The dominance of newcomers across South Africa’s major music awards has become a norm.
In the past two years, emerging artists have come to rule both the South African Music Awards (Samas) and the Metro FM Music Awards.
Pietermaritzburg born rapper Nasty C, leads the Sama nominees with six nods in the categories best male, best newcomer, best rap album and two nods in the best video category.
The 20-year-old rap wizard is closely followed by rapper Kwesta with five, Amanda Black with four, and queen of Gqom music, Babes Wodumo, who comes in with three nominations.
Newcomers and Afro-soul crooners from Cape Town Soul Kulture feature prominently as favourites with three nods, sharing the best duo and group category with Jaziel Brothers, The Soil, Parlotones and Black Motion.
The nominees were announced at the Destiny Hotel in Kempton Park.
Speaking at the event, Recording Industry of South Africa (Risa) executive Nhlanhla Sibisi said the dominance of the awards by new artists is a good sign for the South African recording industry and its future.
“This is the year newcomers take most of the limelight. It is truly encouraging to see so many new young artists dominate the list,” Sibisi said.
“It bodes well for the industry, proving that the future is bright. We could not be happier for them.”
After being held in Durban last year due to renovations, the awards will this year return to Sun City where many of nominated artists will be crowned on May 26.
Last month, the organisers of the awards toasted the news that the entries for this year had come in their numbers, with more than 700 names from across South Africa’s musical genres were received – a phenomenal growth from the previous year of 470 entries.