SAMA nominees Karen Zoid and Kahn

Voice SA judges among nominees.

Five acts are in the race with four nods apiece, with a cross-section of genres sharing the spotlight.

Dreamy Afro-soul newcomer Nathi, house music supremo Black Coffee, rising rappers Riky Rick and Emtee, and sultry songbird Zonke Dikana share the nominations spoils at the 22nd Annual South African Music Awards, grabbing an impressive four nods each.

The contenders for this year’s awards were announced amid great excitement and anticipation in Soweto on Thursday 21 April. The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), the official passenger rail transport sponsor, ferried the VIP guests and media on the Metrorail Business Express to the Soweto Theatre, a landmark venue, located in Jabulani in the heart of Soweto, for the nominations “reveal”. Guests were escorted into the venue and then entertained by young performers from the Morris Isaacson High School, which is the very school that played a major role in the Soweto Uprising in 1976, forty years ago.
Chairperson of the South African Music Awards, Refiloe Ramogase welcomed everyone with a poignant speech about the stance that the Annual South African Music Awards have taken this year with the statement that “The Future is Here”. “Soweto not only serves as a reminder of the selfless bravery of our youth 40 years ago, but also reminds us that actions motivated by yesterday, taken today, set the course for the tomorrow.

If one is bold enough, one can change not only the course of history, but the course of the future. This is the dawn of a bold new horizon within the Industry; the mass adoption of technology, the rise of the independent label, the endless stream of new distribution channels, seemingly limitless opportunities for cross-genre collaboration, Virtual Reality concerts on your phone, Digital Maskandi, Urban Gospel; all indicators of the transformation of our musical landscape,” commented Refiloe.

Young blood features strongly in this year’s nominations, with three of the five Album of the Year nominees being breakthrough artists: Emtee, Nathi and Tresor, who’ll be competing against seasoned campaigners Francois van Coke and Black Coffee. The same three young guns will also vie against Riky Rick and Fifi Cooper in the Best Newcomer category.
Van Coke and fellow Afrikaans rocker Karen Zoid made a strong showing, with three nominations apiece. Other artists and bands that have been singled out for creative excellence this year, bagging three nominations each, include jazzman Marcus Wyatt and the ZAR Jazz Orchestra, dance music favourites Mi Casa, house DJ Mobi Dixon, Afro-soul songstress Zahara and acoustic pop-folk sensation Tresor.
The race for Best Male Artist is guaranteed to be a closely fought one, with globetrotting superstar Black Coffee and influential rock rebel Van Coke hoping that experience will see them triumph over the newbies Nathi, Riky Rick and Emtee. In the Best Female Artist category, the three Zs – Zoid, Zonke and Zahara – will slug it out for top honours with Fifi Cooper and Judith Sephuma.
On hosting the 22nd Annual South African Music Awards, The Mayor of the City of Durban, CLLR James Nxumalo said "For us as the City of Durban, we are very excited to host the SAMAs. The City of Durban has worked hard to build its brand, and our partnership with the SAMAs will further strengthen the position of Durban as the number one tourism destination in the country and one of the best in the world.  As the City of Durban we are ready to welcome the music and entertainment industry to Durban, the warmest place to be”  
Ticket sales for the 22nd Annual South Africa Music Awards taking place on Saturday, 4 June will be open to the public on Friday, 22 April at 12 noon. Tickets are R350 and available from Computicket.

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Nominees for the 22nd Annual South African Music Awards:

Album of the Year
Francois van Coke                       Francois van Coke    
Emtee                                          Avery 
Nathi                                            Buyelekhaya  
Tresor                                          VII
Black Coffee                                Pieces of Me
Duo or Group of the Year
Desmond & the Tutus                   Enjoy Yourself
Witness the Funk                         Finding Nomusa        
Marcus Wyatt & the ZAR              One Night in the Sun
Jazz Orchestra
Junior Taurus &                            Cotton Candy
Lady Zamar                                  
Big Nuz                                        For the Fans   
Female Artist of the Year
Judith Sephuma                            One Word      
Zahara                                         Country Girl    
Fifi Cooper                                    20Fifi  
Karen Zoid                                    Drown Out the Noise 
Zonke                                           Work of Heart
Male Artist of the Year  
Nathi                                            Buyelekhaya  
Black Coffee                                Pieces of Me  
Riky Rick                                     Family Values
Emtee                                         Avery 
Francois van Coke                       Francois van Coke
Newcomer of the Year
Riky Rick                                      Family Values
Emtee                                           Avery 
Tresor                                           VII       
Fifi Cooper                                    20Fifi  
Nathi                                             Buyelekhaya  
Best Rock Album           
Desmond & the Tutus                   Enjoy Yourself
Francois van Coke                        Francois van Coke
Shortstraw                                    Youthless
Karen Zoid                                    Drown Out the Noise
Saarkie                                         Reisiger
Best Pop Album 
Tresor                                           VII
Lakota Silva                                  Pop: The Mix Tape
Loki Rothman                                The Way Back
Can Skylark                                  Overdrive
Vincent Bones                              Shaded Soul
Beste Pop Album (Afrikaans)   
Karlien van Jaarsveld                  My Hartjie
Brendan Peyper                          Stop, Wag, Bly Nog ’n Bietjie
Vaughan Gardiner                        Sit Vanaand op Herhaal
Pierre Rossouw                           In my Bloed
Suzanne                                     Vuurbestand
Best Adult Contemporary Album        
Judith Sephuma                              One Word
Watershed                                      Watch the Rain
Karen Zoid & Various                       Republiek van Zoid Afrika Vol. 2
Kahn                                              Salt
Josie Field & Laurie Levine              Tigerlily
Beste Kontemporêre Musiek Album   
Elvis Blue                                     Êrens in die Middel van Nêrens
Andriëtte                                       Pêrel vir ’n Kroon                   
Neil Somers                                  Hierdie Hande
Bok van Blerk                               Sing Afrikaner Sing
Stiaan Reynierse                           Sonde
Best African Adult Album         
Dizu Plaatjies & Friends                 Ubuntu – The Common String
Kabomo                                        Sekusile
Thiwe                                            Soul Therapy
L’wei Netshivhale                           Mudzimu washu
Jessica Mbangeni                          Busisiwe – Tribute to the African      Heroines
Best Alternative Album 
Petite Noir                                     La Vie Est Belle/Life is Beautiful
Sannie Fox                                    Serpente Masjien
The Plastics                                  In Threes
Moonchild Sanelly                         Rabulapha!
Die Heuwels Fantasties                 Ja. Nee. Lekker (Deluxe)
Best R&B/Soul/Reggae Album
Nathi                                              Buyelekhaya
Zonke                                            Work of Heart
Olwethu                                         Imbewu
Zahara                                          Country Girl
The Muffinz                                   Do What You Love
Best Rap Album 
Emtee                                           Avery
Kid X                                            3 Quarter Pace
Da L.E.S                                       North God
Riky Rick                                       Family Values
Zakwe                                           Impande
Best Kwaito Album        
Big Nuz                                         For the Fans
Dbn Nyts                                       Believe
Kabelo Mabalane                           Immortal Vol. 3
Dj Bongz                                       Game Changer
Mzansi                                          North Coast Vibe
Best Dance Album         
Black Coffee                                 Pieces of Me
Mi Casa                                        Home Sweet Home
Mobi Dixon                                   Tribal Soul Special Edition
DJ Merlon                                    Original Copy
Junior Taurus & Lady Zamar          Cotton Candy
Best Traditional Faith Music Album    
TYGC Family                              The Journey Begins
Worship House                            Project 12 Praise Live
Worship House                            True Worship 2015
Dumi Mkokstad                           Ukhona Uthixo
Women in Praise                         Various Artists
Best Contemporary Faith Music Album         
Ntokozo Mbambo                        Spirit and Life
Mark Counihan                            To the Brave Ones
Mahalia Buchanan                       Redeemed to Worship
24 Skies                                     Endless Anthem                    
Benjamin Dube                            Sanctified in His Presence                
Best Maskandi Album
Imithente                                      Ichakijana
Thokozani Langa                         Khuzeka Mshana
Shwi no Mtekhala                        Bazali Bami
Buselaphi                                    Gabi Gabi
Phuzekhemisi                              Woze Durban
Best Jazz Album
Marcus Wyatt & the ZAR
Jazz Orchestra                             One Night in the Sun             
Nduduzo Makhathini                     Listening to the Ground
Benjamin Jephta Quintet              Homecoming             
Amandla Freedom Ensemble       Bhekisiwe
Bokani Dyer                                  World Music
Best Classical and/or Instrumental Album
Wouter Kellerman                        Love Language
Guy Buttery                                  Guy Buttery
Deep South                                  Heartland
Cape Consort                               Christoph & Sebastian           
KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic        Mintirho ya SJ Khosa
Best Live Audiovisual Recording
Jimmy Dludlu                                Live at Emperors Palace
Krone                                            Krone 2
Ntokozo Mbambo                         Spirit and Life
Neyi & Omega                              Friends in Praise
Benjamin Dube                             Sanctified in His Presence
Best Collaboration
Dbn Nyts ft. Zinhle Ngidi              Shumaya
& Trademark
Shekinah x Kyle Deutsch             Back to the Beach
AKA ft. Redsan, Burna                 All Eyes on Me
Boy & Stoneboy               
Major League DJz ft.                    Sylza Tsotsi
Cassper Nyovest,
Okmalumkoolkat, Riky
Rick & Carpo                                            
Khuli Chana ft.                              No Lie
Best Music Video of the Year
Jack Parow & Freshly Ground     Army of One
Riky Rick ft. Cassper                    Fuseg
Nyovest & Anatii              
Al Bairre & PH Fat                       Caviar Dreams
iFani                                             Ayadelela
Monark                                         Negatives Deluxe
Best Produced Album of the Year
Zahara                                          Country Girl
Mi Casa                                        Home Sweet Home
Sannie Fox                                   Serpente Masjien
Mark Counihan                             To the Brave Ones
Zonke                                           Work of Heart
Best Engineered Album of the Year
Black Coffee                                Pieces of Me
Brendan Peyper                           Stop, Wag, Bly Nog ’n Bietjie
Zonke                                           Work of Heart
Mi Casa                                        Home Sweet Home
Marcus Wyatt & the ZAR              One Night in the Sun
Jazz Orchestra                
Best Remix of the Year
DJ Sliqe                                        Do Like I Do Remix
AKA                                              Baddest Remix
Mobi Dixon                                    My Sugar
Mobi Dixon                                    Never Let Me Go Remix
The Fraternity                               Bheka Mina Ngedwa Amplified
Category winners to be announced at the awards ceremony:

Special Awards
International and Lifetime Achievement Awards
·         Best Selling Album
·         Best Selling DVD
·         Best Selling Mobile Music Download
·         Best Selling True-Tone
·         Best Selling Ring-Back Tone
·         Best Selling Full-Track Download
·         Highest Airplay of the Year