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CITY PRESS: Why you will never see me at the SA music awards again

2018-06-10 00:00
Riky Rick

Johannesburg - OPINION: City Press' Phumlani S Langa couldn't stand being at this years' Sama awards. 

This weekend, I was at Sun City for the annual SA Music Awards (Samas) in the hopes of revelling in local music and intense partying. Whenever I hear about awards shows happening overseas, there’s always more than just the award show – and I figured it would be the same for us. Unfortunately, my hopes were dashed.

Remember when Diddy hosted that fancy party the day before the Grammys with a bunch of rich black musicians in a penthouse sipping expensive bottles and looking fly? If not a pre-party, then I was definitely looking forward to a lavish afterparty. But let’s just say that the Samas turned out to be a devastatingly real reflection of the local music industry: boring, small and devoid of any vision.

First of all, someone needs to tell Sun City’s Sol Kerzner that you can’t erect an oversized theatre attached to a food court and call it a Superbowl. When he unveiled it in 1979, during apartheid, Sun City must’ve looked pretty “super”, but really now.

Growing up, I used to watch the Samas at home. Being there in the flesh, I thought it would be an even greater experience. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few good moments, like the Soweto Gospel Choir’s performance with praise singer Jessica Mbangeni, which left me with chills. Even though what she was wearing was heinous, that performance had an amazing feel. You know, when you’re caught staring at a stage with a look of “How?” on your face.

Music video of the year winner, rapper Rouge, lit up the stage with her hit Dololo, and a pleasant surprise came in the form of rapper Nadia Nakai’s performance of her banger Naaa Meaan, minus Cassper Nyovest, who wasn’t there as he feels the Samas are a waste of his time. Nakai killed it, clearly channelling Nicki Minaj, but we’ve come to expect that.

The questionable elements of the show came in when a bunch of acts were mashed up into one performance. For instance, they paired best hip-hop album winner Shane Eagle with Afro-pop singer Ntando. The two didn’t share the stage at the same time, nor did they unveil a new collaborative song. Shane Eagle came out and did three quarters of his song, followed by Ntando, who did the same. The medley effect made the performance feel rushed.

I spotted a few of the artists walking about Sun City in sweatpants and with a look of immense fatigue on their faces, probably from rehearsals. Strangely enough, not many of these performances looked like they needed much rehearsal. It was all rather formulaic – cue the song, enter the dancers and then the star walks out singing. Basic. I won’t get started on the stage design – that wonky frame looked like a squashed TV or the first Apple Mac desktops.

And so, at the end of what’s supposed to be the biggest night in music in the country, homies went to sleep. The media were barred from the official afterparty hosted by the Sama organisers – that’s unless you knew someone important and kissed ass enough to get them to let you in.

What I can tell you is that you will never catch me at the Samas again. Cassper Nyovest’s notions are on song: the Samas are mad lame.

Read more on:    local music  |  music

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