Members of Beatenberg accept an award at SAMAXXI.

Capetonian indie-pop trio Beatenberg were the big winners at the XXI Annual South African Music Awards.

Capetonian indie-pop trio Beatenberg were the big winners at the XXI Annual South African Music Awards on Sunday 19 April, taking home a total of six awards for their album The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg.

At a star-studded live awards ceremony at the Sun City Superbowl, the band swept the key categories Album of the Year, Duo or Group of the Year and Best Pop Album.

Prior to that, during the non-broadcast component of the show when the industry awards were presented, Pluto (Remember You), Beatenberg’s smash hit anthem with DJ Clock, was named Best Selling Ring-back Tone and Best Selling Full-track Download, and also received the SAMPRA Award for Highest Airplay of the Year.

As the awards reached their climax, the anticipation was palpable among the 10 finalists before Danny K and Kabelo revealed that the winner of the Kia Record of the Year award was Caracara by KO ft. Kid X. The track had secured the most SMS votes from the South African public, signalling true music democracy in action as the awards turned 21 in the same year that the new South Africa comes of age.

The XXI Annual South African Music Awards impressed with a spectacular live show hosted by HHP and featuring slick performances by several nominees and winners. Among the highlights were an on-stage collaboration between AKA, Duncan and Mdu Masilela, another cross-genre splice featuring Simphiwe Dana and Kurt Darren, and a rock-meets-rap mash-up featuring Prime Circle and Cassper Nyovest.

Nyovest, who had headed into the XXI Annual South African Music Awards with a mammoth five nominations, picked up the Newcomer of the Year Award. Fellow hip-hop artist AKA walked away with the coveted Male Artist of the Year SAMA. But in the Best Rap Album category, in which both were nominated, the award went to K.O., who also scooped the trophy for Best Collaboration (Caracara, featuring Kid X).

Another major winner was flautist Wouter Kellerman, whose Grammy-winning album Winds of Samsara won the award for Best Classical/Instrumental Album. Kellerman and Ricky Kej also shared the Best Producer of the Year award for the album. He was also garlanded with the International Achievement Award, sponsored by the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO).

Namibian-born singer-songwriter Riana Nel also now has two prized SAMAs to adorn her mantelpiece; for Beste Pop Album (Afrikaans) and Best Selling Album.

Bucie was named Female Artist of the Year, while songstress Lira added to her growing collection of SAMAs with another Best Live DVD trophy. Veteran musician McCoy Mrubata collected the laurels for Best Jazz Album, with Professor triumphing in the Best Kwaito Album category.

The Best Rock Album category was won by aKing, with rock music also featuring prominently in the Best Music Video of the Year category, won by director Ryan Kruger for Prime Circle’s Let the Night In. Bittereinder’s Skerm was crowned Best Alternative Album.

Black Motion clinched the Best Dance Album honours, with the track Indlela Yam winning the Remix of the Year Award for DJ Sbu, Robbie Malinga and Mojalefa Thebe.

Maleh, Niemand and Dewald Wasserfall were the victors in the African, English and Afrikaans categories for adult contemporary music respectively. And Afrotraction swept aside strong competition to conquer the Best R&B/Soul/Reggae Album category.

Lifetime Achievement Awards, sponsored by Amstel, were handed to kwaito trailblazers Mandla “Spikiri” Mofokeng and Mdu Masilela. On a poignant note, a third Lifetime Achievement Award was presented posthumously to the late, great jazz genius, Zim Ngqawana.

There was star power in abundance on the night, with awards presented by the likes of Khaya Mthethwa, Dozi, Ringo Madlingozi, Maleh, Reason, Bucie, Trompies, Zama Ngcobo, Arno Carstens, Rob & Fix, Thami Ngubeni, Benjamin Dube, Skwatta Kamp, Vuyo Dabula, Letoya Makhene, Pearl Thusi, Zuluboy and Kabelo.

It all added up to a glorious showcase of South African music excellence by a constellation of new, established and pioneering stars in the local music pantheon.

Full list of SAMAXXI winners:


Album of the Year

Beatenberg - The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg

Duo or Group of the Year

Beatenberg - The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg

Female Artist of the Year

Bucie - Princess of House (Easy to Love)

Male Artist of the Year

AKA - Levels

Newcomer of the Year

Cassper Nyovest -  Tsholofelo

Best Rock Album

AKing - Morning After

Best Pop Album

Beatenberg - The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg

Beste Pop Album (Afrikaans)

Riana Nel - Die Regte Tyd

Best Rap Album

K.O.  - Skhanda Republic

Best Kwaito Album

Professor - University of Kalawa Jazmee Since 1994

Best Dance Album

Black Motion - Fortune Teller

Best Traditional Faith Music Album

S’fiso Ncwane -  Bayede Baba

KIA Record of the Year

Caracara – K.O. ft. Kid X

Lifetime Achievement Awards

Zim Ngqawana    

Mdu Masilela          

Mandla “Spikiri” Mofokeng

International Achievement Award

Wouter Kellerman

Best Adult Contemporary Album

Niemand  - Back Again

Beste Kontemporêre Musiek Album

Dewald Wasserfall -  #EkEnJy

Best African Adult Album

Maleh - You Make My Heart Go

Best Alternative Album

Bittereinder - Skerm

Best R&B/Soul/Reggae Album

Afrotraction -  For the Lovers

Best Contemporary Faith Music Album

Loyiso Bala - Power Love Sound

Best Traditional Music Album

Botlhale Boikanyo - Spoken Word & Music

Best Maskandi Album

Thokozani Langa - Igema Lami

Best Jazz Album

McCoy Mrubata - Brasskap Sessions Vol. 2

 Best Classical and/or Instrumental Album

Wouter Kellerman - Winds of Samsara

Best Live DVD

Lira - First Decade (producer: Robin Kohl)

Best Collaboration

K.O. ft. Kid X - Caracara

Remix of the Year

DJ Sbu, Robbie Malinga   Indlela Yam by DJ Sbu & Mojalefa Thebe

Best Music Video of the Year

Ryan Kruger (director)  Let the Night In  by Prime Circle

Best Producer of the Year

Wouter Kellerman & Winds of Samsara by Wouter Kellerman

Ricky Kej

Best Engineer of the Year

Brian O’Shea, Crighton   Johnny Apple by Johnny Apple

Goodwill & Marius Brouwer 

Best Selling Mobile Music Downloads

Best Selling Album

Die Regte Tyd – Riana Nel

Best Selling DVD

Vol. 18 One Purpose – Joyous Celebration

Best Selling Ring-Back Tone

Pluto (Remember You) – DJ Clock ft. Beatenberg

Best Selling Full-Track Download

Pluto (Remember You) – DJ Clock ft. Beatenberg


Highest Airplay of the Year (2014)

Pluto (Remember You) – DJ Clock ft. Beatenberg