Beatenberg members pose for a picture.

Nominations reveal hip-hop as the year’s dominant genre across the major categories.

Hip-hop heavyweights Cassper Nyovest and K.O. lead the nominations for the South African Music Awards in its 21st year, with five nods respectively; the same number bagged by Capetonian pop trio Beatenberg.

The nominations for this year’s awards, branded #SAMAXXI as the event comes of age in a thrilling fashion, were unveiled during a press conference on Thursday, 12 March 2015, at The Rand Club in Johannesburg and will culminate in a star-studded party later the same evening at Cocoon Lounge in Sandton.

Nyovest is in the running for awards in the Best Rap Album, Best Collaboration, Best Album, Best Male Artist and Best Newcomer categories. Fellow rapper K.O., with two nominations for Best Collaboration, will be competing head to head with him in all these categories except Best Newcomer.

Making matters even more juicy is the fact that AKA and Duncan are also nominated for three major awards each, ensuring that the XXI edition of the South African Music Awards will be a highly competitive affair.

The hip-hop heads have some serious competition; flying the pop music flag high at the awards will be Beatenberg, who are up for gongs in the Best Pop Album, Best Collaboration, Best Album, Best Duo/Group and Best Newcomer categories.

Prime Circle are proving that after 14 years of music making, they still have new tricks up their sleeve with four nominations for Best Rock Album, Best Music Video, Best Producer and Best Engineer for their album Let the Night In.

Hot on their heels with three nods each are fellow industry veterans Ringo Madlingozi, whose long-awaited new release has earned him nominations for Best African Adult Album, Best Male Artist and Album of the Year, and McCoy Mrubata, who is competing for glory in the categories for Best Jazz Album, Best Engineer and Best Duo or Group.

On a poignant note, the late Lulu Dikana, the sister of fellow songbird Zonke Dikana, has received three posthumous nominations for Best R&B/Soul/Reggae Album, Best Producer and Best Female Artist.

The Album of the Year category, always a closely fought battle, will see stalwart Ringo slug it out with young guns Beatenberg, Nyovest, K.O. and The Soil. Beatenberg and Nyovest will come up against Duncan, as well as Jeremy Loops (also nominated for Best Alternative Album) and Howie Combrink (a contender in the Best Adult Contemporary Album category), in the Best Newcomer category.

South Africa’s newest Grammy Award winner, flautist Wouter Kellerman, is up for accolades in two categories: Best Classical/Instrumental Album and Best Producer.

Last year multiple Grammy Award winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo were honoured with a lifetime achievement award and this year, the XXI Annual South African Music Awards will also be honouring living legends of the local music industry with Lifetime Achievement Awards, announced prior to the awards ceremony.

Things are poised to become even more interesting when the 10 contenders for the KIA Record of the Year (#KiaROTY) are announced on Friday, 13 March 2015.

“Apart from charting yet another fantastic year of South African music, this year’s South African Music Awards will be a truly memorable affair, coming of age in spectacular fashion as we salute the legacy that our musical forebears bequeathed to us while looking towards the bright new horizons and opportunities that beckon for our industry,” said Mika Chauke, Head of Communications and Stakeholder Relations for the XXI Annual South African Music Awards.

Prepare for all the red carpet glamour, the nail biting tension and the drama, tears and hugs, as the countdown begins to the most prestigious music awards on the South African music calendar.

Use the hashtag #SAMAXXI on social media platforms to rewind to when you were 21 as the XXI Annual South African Music Awards looks back and assesses how far the country and the music industry has come in the 21 years since the advent of democracy, and the birth of the awards.

For more information, visit and find the nominated albums at

The XXI Annual South African Music Awards is organised by the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA).

Nominees for the XXI Annual South African Music Awards:
Album of the Year
Beatenberg -  The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg
Cassper Nyovest - Tsholofelo
K.O. - Skhanda Republic
Ringo Madlingozi - Vulani
The Soil - Nostalgic Moments

Duo or Group of the Year
Beatenberg - The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg
Bittereinder - Skerm
BlackByrd -  Home
McCoy - Mrubata Brasskap Sessions Vol. 2
The Soil - Nostalgic Moments

Female Artist of the Year
Bucie - Princess of House (Easy to Love)
Lulu Dikana - I Came to Love
Maleh - You Make My Heart Go
Moneoa - Ndim Lo
Simphiwe Dana - Firebrand

Male Artist of the Year
AKA - Levels
Cassper Nyovest - Tsholofelo
Jimmy Nevis - The Masses
K.O. - Skhanda Republic
Ringo Madlingozi - Vulani

Newcomer of the Year
Beatenberg -  The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg
Cassper Nyovest - Tsholofelo
Duncan - Street Government
Howie Combrink - Eat it While it’s Hot
Jeremy Loops - Trading Change

Best Rock Album
aKing - Morning After
Prime Circle - Let the Night In
Reburn -  Majestic
Taxi Violence - Tenfold
Zebra & Giraffe - Knuckles
Best Pop Album
Beatenberg - The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg
Jimmy Nevis - The Masses
Monark - Negatives
The Kiffness  - KIFF
Toya Delazy - Ascension
Beste Pop Album
Bobby van Jaarsveld - Maak ’n Wens
Eden - Nooit Oud Raak Nie
Kurt Darren - Lied vir die Vrou
Nádine - Skildery
Riana Nel - Die Regte Tyd
Best Adult Contemporary Album
Arno Carstens - Lightning Prevails
BlackByrd - Home
Howie Combrink - Eat it While it’s Hot
Josie Field - S’bongile
Niemand - Back Again
Beste Kontemporêre Musiek Album
Adam Tas - Want Jy is Boer
Chris Chameleon & Posduif - Daniella Deysel
Dewald Wasserfall -  #EkEnJy
Dozi - Hande Vol Genade
Pieter Koen - Wat die Hart Van Vol Is
Best African Adult Album
Kelly Khumalo - Back to My Roots
Maleh - You Make My Heart Go
Max-Hoba - Travelling Man
Ringo Mandlingozi - Vulani
Simphiwe Dana - Firebrand
Best Alternative Album

Bittereinder - Skerm
Bye Beneco - Space Elephant
Dassie - Mistress
Jeremy Loops - Trading Change
Tailor - Light
Best R&B/Soul/Reggae Album
Afrotraction - For the Lovers
Lulu Dikana - I Came to Love
Moneoa - Ndim Lo
The Soil - Nostalgic Moments
Vusi Nova - Did It for Love
Best Rap Album
AKA - Levels
Duncan - Street Government
Cassper Nyovest - Tsholofelo
K.O. - Skhanda Republic
Reason - Audio High Definition
Best Kwaito Album
L’vovo Derrango - The Boss
Phi & Ginger - Licence to Hustle
Professor - University of Kalawa Jazmee Since 1994
Thebe - Legend
Trompies - Delicious
Best Dance Album
Black Motion - Fortune Teller
Bucie - Princess of House (Easy to Love)
Cuebur - The Brand New Me: Soul Candi Sessions 2015 (Disc 2)
Da Capo - Da Capo
DJ Clock - The 4th Tick: A Clockumentary
Best Traditional Faith Music Album

Andile KaMajola  - Chapter 6 Ujehova Ungibiyele
Rebecca Malope - Ama VIP
Rofhiwa Manyaga  - Victory in the Blood
S’fiso Ncwane - Bayede Baba
Worship House - Live Project 11
Best Contemporary Faith Music Album
Khaya Mthethwa - The Uprising (Limited Edition)
Loyiso Bala - Power Love Sound
Ndo Dlakadla - Rhythm of Worship
Tebello Sukwene - He’s Alive
Word and Life - Freedom

Best Traditional Music Album
Botlhale Boikanyo - Spoken Word & Music
Brian Finch - Living for Yesterday
Imfez’emnyama - Palesa
Impumelelo - siporoporo
Qadasi (David Jenkins) -  Uhambo Olusha   

Best Maskandi Album
Abakwamnyandu - KoMalume
Amawele Ka Mamtshawe - Mhla Uphelamandla
Ichwane Lebhaca - Ohulumeni
Maqhinga Radebe - iFacebook
Thokozani Langa - Igema Lami
Best Jazz Album

Herbie Tsoaeli - African Time Quartet in Concert
Kyle Shepherd Trio - Dream State
Marcus Wyatt &  Maji Maji in the Land of Milk and Honey Language 12    
McCoy Mrubata - Brasskap Sessions Vol. 2
Nduduzo Makhathini - Mother Tongue
Best Classical and/or Instrumental Album
CH2 Guitar Duo - Soos in die Ou Dae
Charl du Plessis Trio - Baroqueswing
Tony Cox - Padkos
University of Pretoria - Phoenix Camerata  
Wouter Kellerman - Winds of Samsara

Best Live DVD
Benjamin Dube Renewal in His Presence (producers: Aubrey Peacock & Benjamin Dube)
Krone - Krone Live (producer: Ben Heyns)
Lira - First Decade (producer: Robin Kohl)
Spirit of Praise Spirit of Praise Vol. 5 (producers: Aubrey Peacock, Benjamin Dube & Oupa Montshiwagae)
Various Artists   Innibos is Groot 2014 ‘Live’ (producer: Barry Pretorius)
Best Collaboration
AKA ft. K.O. -  Run Jozi
Cassper Nyovest ft. Gusheshe - OkMalumkoolkat  
DJ Clock ft. Beatenberg - Pluto
K.O. ft. Kid X  -  Caracara
The Soil ft. Ladysmith - Hamba Uyosebenza
Black Mambazo    
Best Music Video of the Year
Alessio Bettocchi (director) -  Yaya by DJ Dimplez ft. Dream Team & Anatii   
Mzi Kumalo (director) - Turn You On by Mi Casa
Ryan Kruger (director) - Let the Night In by Prime Circle
Kyle Lewis (director) - In Defence of My Art by Tumi Molekane
Zakes Bantwini (director) - Ghetto by Zakes Bantwini
Best Producer of the Year
Lulu Dikana & Powella Tiemo -   I Came to Love by Lulu Dikana
Ewald Jansen van Rensburg - Negatives by Monark
Denholm Harding - Let the Night In by Prime Circle
David Scott - KIFF by The Kiffness
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  

Dave Reynolds & Peter -  The Light of Day by Dave Reynolds
Peter Auret - Brasskap Sessions Vol. 2 by McCoy Mrubata
Brendyn ‘Rusti’ Rossouw  - Let the Night In by Prime Circle
Jürgen von Wechmar - Ascension by Toya Delazy
Rogan Kelsey, Ross Fink
& Jaziel Sommers   
Remix of the Year
DJ Sbu, Robbie Malinga - Indlela Yam by DJ Sbu
& Mojalefa Thebe
Select Play - Tsiki Tsiki Remix by Duncan
Goldfish Moonwalk Away (Goldfish Moon Landing Mix) Radio Edit by Goldfish
Heavy K - Personal Paradise by Danny K featuring Donald
Riky Rick - Amantombazane by Riky Rick

Category winners to be announced at the awards ceremony: Kia Record Of The Year
Special Awards
International Achievement Awards
Lifetime Achievement Awards
Best Selling Mobile Music Download
Best Selling Album
Best Selling DVD
Best Selling Mobile Music Download
Best Selling Ring-Back Tone
Best Selling Full-Track Download

Highest Airplay of the Year