News Brief

Here's The Lowdown On The 2021 South African Music Awards Nominees List

Amapiano king Kabza De Small leads the nominees list, while music fans are outraged over Makhadzi receiving zero nominations. Plus, Kelly Khumalo rejects her nomination. Here's more!

The South African Music Awards (SAMAs) nominations list has, once again, been met with a lot of disapproval from music fans. This year's edition, the 27th, features two new separate categories for amapiano and gqom music. However, the controversy around the snubbing of Limpopo-born singer Makhadzi has set tongues wagging since the nominees announcement on Wednesday evening, May 19. The likes of rapper Cassper Nyovest have since slammed the awards and Kelly Khumalo has requested that her nomination be rescinded. Kabza De Small leads the #SAMA27 nominees pack with six nods. The amapiano DJ and producer's I Am The King of Amapiano: Sweet & Dust, and Once Upon A Time in Lockdown with fellow Scorpion Kings member DJ Maphorisa, feature in the coveted "Album of the Year" category.

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Photo via Platoon.

Interview: DJ Maphorisa Talks About Scorpion Kings' Success

The star South African DJ and producer — also one half of the Scorpion Kings alongside Kabza De Small — on their recent full-album collaboration with TRESOR and the evolution of amapiano.

On October 30, 1974 — in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo — 32-year-old Muhammad Ali beat 25-year-old George Foreman in the eighth round of the Rumble in the Jungle boxing match, reclaiming his title as heavyweight champion of the world. While amapiano champs Scorpion Kings don't need to reclaim any titles, their latest album Rumble In The Jungle — which invites Congolese singer TRESOR into the ring — draws inspiration from that fateful day.

After going round-for-round with Scorpion Kings, The Return Of The Scorpion Kings and Once Upon a Time in Lockdown, DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small released Rumble In The Jungle on April 9 this year. The 14-track album sees TRESOR, a three-time Best Pop Album winner at the South African Music Awards, lend his smooth, soulful voice to the amapiano sound the duo has perfected over the past few years. The two singles released so far, "Funu" and "Folosade," have hinted at the direction the Scorpion Kings have taken on their latest offering — and how they want to expand the amapiano genre.

Maphorisa, who's long earned his belt for pumping out hits for almost a decade — from Uhuru's "Y-tjukutja" and Mafikizolo's "Khona" to his own "Oncamnce" featuring Stilo Magolide, Kwesta and Zingah — spoke to OkayAfrica over Zoom. His studio has become a legendary haven for artists, both up-and-coming and established, that pass through it — including Kabza De Small, whose I Am The King of Amapiano: Sweet & Dust helped introduce amapiano to a wider audience.

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