junior Taurus

White Star Newcomer of the Year
Jesus is Enough – Xolly Mncwango
On the Frontline – Reign Africa
Africado – BandaBanda & The Crocodiles
Ingoma – Azana
Spiritual Encounter – Bucy Radebe

Best Rock Album
Chrome Neon Jesus – Ethyl Ether
Here’s to the Now – Nathan Smith
Orange Sunshine – Yum Yuck
The Devils Cattle – Ruff Majik
Nothing’s Gonna Change – Oooth

Best Pop Album
11:11 – Rowlene
I Don’t Sleep – Jethro Tait
Tribes & Angels – Locnville
Sugar – Mark Stent
She – Amy Lilley

Beste Pop Album
2021 – Die Heuwels Fantasties
Die Toekoms is Synth – Synth Peter
Twintig20 – Brendan Peyper
Gewigloos – Juan Boucher
Gemaklik Verlore – Christa Visser

Best Adult Contemporary Album
In the Kingdom of the Aloes – amaFranx
Repaired – Jack Atlantic
Rise – Ndlovu Youth Choir
Take Me To The River – Connell Cruise
The South African Songbook – Kurt Darren & The Soweto Gospel Choir

Beste Kontemporêre Musiek Album
Wandel in my Woning – Refentse
Herverbeel – Die Heuwels Fantasties
Net Geleen – Bernice West
Monumentaal – Ruhan Du Toit
Spontaan – Riaan Benadê

Best African Adult Contemporary Album
Umsebenzi – Sjava
Isambulo – 1020 Cartel Artists
Amakhaya – Max – Hoba
Bamako – Simphiwe Dana
Buhlebendalo – Chosi

Best Alternative Music Album
Mania/Post Mania – Yellow House
iimini – Bongeziwe Mabandla
Hot Mess – Evert Snyman
Filth and Wisdom – The Medicine Dolls
Ebusuku – Th&o

Best R&B/Soul Album
A Force To Be Reckoned With – Thando
LANGA – Langa Mavuso
Sindisiwe – LaSauce
Small World – Ricky Tyler
Uhambo – Soul Kulture

Best Hip Hop Album
4436 – Boity
Nadia Naked II – Nadia Nakai
Zulu With Some Power – Nasty C
POPSTAR – Yanga Chief
Zakwe & Duncan – Zakwe & Duncan

Best Kwaito Album
Sgubhu OverDoze – Lvovo & Danger
Endaweni – Darkie Fiction
Don’t Lose Hope – Sukiripapa
Bhut’Madlisa – Mampintsha
Ama Roto EP – Reece Madlisa & Zuma

Best Dance Album
To The World & Beyond – Sun-El Musician
For The Goovists – Oscar Mbo
Xola Moya Wam’ – Nomcebo Zikode
The Healers: The Last Chapter – Black Motion
We Made It – Mi Casa

Best Traditional Faith Music Album
Project 17 – Chapter 2 – Worship House
Buya Nkosi – Thinah Zungu
Spiritual Encounter – Bucy Radebe
Wathi Eloyi Eloyi – Sipho Makhabane
Izulu – Sneziey

Best Contemporary Faith Music Album
Devotion – Nqubeko Mbatha
Face 2 Face – Collen Maluleke
Jesus is Enough – Xolly Mncwango
Your Kingdom on Earth – Hle
The Promised Revival Part One – Tshwane Gospel Choir

Best African Indigenous Faith Music Album
Makhosi Akithi – Vuma Zion
Izwi Lakho – Mandlethu Gospel Singers
Katlehong Gospel Choir Artist Development – Katlehong Gospel Choir Artist Development
Sithembe Wena Nkosi – JTG Gospel Choir
Enyokumkhonza – Enyonini Mission Ministries

Rest of Africa Award
Unity Album – Buffalo Souljah
A Better Time – Davido
Made in Lagos – Wizkid
Midnight Train – Sauti Sol
Songs in the Key of Love – Berita

Best Traditional Album
Love and War – Henny C
What a Life – Sho Madjozi
Angeke Bakuthande Boke – Smangele
Shebeen Queen – Vusi Mahlasela
Ndavhuko – Vendaboy Poet

Best Maskandi
Amagupta – iChwane Lebhaca
Ziyangiluma Izinja – Phuzekhemisi
Iqatha Eliziqobayo – Thokozani Langa
Banathi Shaqa – Imithente
Imfene Kamakhelwane – Abafana Baka Mgqumeni

Best Jazz Album
Africado – BandaBanda & The Crocodiles
An Open Dialogue – Linda Sikhakhane
iHubo Labomdabu – Sibusiso Mash Mashiloane
Modes of Communication: Letters From The Underworlds – Nduduzo Makhathini
Thandi Ntuli (Live at Jazzwerkstatt) – Thandi Ntuli

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