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Musica: Newly announced MTN SAMA18 Nominees set the stage for SA music’s biggest night

The annual MTN South African Music Awards nominees were announced this morning to members of the media and the music industry. The event was held at Turbine Hall, in Johannesburg’s Newtown District.

Zahara is the frontrunner for the 18th Annual MTN South African Music Awards with a massive seven nominations for her album Loliwe – this includes three in the Top 5 categories and one for MTN Record of the Year.

The Soul-House trio, Mi Casa is close on her heels with five nominations in total, four are for their debut album Mi Casa Music, the fifth nomination is for the MTN Record of the Year for their track, These Streets.

Also with five nominations is another newcomer, Kwa-Zulu Natal emcee Zakwe, who is in the running for five statuettes for Best Street Urban Album, Remix of the Year, Album of the Year, Male Artist of the Year and Newcomer of the Year when MTN SAMA 18 takes place on Sunday April 29th and Monday April 30th at the Sun City Resort.

The nominees were announced by a star panel of MTN South African Music Awards alumni, including Loyiso Bala, HHP, Kabelo Mabalane, Solly Mahlangu, Kurt Darren, Ziyon Hamilton (Liquideep), Matshediso Mholo (Malaika), Greg Carlin (Zebra & Giraffe), Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse and Lira.

Joining this stellar line-up of artists in announcing nominees for the 18th Annual MTN South African Music Awards were Randall Abrahams (CEO: MTN SAMA) and Serame Taukobong (MTN SA: Chief Marketing Officer).

“The MTN South African Music Awards represents the highest accolade for achievement in the art of recorded music,” Abrahams said.

“The awards capture the defining spirit of music in South Africa and celebrate our finest musical talent. “

In announcing the 29 categories, the panel revealed another multi-nominee in the form of highly accomplished songwriter and versatile Afro-Soul performer, Zonke, whose 2011 record, Ina Ethe is up for three MTN South African Music Awards. This includes a nomination for Album of the Year, where she’s up against Zahara, Zakwe, Mi Casa and SA music industry stalwarts Ladysmith Black Mambazo, who have earned the nomination for their album Songs from the Farms.

The latter album also sees Ladysmith Black Mambazo in the running for Best Traditional Album as well as Duo or Group of the Year, in which they’re vying for the MTN SAMA alongside Mi Casa, Big Nuz, Goodluck and Taxi Violence.

Goodluck is going into the MTN SAMA 18 race with multiple nominations – in addition to Duo or Group of the Year, the Cape Town-based group has earned a nomination in the publicly voted MTN Record of the Year category for their song Taking It Easy as well as a nod in the Best Dance Album category for their self-titled debut.

Rock also rears its head in the Best Newcomer of the Year category with Shadowclub’s debut Guns and Money up against Mi Casa, Zahara and Zakwe, as well as the Lwanda Gogwana, whose mix of jazz and indigenous African influence on the album Songbook Chapter 1 has also earned nominations in the Best Newcomer, Male Artist of the Year and Best Jazz categories.

The 18th Annual MTN South African Music Awards nominee launch was streamed live for the first time on www.mtnsamatv.mobi – ensuring South African music fans don’t miss out on a moment of the glitz, glamour, drama, elation and sheer entertainment of this year’s event.

The mobisite will also stream the Yellow Carpet and performances at the invite-only nominees celebration taking place in Joburg tonight, as well as several events at the 18th Annual MTN South African Music Awards at Sun City Resort on April 29th and 30th.

Alongside winners in the 29 categories revealed today, several categories will be announced at the two-day awards event in April.

These include the Lifetime Achievement Award, the International Achievement Award and the Best-Selling Awards.

“MTN congratulates all the nominees of MTN SAMA 18 in their respective categories,” says Serame Taukobong, Chief Marketing Officer at MTN SA. “This is testament to the hard work and dedication that they have invested in crafting their art and we wish them the best of luck for the prestigious event.”

Voting is now open for the MTN Record of the Year – the only publicly voted category at the 18th Annual MTN South African Music Awards. The public can vote by sending an SMS with the letter assigned to their favourite artist to 083 123 SAMA (7262) at standard SMS rates.

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