SAMA time: sunnyside up

2010-04-23 14:45

THE South African Music Awards (Samas) have come and gone. One had expected a level of maturity seeing that the awards turned sweet 16 this year . However, like many teenagers that age, they were erratic, predictable and imperfect.

Bad fashion aside, (there was an abundance of culprits from Lady Gagagwini – or is it Camagwini – to Thandiswa Mazwai with her oversized hip and shoulder implants) the yellow carpet was awash with celebrities that matter. Others, such as Trevor Noah in his tailored tux and Bonang Matheba in a Gert-Johan Coetzee red frock, were right on the money with their looks.

The state of the music industry

When Lira walked up the stage in that fetching yellow dress to pick up the best ­female award for the second time in a row, she cemented her place as the brightest star in the industry. She is probably the first woman to win a best female award based on a live concert performance.

DJ Black Coffee’s victory in the best male category was also a significant moment; he is the first DJ to win this category.

Forget TKZee, Durban trio Big Nuz are a force of nature. They got the entire Sun City Superbowl on a sugar rush with their smash hit Umlilo. And, as if that wasn’t enough, they bagged the best album of the year gong. Who said kwaito was dead? The trio have sucked the ink out of the pens of the obituary writers of this local genre.

After Big Nuz’s triple whammy, the question is, have the Samas softened up? For an awards show that established itself as a serious, if not snobbish platform, they have gone pop. Back in the day, Samas were notorious for upsets and for honouring “real” musicians, mostly jazz artists. Even at its height, kwaito never scooped the major categories. These days a house DJ and a kwaito band reign supreme at the Samas; if you didn’t know you’d think these were the MetroFM Awards, which are a popularity contest. How times have changed.

Memorable faux pas:

  • While time is a precious commodity on TV, the first Sama was only dished out in the 20th minute of the ceremony and the show ended 18 minutes over time. This calls for a tighter and sleeker production.
  •  The exclusion of popular YFM and late club DJ Monde Mabaso in the tribute to the deceased was shameful.
  • The Samas are broken up into two days, with Friday’s ceremony not broadcast on TV, but the winners are traditionally ­acknowledged in the live telecast. This year, however, they were completely ignored, leaving genres like R&B out in the cold.
  • The collaborations the awards were ­famous for have lost that wow factor.

Kudos for:

  • The first webcast of the Samas hosted by young jetsetters Sizwe Dhlomo, Bonang Matheba and Siya Ngwekazi. The real test, however, is in the numbers that tuned in to watch.
  • The stage took the space-age theme up a notch. The amazing three-piece creation gave it an international feel and edge.
  • While he scored a B instead of the A he got last year, funnyman Trevor Noah did well as a host, but repeated some jokes. We hope to see a new face next year.

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