Event Music

SAMA29 Nominees Announcement: Hip-Hop and Dance Artists Take Centre Stage

October 4, 2023

Hip-hop and dance artists snapped up top honours as the nominees for SAMA29 were announced this morning.

The Soweto Theatre in Jabulani, Soweto, buzzed with excitement as the industry gathered to toast finalists in this year’s edition of the SAMA nominees announcement. Albums and singles released between 1 February 2022 and 14 April 2023 were considered for SAMA29.

The announcement is a culmination of months of preparations behind the scenes as committees comprised of major and independent labels finalised SAMA29 rules and judging criteria as well as the selection of judges drawn from the music industry and ancillary professionals in media, academic institutions and cultural bodies. Simply put, the SAMA puts the artist first and is driven by the industry, for the industry.

AKA. Image source: Twitter/ akaworldwide
AKA. Image source: Twitter/ akaworldwide

And the SAMA29 Nominees are…

The late AKA leads the pack with a tally of no less than seven nods for his album Mass Country in the categories of:

  • Male Artist of the Year
  • Album of the Year
  • Best Engineered Album
  • Best Hip-Hop Album
  • Best Collaboration (for the single Lemons (Lemonade) featuring Nasty C)
  • Best Collaboration (for the single Company featuring Kiddominant)
  • Best Produced Music Video (for Lemons (Lemonade) featuring Nasty C

Hot on his heels is fellow rapper K.O who garnered no less than six nominations thanks to his album SR3 and the single Sete featuring Young Stunna and Blxckie. He is nodded in the categories of:

  • Male Artist of the Year
  • Album of the Year
  • Best Hip Hop Album
  • Best Collaboration
  • Best Produced Music Video and Remix of the Year for Sete featuring Young Stunna, Oxlade and Diamond Platnumz

Sjava’s Isibuko album earned him a spot in the fiercely contested:

  • Male Artist of the Year
  • Album of the Year
  • Best Produced Album
  • Best Engineered Album
  • Best Afro-Pop Album

The maestros of Amapiano, Kabza De Small and DJ Maphorisa earned at least four and three nominations respectively. They further walked away with two nods for their collaboration as Scorpion Kings.

Sincerely Anne bagged an impressive three nods for:

  • Newcomer of the Year
  • Female Artist of the Year
  • Best Engineered Album for To Whom It May Concern

Ntokozo Mbambo’s Lavish Worship is the only album by a woman competing in the Album of the Year category. She is also up for:

  • Female Artist of the Year award
  • Best Contemporary Faith Album

The Maskandi Album category is a battle royale between:

  • Khuzani for Umqhele Nethawula
  • Menzi with Ngeke Ungiphathe
  • Thokozani Langa’s Is’khiye Se-Coldroom
  • Abafana Bakamgqumeni for Iphakade Lami
  • Inkos’yamagcokama with Home Alone

In the Best Jazz Album category, In the Spirit of Ntu by Nduduzo Makhathini goes up against:

  • Linda Sikhakhane’s Isambulu
  • Thandi Ntuli’s Blk Elija & The Children of Meroe
  • Mthunzi Mvubu’s The 1st Gospel
  • Shane Cooper and Mabuta’s Finish the Sun

SAMA29: A reflection os SA’s diverse music taste

The nominees cut across a variety of genres and reflect the vibrant nature of South African music as well as the competitive spirit that fuels creativity and flair that feeds the pulse of the industry.

The nominees’ reveal event hosted by television personality Nomalanga Shozi, also included the announcement of KwaZulu-Natal province as the home of the SAMA for the next three years. It was attended by dignitaries such as:

  • Siboniso Duma, the MEC of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA)
  • Nhlanhla Sibisi, CEO of the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA)
  • High-ranking government officials
  • Musicians
  • Entertainment personalities i
  • Influencers

Siboniso Duma, KZN EDTEA Minister had this to say: “We bring warm wishes from more than 11, 2 million citizens from the Zulu Kingdom. The majority of people back home are excited that we are here for this historic announcement. We are humbled by the fact that we will host SAMA Awards over the next three years.”

Dichaba Phalatse, Marketing Manager of SABC Video Entertainment commented: “South African music plays a major role and as SABC1 we always want to make sure that local music is celebrated. The channel’s partnership with the South African Music Awards shows our commitment in supporting the legacy of local artists as they continue to produce music of all genres for South Africans to enjoy. Congratulations to all the SAMA29 nominees.”

RiSA CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi congratulated the nominees: “We are proud to present the class of SAMA29 who over a 14-month period put out some of the best tunes, collaborations and music videos in the country. We commend their artistry, resilience and tenacity that have led to them rising to the top and positioning themselves to be in line for the highest music accolade South Africa can bestow on an artist. We wish them well as we embark on the road to SAMA29 in KwaZulu-Natal.”

  • SAMA29 will be staged at the Durban ICC on the weekend of 17 and 18 November 2023 and broadcast live on SABC1.

Full list of SAMA nominees

Female Artist of the Year

  • Kelly Khumalo – From A God To A King
  • Ntokozo Mbambo – Lavish Worship
  • Sincerely Anne – To Whom it May Concern
  • Hle – Take Heart
  • Thandi Ntuli – Blk Elijah & The Children of Meroë

Male Artist of the Year

  • Kabza De Small – KOA II Part 1
  • AKA – Mass Country
  • Sjava – Isibuko
  • K.O – SR3    
  • Lloyiso – Seasons
Sjava. Image source: Twitter/Sjava_atm
Sjava. Image source: Twitter/Sjava_atm

Duo/Group of the Year

  • DJ Maphorisa and Visca – Ba Straata
  • Venom and Shishiliza – Love Is Pain
  • Mafikizolo – Idwala
  • DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small – Scorpion Kings Live Sun Arena 
  • Msaki and Tubatsi – Synthetic Hearts

Newcomer of the Year

  • Myztro – 2.0 Nkwari,
  • Blakka Yut – Unleashed   
  • Sincerely Anne – To Whom it May Concern,
  • Lloyiso – Seasons  
  • Venom and Shishiliza – Love Is Pain,

Album of the Year

  • Mass Country – AKA
  • SR3 – K.O
  • Isibuko – Sjava  
  • KOA II Part 1 – Kabza De Small
  • Lavish Worship – Ntokozo Mbambo

Best Engineered Album

  • To Whom it May Concern – Sincerely Anne (engineered and produced by Tjaart van der Walt and Daniel Baron)
  • Mass Country – AKA (engineered & produced by Robin Kohl and Itu)
  • Kanniedood – Francois van Coke (engineered & produced by Taylor Soundworks)
  • Blk Elijah & The Children of Meroë – Thandi Ntuli (engineered & produced by Shane, Tshepo, Thandi & Clinton)
  • Isibuko – Sjava, (engineered & produced by Ruff)

Best African Adult Contemporary Album

  • Celebrating African Song – Dumza Maswana,
  • Smile – Choko 
  • I am Gold – S’nazo 
  • Usiba Lwe Gazi – Nathi
  • Ubuhle Ubuhle – Lethiwe Sithole

Best Alternative Album

  • Glitch Vol 2: The Future Is Now – uBeyond  
  • Synthetic Hearts – Msaki and Tubatsi
  • Blue Lawns – The Great Yawn
  • Leaving All The Time – Bye Beneco
  • On the Romance of Being – Desire Marea

Best Amapiano Album

  • Amukelani – Kelvin Momo
  • Ba Straata – DJ Maphorisa and Visca
  • 2.0 Nkwari – Myztro
  • KOA II Part 1 – Kabza De Small
  • Scorpion Kings Live Sun Arena – DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small

Best Classical/Instrumental Album

  • Live in Europe 22 – CH2 
  • Fire Beast – Vox Chamber Choir and Franco Prinsloo
  • One Night On Earth – Derek Gripper
  • Maike – Juliet String Quartet
  • Sanctuary – Carol Thorns

Best Collaboration

  • K.O, Young Stunna featuring Blxckie – Sete
  • AKA featuring Nasty C – Lemons (Lemonade)
  • DJ Maphorisa and Visca featuring 2woshortrsa, Stompiiey, ShaunMusiQ, Ftears and Madumane – Ba Straata
  • Morda featuring Oscar Mbo and Murumba Pitch – Mohigan Sun
  • AKA featuring Kiddominant – Company

Best Pop Album

  • Things We Don’t Talk About – Jimmy Nevis
  • Heard You Got Love – Jeremy Loops
  • Game Over – Tyler Page
  • Seasons – Lloyiso
  • Petrichor – Amy Lilley

Best Produced Album

  • KOA II Part 1 – Kabza De Small (producer: Leslie George Theko, Artwork Sound, Da Muziqal Chef, Mdu aka TRP, Stakev, DJ Maphorisa and Felo Le Tee)
  • Things We Don’t Talk About – Jimmy Nevis (producer: Darren Petersen)
  • Amukelani – Kelvin Momo (producer: Kelvin Momo)
  • Lindokuhle – Lindokuhle (producer: Mthunzi, Howard, Herc, Tshepo Morone, DJ Maphorisa, Masiano)
  • Isibuko – Sjava (producer: Delayde, Ruff, Jah Cool)

Best Produced Music Video

  • Lemons (Lemonade) – AKA featuring Nasty C (producer: Tebogo Mabaso; director: Nate Thomas)
  • Sete – K.O featuring Young Stunna & Blxckie (producer: K.O, Tsholofelo Moremedi, Ted Magerman; director: Ted Magerman)
  • Be Free – Desire Marea (producer: Will Nicholson; Director: Imraan Christian
  • Been Thinking – Tyla (producer: Jimi Adesanya; director: Meiji Alabi)
  • Shine – Elaine (producer: Shayna Gianelli; director: Jesse Ray Diamond)

Best Reggae Album

  • Unleashed – Blakka Yut
  • Youth’s Cry – Botanist Mr Lamington
  • Red Carpet Live – Maximum Stylez
  • Flight More Riddim – Blackness Blue Productions
  • Healing – Lavoro Duro

Beste Kontemporere Musiek Album         

  • Sing, Hoop, Weerklink – Prop
  • Skree Net Sag – Alter Ego
  • Ep In F – Herman Kleinhans
  • Jagvat – Jan Rhaap
  • Toe Roep Ek Jou Naam – Jan Blohm & Ryno Velvet

Remix of the Year

  • Ndinovalo – Morda
  • Sete – K.O featuring Young Stunna, Oxlade & Diamond Platnumz
  • Hayii Citizen Deep Remix – Citizen Deep X Mzux Maen ft Yasmin Levy
  • Au dede – Karyendasoul  
  • Tobesta Remake – Myztro featuring Focalistic, Daliwonga, Shaunmusiq and Ftears

Rest of Africa Award

  • Sad Romance – Ckay  
  • Timeless – Davido
  • Worry – Lyre
  • Dynastie – Ferre Gola
  • Sounds of Peace – Moreira Chonguiça

Best Gqom Album

  • Meeting with the King – DJ Lag                   
  • Fikelephi – Sizwe Mdlalose
  • Love & Light – Cairo CPT
  • Nande 2.0 – DJ Sandiso
  • Ithuba – Newlandz Finest

Best African Indigenous Faith Album       

  • Emmanuel – JTG Gospel Choir        
  • Mantswe A Supileng – Spiritual Gospel Choir
  • Ikhoni Mfuyo – In Zion of Christ      
  • Ba Ya Mo Nyatsa – Wacha Mkhukhu Wachumlilo
  • Ntate Le Rato La Hao – Ingqayizivele Gospel Choir

Best Hip Hop Album

  • Religion – MashBeatz
  • Mass Country – AKA
  • SR3 – K.O
  • Life is Gangsta – Thato Saul
  • Diaspora – Maglera Doe Boy

Best Jazz Album

  • In the Spirit of Ntu – Nduduzo Makhathini
  • Isambulu – Linda Sikhakhane
  • Blk Elija & The Children of Meroe – Thandi Ntuli
  • The 1st Gospel – Mthunzi Mvubu
  • Finish the Sun – Shane Cooper and Mabuta

Best Kwaito Album

  • Speak n Vrostaan – Kwesta and Kabza De Small
  • R Mashesha – Big Nuz
  • I Am Who I Am – Nkiyase
  • Jukebox – Shisaboy
  • Barabbas – Taylor K

Best Maskandi Album

  • Umqhele Nethawula – Khuzani
  • Ngeke Ungiphathe – Menzi
  • Is’khiye Se-Coldroom – Thokozani Langa
  • Iphakade Lami – Abafana Bakamgqumeni
  • Home Alone – Inkos’yamagcokama

Best R&B Album

  • But Could The Moments in Between – Ndumiso Manana
  • Germander II – Lesego Kyle Mnyandu
  • 4LUV (Deluxe) – Sihle Sithole
  • Bad Weather – Nanette Siphesihle
  • Passion Fruit – Kabomo

Best Traditional Album

  • African Queen 2.0 – Makhadzi
  • Ke Bone Molelo O Timile – MmaAusi
  • A Reyeng Bahurutshe – Oarabele France Makgore
  • Obe Happy – Molebatsi Tsotetsi
  • Inkabi Nation – Big Zulu

Best Adult Contemporary Album

  • Dark Secrets – Louise Carver
  • Bait For Steps Forward – Nobuhle Ashanti
  • Memories – Drakensberg Boys Choir
  • Ndikhethiwe – Vusi Nova
  • Love – Viwo Kulati

Best Dance Album

  • Asante – Morda
  • Next Level – Russell Zuma
  • The Gospel According to Artwork Sounds – Grain
  • WL4OM – Bonga Ntozini
  • A New Dawn – Siyanda Makanya

Best Afro-pop Album

  • Isibuko – Sjava
  • From A God to A King – Kelly Khumalo
  • Idwala – Mafikizolo
  • Love is Pain – Venom
  • Ekhayakomama – Philadlozi Mfekayi

Best Rock Album

  • Kanniedood – Francois Badenhorst
  • Fine Thanks, and You? – Russell Coward
  • Hellcats – End of Days – Warwick Rautenbach/Alessandro Benigno
  • Fuzigish – Malcolm King
  • Testify – Basson Laubscher

Best Traditional Faith Album

  • The Overflow –  Dumi Mkokstad
  • Hoja Ke Sena Wena – IPCC
  • Ndiyabulela – Tsholofelo Ntuli
  • The Grace Encounter Vol.1 – Phumulani Radebe
  • Sedi Laka – Brown Mosiapoa

Best Contemporary Faith Album

  • Lavish Worship – Ntokozo Mbambo
  • Mhalamhala – Brenden Praise
  • Take Heart – Hle
  • Restored: The Jesus Collective – The Jesus Collective
  • Hope – Vincent Jiyane

Best Pop

  • Jona – Bernice van der Westhuizen
  • Insomnia – Brendan Peyper
  • Loufi Flippen Loufi – Ifan-Luc Carlo Handel
  • Hittegolf – Brandon Eloff
  • Die Onbekende – Renier van der Westhuizen

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