Davido, Psycho YP, Sarz & WurlD pick nominations for the South African music awards 2020

Since debuting in 1995, the South African Music awards (SAMAs) have made it a duty to spotlight the best and biggest of South Africa’s diverse music scene. In January, the award body set the ball rolling for this year’s edition, announcing that Music Video Of The Year would now be a fan voted category, like Record Of The Year, as well as the creation of the Best Produced Music Video category, bringing the total number of categories to 34.

The 26th edition of the SAMAs was initially scheduled to take place on June 2nd, at the Sun City Arena, however, with the ongoing pandemic derailing original plans, it is now slated to hold virtually, from August 3rd to 7th. This year’s festivities will be broadcast over five nights, with the first four episodes slated to last for 30 minutes and the finale will be on for 45 minutes. The episodes will comprise winner announcements and live performances from nominees, and they will be aired on Multichoice’s Mzansi Magic, as well as a livestream on the My Muze app.

After detailing the logistics, the award body rolled out the full list of nominees over the past week, initially starting off with those in the fan-voted categories, Record of the Year and Music Video of the year, then following up with the remaining categories. Scorpion King duo, DJ Maphosrisa and Kabza De Small, lead the entire pack with ten nominations, including three nods for collaboration of the year, two for Best Kwaito album and one for Best Produced album. Their third album, ‘The Return of the Scorpion Kings’, is also up for Best Engineered album, however, that nomination goes to Mas Musiq, the engineer behind the album.

Following closely is superstar producer, Prince Kaybee, who has nine nominations overall, including two nods each in the fan-voted categories. In addition to Best collaboration for the Msaki-assisted smash hit, “Fetch Your Life”, Kaybee’s third studio album, ‘Re Mmino’ scored him nods for Album of the year, Male artist of the year and Best Dance album.

Samthing Soweto rounds out the top three highest nominees with eight nominations, picking up nods for Album of the year and Best Afro-Pop album, following the critical acclaim and commercial success of his album, ‘Isiphithiphithi’. Other notable artists with multiple nominations include Ami Faku (Newcomer of the Year, Best Afro-Pop), Lady Zamar (Best Dance album, Female artist of the year), K.O (Best Hip-Hop album, collaboration of the year), Spha Mdlalose (Best Jazz album) and Bongo Riot Di Dancehall Wakanda (Album of the year, Best Reggae album).

Zooming out a bit, the Rest of Africa category is dedicated to non-South African artists, and this year’s nominees is dominated by Nigerian artists. In addition to Mozambique’s Isabel Novella and Sha Sha, the Zimbabwean singer who won Best New international act at the recent BET awards, the other nominees are Davido, rap ascendant Psycho YP, and the formidable pair of Sarz and WurlD. The diversity of these nominees is further indication of an increasingly omnivorous Nigerian music scene, where different sonic styles are making in-roads across the continent, regardless of their popularity at home.

Check out an abridged list of the SAMA26 nominations below. (You can find the full list here.)

Rest of Africa Award

Davido – ‘A Good Time’ (Nigeria)

Sha Sha – ‘Blossom’ (Zimbabwe)

Sarz & WurlD – ‘I Love Girls with Trobul’ (Nigeria)

Isabel Novella – ‘Metamorfose’ (Mozambique)

PsychoYP – ‘YPSZN2’ (Nigeria)

Album of the Year

Samthing Soweto – ‘Isiphithiphithi’

Prince Kaybee – ‘Re Mmino’

We Will Worship – ‘Seasons, Volume II’

Bongo Riot Di Dancehall Wakanda – ‘True Stories’

Sibusiso Mash Mashiloane – ‘Amanzi Nemifula: Umkhuleko’

Best Collaboration

Samthing Soweto (feat. Sha Sha, DJ Maphorisa & Kabza De Small) – “Akulaleki”

Prince Kaybee (feat. Msaki) – “Fetch Your Life”

MFR Souls (feat. DJ Maphorisa, Sha Sha & Kabza De Small) – “Love You Tonight”

K.O (feat. Nandi Madida) – “Say U Will”

Sha Sha (feat. DJ Maphorisa & Kabza De Small) – “Tender Love”

Newcomer of the Year

Ami Faku – ‘Imali’

Sbu Noah – ‘A David Kind of Psalm (Live)’

Spha Mdlalose – ‘Indlel’eyekhaya’

Ndabo Zulu & Umgidi Ensemble – ‘Queen Nandi: The African Symphony’

Viwe Mkizwana – ‘Tributes’

Male Artist of the Year

Benjamin Dube – ‘Glory in His Presence’

Samthing Soweto – ‘Isiphithiphithi’

Prince Kaybee – ‘Re Mmino’

Sibusiso Mash Mashiloane – ‘Amanzi Nemifula: Umkhuleko’

Bongo Riot Di Dancehall Wakanda – ‘True Stories’

Female Artist of the Year

Lady Zamar – ‘Monarch’

Ami Faku – ‘Imali’

Riana Nel – ‘Sterker’

Manu Grace – ‘June’

Spha Mdlalose – ‘Indlel’eyekhaya’

Best Afro Pop Album

Ami Faku – ‘Imali’

Bongo Maffin – ‘From Bongo With Love’

Samthing Soweto – ‘Isiphithiphithi’

Mthunzi – ‘Selimathunzi’

Blaq Diamond – ‘Umuthi’

Best R&B/Soul Album

Elaine – ‘Elements’

Tellaman – ‘God Decides’

Lungisa Xhamela – ‘My Heart to Your Soul’

Tshego – ‘Pink Panther’

Yanga Sobetwa – ‘Promised Land’

Best Kwaito Album

DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small – ‘Scorpion Kings’

DJ Maphorisa & Kabza De Small – ‘The Return of the Scorpion Kings’

Vigro Deep – ‘Baby Boy III’

DJ Tira – ‘Ikhenani’

MFR Souls – ‘The Beginning’

Best Hip Hop Album

YoungstaCPT – ‘3T’

Yanga Chief – ‘Becoming a Pop Star’

DJ Sliqe – ‘Injayam Vol.2’

K.O – ‘PTYunLTD’

Big Zulu – ‘Ungqongqoshe Wongqongqoshe’

Best Produced Album

‘Swansong’ (by Matthew Fink)

‘Scorpion Kings’ (by MFR Souls DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small & Vigro Deep)

‘Re Mmino’ (by Prince Kaybee)

‘Isiphithiphithi’ (by DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small, MFR Souls, Howard, Mas Musiq & Samthing Soweto)

‘In a Different Light’ (by Wouter Kellerman)

Best Engineered Album

‘I Write What I Dream’ (by Robin Walsh)

‘Isiphithiphithi’ (by Samthing Soweto, Pete Maher and Mas Musiq)

‘Promised Land’ (by Kurt Michael)

‘The Return of the Scorpion Kings’ (by Mas Musiq)

‘Into Dust/Waltz for Jozi’ (by Peter Auret)

Best Dance Album

Lady Zamar – ‘Monarch’

Prince Kaybee – ‘Re Mmino’

Oskido – ‘Akhiwe’

Malumz on Decks – ‘Find Your Way’

DJ Mshega – ‘Vibez’

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