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 on Wednesday, 19 May. 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.”
Complete list of 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 Groovists – 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 Best Classical/Instrumental Album Live in Cape Town – Guy Battery & Derek Gripper Imagine – Charles du Plessis Trio Live in Lisbon – Nibs van der Spuy and Guy Battery Tek’o – CH2 We’ve All Known The Times – Wouter Kellerman Best Afro Pop Album Ingoma - Azana Molimo – Manu Worldstar Ngumama – Vusi Nova The Voice of Africa – Kelly Khumalo Tugela Fairy: Made of Stars – Simmy Best Live Audio Visual Recording of the Year Your Kingdom on Earth - Hle The Throne (Live Edition) - Presss Spiritual Encounter – Bucy Radebe My Hart Klop Refentse – Refentse A Journey to the World & Beyond – Sun-El Musician Best Collaboration Uthando – Darque featuring Zakes Bantwini Ek Like Hoe Jy Dans – Chê featuring Snotkop Mali Eningi – Big Zulu featuring Riky Rick & Intaba Yase Dubai Senzeni - Mthandazo Gatya featuring Comado & DJ Manzo SA Yehla Moya – Da Capo & Nduduzo Makhathini featuring Omagugu Best Produced Music Video Where is the DJ by Malumz on Decks featuring Khanyisa – Oscar Nyathi Qhawe – Made to Create by Toya Delazy – Kyle Lewis & Vjorn Tucker Mamela by Mi Casa – Katya Abedian Lucky Star by K.O – Adam Zackon & Dale Fortune Hosh by Prince Kaybee featuring Sir Trill – Ofentse Best Produced Album of the Year In the Beginning was the End by Manana – Manana & Noble Ithemba by Luyolo – Marcus MC & Andy Keys Umsebenzi by Sjava – Delaydem, Ruff, Webmoms, Zadok &Vuyo Manyike Tugela Fairy: Made of Stars by Simmy – Sun-El Musician, Claudio Wayde, Da Capo, Mpho Mohlolong The Healers: The Last Chapter – Black Motion Best Engineered Album of the Year Swingle Bells by Jonathan Roxmouth – Adam Howard Goodluck Upclose by Goodluck – Murray Anderson & Andrew Rawborn Isambulo by 1020 Cartel Artists – Mfanafuthi Ruff The Second Coming by Kid Tini – James Smals, Kitie, Ron Epidemic & Tweezy Inganekwane by Zoe Modiga – Papi Diretsi & Songo Oyama Remix of the Year Jerusalema – Kid Fonque Ndanele - Dwson Sala Nabani – Sun-El Musician, Claudio & Kenza Speak Lord – Sculpturedmusic Yehla Moya – Da Capo Best Reggae Album The Journey – Ras Canly Persistence – Bongo Riot My Music – Freeky On the Frontline – Reign Africa Empathy Riddim – Lavoro Duro Best Amapiano Album Musical Kings – MFR Souls Back to Love – Junior Taurus I Am The King of Amapiano: Sweet & Dust – Kabza De Small Once Upon A Time In Lockdown – Kabza De Small & DJ Maphorisa (Scorpion Kings) Shonamalanga – Mas Musiq & Aymos Best Gqom Album We Don’t Play the Same Gqom – Que Make Cape Town Great Again – Mshayi & Mr Thela Isiqalo – DragerNation InzaloYekwaito – Zinaro Idando Kazi – Babes Wodumo