CITY PRESS: We reviewed the SAMA record of the year nominations

JohannesburgThe 24th SA Music Awards will take place at Sun City on Saturday, 2 June 2018.

The award show will start at 20:00 and be aired on SABC 1 (DStv 191).

The top 10 Sama nominees for song of the year have been released.

City Press' Phumlani S Langa has reviewed the good and the bad on the list.




This song sounds like a record of the year, and it is #Trending’s pick as the most deserving winner. If you want to talk about crossover appeal, you need not look any further than the new empress of pop music. Her sultry vocals skip on this hybrid beat with ease and a touch of drama. The notes this woman can hit give me the chills. Never has not winning a reality singing competition on TV resulted in a sweeter sound.

Lady Zamar

My Baby

This record is not better than her song Collide, I’m just saying. That song has a wide reach. Young, old, black or white, I have witnessed them all lose themselves to that beat. My Baby is just not as strong. I’m not sure if Lady Zamar makes these beats herself because they are above average along with her strong vocal capability. If she doesn’t take this award home, it’ll only be a matter of time before she gets her moment.

Distruction Boyz


It’s a pity that Omunye will probably take the Sama, considering these guys stole this track from DJ Lag. So if they win, he need not feel despondent. He can rest easy knowing he was the hottest producer last year. Distruction Boyz will have to steal again to revisit the heights of this record. This song was number one on Khozi FM’s esteemed New Year’s Eve playlist. Most songs to hold down that prestigious spot win other accolades.

Kwesta featuring Thabsie

Ngiyaz’fela Ngawe

I can’t believe this song made the cut. Nothing about this record does it for me. I feel Kwesta tries way too hard to be profound on this and it doesn’t work. The emotive signing of Thabsie also falls flat, and for this to be included over something like Sun El featuring Samthing Soweto, Akanamali is short-sighted.

AKA and Anathii

Don’t Forget To Pray

This collaborative album might very well represent the height of rap coming from the north side of Joburg. A catchy chorus lures the listener in to this hoppy offering, which focuses on themes of spirituality and faith. Hearing AKA rap without the heavy auto tune is nice, and this is also one of the first tracks on which we hear Anathii ride a beat in his mother tongue, Xhosa.

LaSauce featuring Amanda Black

I Do

This sweet love song is simple and screams sincerity. The idea of saying “I do” is something we’ve all thought about during quiet moments alone. These two sisters delve into this with an old school approach to the vocals. With soft harmonies and piercing falsettos, the production also has that Sunday afternoon Wilson B Nkosi flavour. I enjoyed this, and what Amanda Black does on the hook might be one of my favourite moments in local music from the last year.

DJ Kent featuring Dominic Neill

Love You Still

Ever since I heard Kent and The Arrows’ Spin My World Around, I have expected a lot from this man. I fear he wasn’t able to meet these expectations, but not because of his production. This song has a beat with depth and layers that slowly reveal themselves as it progresses, but my issue here is with the hipster vocalist. I get that they were going for a cute, love- inspired dance anthem, but it is just a little annoying.

Heavy K featuring Bucie and Nokwazi


They love this track in Durban. It has a chilled vibe about it, allowing Bucie to provide us with vocals similar to the good old days of her track Superman with Black Coffee. Nokwazi adds a little edge to the arrangement with her slightly more traditional approach to the vocals. Heavy K managed to encapsulate a sense of nostalgia in the instrumentals, which do not aim to grab your attention but rather coax your ears into submission.


The World Is Yours

The power of a sample is put on full display with this offering. The distorted guitar makes the beat and, as much as it pains me to say this, the auto tune does add to the flavour. This instrumental is a step in the right direction for local hip-hop. It’s wavy without drawing on the trap layout of instrumentals, and those industrial sounds that creep through the arrangement when the hook drops are very intriguing.

Kwesta featuring Wale


Another sample to the rescue. This song had the streets bumping for quite some time, and I feel it’s largely due to the safety provided by a tried and tested beat. They slowed down the beat for These Tears by Spirit Chaser, which was a big song when it came out. Wale appearing on this track and in the moving video is something that can’t be hated on. Would this record exist if it was not for the smash hit Ngud?

What should the song of the year be? 
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