It’s the year of the newcomer. The list of SAMA23 nominees is dominated by new artists who released their debut or second projects in the past year. They are making great strides in the music industry, proving that youthful exuberance sometimes trumps experience.

The nominees were unveiled at Destiny Exclusive Hotels in Kempton Park, to much fanfare and celebrations. Nhlanhla Sibisi, RiSA CEO toasted the achievers. ‘This is the year newcomers take most of the limelight undoubtedly. It is truly encouraging to see so many young and new artists dominate the list. It can only bode well for the industry. The future is bright and we couldn’t be happier for them.’

Rap wunderkind Nasty C leads the SAMA23 pack with an impressive six nominations. His Bad Hair Extensions album earned him nods for Best Newcomer of the Year, Best Male Artist of the Year, Best Album of the Year and Best Rap Album. To top his SAMA23 honours, his videos Don’t Do It and Good Girls are in the running for Best Music Video of the Year.

Hot on the heels of 20-year-old Nasty C is rapper Kwesta with five nods, while new singing sensation Amanda Black bagged four.

Durban’s queen of gqom Babes Wodumo finds herself in the exlusive league of multiple nominations sitting pretty with three nods. Keeping her company are the likes of Idols SA 2013 winner Musa, DJ Ms Pru; young Afro-soul duo Soul Kulture; veteran vocalist Thandiswa Mazwai; dance pair Black Motion; gospel giant Dr Tumi; and the soulful trio The Soil.

For the much sought after Best Newcomer of the Year category Nasty C (Bad Hair Extensions) will slug it out with Afro-Soul duo Soul Kulture (Ngeliny’ilanga); Durban’s gqom pioneer Babes Wodumo (Gqom Queen Vol.1); house and pop musician Sketchy Bongo and Idols SA alumni Amanda Black (Amazulu).

The Best Duo/Group of the Year is a battle between The Soil (The Soil); Jaziel Brothers (Jaziel Brothers); Soul Kulture (Ngeliny’ilanga); The Parlotones (Trinkets Relics and Heirlooms); and Black Motion (Ya Badimo).

In the Best Female Artist of the Year, vocal heavyweight Kelly Khumalo (My Truth) takes on Thandiswa (Belede); Lebo Sekgobela (Restored); Babes Wodumo (Gqom Vol.1); and Amanda Black (Amazulu).

The Best Male Artist is an epic duel between Dr Tumi (Heart of A King); Kwesta (Dakar II); Musa (Mr Serious); NastyC (Bad Hair Extensions); and Nathi (Umbulelo Wam).

The coveted Best Album of the Year is a mesh-up of genres that will see established names square off against newcomers as Kwesta (Dakar II) competes with Black Motion (Ya Badimo); Amanda Black (Amazulu); Nasty C (Bad Hair Extensions); and Thandiswa (Belede).

In the genre specific categories, it will be battle royale in the Best Rap Album as Nasty C (Bad Hair Extensions) goes up against A Reece (Paradise); Khuli Chana (One Source); Kwesta (Dakar); and Stogie T (Stogie T).

The Best Dance Album is a tight competition between DJ Clock (The 5th Tick); Black Motion (Ya Badimo); Durban’s Finest (Durban Finest – Reloaded); Mobi Dixon (Live The Music); and NaakMusiQ (Born to Entertain)

The Best Traditional Faith Music Album will see the late powerhouse Sfiso Ncwane (Wethembekile Baba) take on Deborah Fraser (Uhambo); Spirit of Praise (Spirit of Praise Vol.6); Teboho (Nkutlwele Bohloko); and Zaza (Blowing The Horn of Chronicle)

In the Best Contemporary Faith Music Album Dr Tumi is nominated twice for his releases Heart of A King and Love and Grace. He faces stiff competition from Khaya Mthethwa (The Dawn); Lebo Sekgobela (Restored); and We Will Worship (Mmuso).

To seal her comeback, Thandiswa Mazwai’s album Belede booked her a place in the Best Jazz Album category where she competes with Darren English (Imagine Nation); Dave Reynolds & Pops Mohamed (Live in Grahamstown); Nduduzo Makhathini with Umgidi Trio and One Voice Vocal Ensemble (Inner Dimensions); and Sydney Mavundla (Luhambo).

The Best Afro Pop Album is a clash of the titans as Jaziel Brothers (Out of the Box) go head to head with The Soil (Echoes of Kofifi), Robbie Malinga (The Duets), Vusi Nova (Naninina) and Musa (Mr Serious).

The Best African Artist gong will be fought over by Jay Prayzah, Oliver Mtukudzi, Patoranking, Vee Mampeezy and Vuyo Katsha.

The glittering SAMA23 ceremony will be held in Sun City resort in the North West province on May 27. North West provincial government director of marketing and communication Shuping Sebolecwe commented: ‘The return of the SAMA23 in the province is very significant and could not have come at a better time when we are Rebranding, Renewing and Repositioning Bokone Bophirima. We are equally excited because this is not only going to be an entertainment event but an event that also concretises the five concretes of the fifth administration and contributes to the socio economic conditions of our people

‘They are a cultural expression of the national resolve to create social cohesion amongst the citizenry. An event of this magnitude puts our province and government on the map and is an event that shows that through Arts and Culture people can change their lives. The Department of Culture, Arts and Traditional Affairs wishes every nominated artist the best of luck. It always seems impossible until it is done.’

 SAMA 23 NOMINEES LIST

Best Newcomer of the Year

Soul Kulture – Ngeliny’ilanga
Babes Wodumo  – Gqom Queen Vol. 1
Sketchy Bongo- Unmasked
Nasty C – Bad Hair Extentions
Amanda Black – Amazulu

Best Duo/Group of the Year

The Soil – The Soil
Jaziel Brothers – Jaziel Brothers
Soul Kulture – Ngeliny’ilanga
The Parlotones – Trinkets  Relics & Heirlooms
Black Motion – Ya Badimo

Best Female Artist of the Year

Lebo Sekgobela – Restored
Babes Wodumo  – Gqom Queen Vol. 1
Kelly Khumalo – My Truth
Amanda Black – Amazulu
Thandiswa – Belede

Best Male Artist of the Year

Dr Tumi – Heart of a king
Kwesta – Dakar II
Musa  – Musa
Nasty C – Bad Hair Extentions
NATHI  – UMBULELO WAM

Best Album of the Year

Kwesta – Dakar II
Black Motion – Ya Badimo
Amanda Black – Amazulu
Nasty C – Bad Hair Extentions
Thandiswa – Belede

Best Rock Album

The Sweet Resistance – Where There Is Hope
Lost & Found – Lost & Found
Richard Stirton – Middle Ground
The Parlotones – Trinkets, Relics & Heirlooms
Albert Frost – The Wake Up

Best Pop Album

Matthew Mole – Run
LOCNVILLE – TASTE THE WEEKEND
GoodLuck – The Nature Within
Sketchy Bongo – Unmasked
TiMO ODV – Origins (Digital Edition)

Beste Pop Album

4Werke – 4 Warm
ADAM – Hoogtevrees
Dewald Wasserfall – Jy Is Die Storm
Kurt Darren – Sal Jy Met My Dans
Snotkop – HKGK

Best Adult Contemporary Album

Elvis Blue – Optics
Hugh Masekela – No Borders
Majozi – Fire
MANGO GROOVE – FACES TO THE SUN
Msaki – Zaneliza: How The Water Moves

Beste Kontemporêre Musiek Album

Adam Tas – Patatas en Pyptabak
Coenie de Villiers – Emoji
Joshua na die Reën – Die Wêreld Binne My
Refentse – My hart bly in ‘n taal
Ricus Nel – Ouskool Boerseun

Best African Adult Album

Dumza Maswana – Molo
Kelly Khumalo – My Truth
NATHI – UMBULELO WAM
Nozipho – Thando
Soul Kulture – Ngeliny’ilanga

Best Alternative Music Album

Arno Carstens – Die Aandblom 13
Chris Chameleon – Firmament
Native Young – Kings
Somerfaan – Alien Boogie Stuff
Tailor – Trust Part 1

Best R&B Soul Reggae Album

Afrotraction – Love and respect
Amanda Black – Amazulu
Brenda Mtambo – So Much More
Karabo – Matters of the heart
Tima Reece – 9

Best Rap Album

A Reece – Paradise
Khuli Chana – One Source
Kwesta – Dakar II
Nasty C – Bad Hair Extentions
Stogie T – Stogie T

Best Kwaito Album

Babes Wodumo – Gqom Queen Vol. 1
Bullistic – N.W.O (New World Order)
Dr Malinga – Goodwill
Taylor K – Paper Chase
Trademark & Zinhle Ngidi – Trademark & Zinhle Ngidi

Best Dance Album

DJ Clock – The 5th tick
Black Motion – Ya Badimo
Durbans’ Finest – Durbans’ Finest – Reloaded
Mobi Dixon – Live The Music
NaakMusiQ – Born to Entertain

Best Traditional Faith Music Album

Deborah Fraser – Uhambo
Sfiso Ncwane – Wethembekile Baba
Spirit Of Praise – Spirit Of Praise Vol.6
TEBOHO – NKUTLWELE BOHLOKO
Zaza – Blowing the horn of chronicle

Best Contemporary Faith Music Album

Dr Tumi – Heart of a king
Dr Tumi – Love and grace
Khaya Mthethwa – The Dawn
Lebo Sekgobela – Restored
We Will Worship – Mmuso

Best Traditional Music Album

Candy – Easy Come Easy Go
Dr Thomas Chauke Na Shinyori Sisters – Shimatsatsa No 34: Xiganga
Mmaausi – Monna Oa Sokelwa
Qadasi & Maqhinga – Lashis’ Ilanga
Shabalala Rhythm – Yebo Ngiyavuma

Best Maskandi Album

Imfez’emnyama – Monalisa