Who’s in, who’s out for the Samas

2014-03-13 18:12

In the typical fashion of the SA Music Awards (Sama), the list of nominees has elicited gasps of surprise and murmurs of indignation for the awards show where the music industry pats itself on the back after an eventful 2013.

The age-old debate of “criteria” for a Sama nomination ensued as soon as music luminaries Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Jabu Hlongwane, Zahara, Khaya Mthethwa, Elvis Blue, Lulu Dikana and JSomething announced this year’s finalists at Carnival City in Brakpan on the East Rand.

Unlike most other music awards, the Samas are judged by a panel of specialists and experts. A musician’s fate is decided by this select group of opinion makers whose identities remain secret for the duration of the judging process to maintain credibility and ensure the independence of the awards.

It is only the Record of the Year category that is voted for by the public and the finalists will be announced at a later stage.

A little-known rock band, Gangs of Ballet, has stolen the thunder by raking in a staggering six nominations and an old favourite, Mi Casa, is also sitting pretty with six.

Newcomers reigned supreme with Nakhane Touré and Naima Kay leading the new breed of musicians with four nominations each, including Album of the Year.

Other names to take note of are Uhuru, MuzArt and iFani, who are redefining the music landscape.

It was the year of the comeback for Mafikizolo who snatched an impressive four nominations. Mandoza’s Sgantsontso album earned him a best kwaito nomination along with ’90s band, Alaska. Durban still dominates with three nominations going to Big Nuz, Character and Tzozo.

However, there are a few talked-about omissions.

Hip-hop heads have been in a tizz over the exclusion of Reason in the Best Rap Album category, which has Kwesta (fresh from his Metro FM Awards victory) iFani, AB Crazy, L-Tido and Molemi.

Also not considered is Jessica Mbangeni, the poet whose new album fused jazz with traditional Xhosa rhythms and poetry.

Tshedi Mholo’s solo effort was ignored. Hlengiwe Mhlaba’s album, one of her strongest, failed to get noticed.

» Talk to us: Who has been overlooked? Who on the list is overrated? Leave your comments below or join the conversation @City_Press

Zahara, whose debut album earned her a record eight awards at the 2012 ceremony, got just two nominations in the Female Artist of the Year and Best R&B/Soul/Reggae Album categories.

Although Zakes Bantwini enjoyed reasonable airplay with The Fake Book & Real Book: My Music Bible, he only managed to get one nod in the Best Dance Album category.

For the first time in a long time – if not ever – the Samas have no headline sponsor. It started off with FNB, then came Standard Bank and MTN, who pulled out a few weeks ago. This presents the awards, and the industry, with an opportunity to pull this one off on its own.

Let’s hope the production values benchmarked over the years are not compromised.

We have it on good authority that there are negotiations under way with some sponsors six weeks before the awards show takes place.

Full list – Sama nominees

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