It’s SAMA week

One week to go until the annual South African Music Awards takes place. The awards are back at their rightful home of Sun City this year and it’s going to be epic! I’ll be heading through on Sunday for the first night of awards. These will be for the technical and non-televised awards. While these winners wont be on your TV screens, they still deserve a shout out for the work they have contributed to the music industry in the past year, so I will be bringing you all that news.

As far as the Monday night, live broadcast goes things are still very under wraps. We don’t know who the hosts will be (Bonang and Trevor Gumbi would be my first choice) and who will be performing, but I’m pretty sure we can expect the likes of Zahara, Zakwe, MiCasa among others to take to the stage. There will be a big fashion show at Sun City too and obviously there will be loads of other news coming out of SA’s big musical night, so stay tuned. For now, check out my interview with Lira about her nominations:

More interviews to follow this week.

Grammys 2012 – Bon Iver wins Best New Artist

Carrie Underwood took to the stage to introduce Tony Bennett. He has won 16 Grammy awards in his career, remarkable. The two sang It Had To Be You.

Best New Artist goes to Bon Iver:

“Hi, it’s really hard to accept this award because there’s so much talent on this stage and also who aren’t. I’m a little bit uncomfortable up here. I want to thank all the nominees and the non-nominees. All the bands I toured with, all the artists and the voters. Sweet hookup. ”

This is what he had to say backstage:

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2012 Golden Globes- The Descendants wins Best Motion Pictures

Harrison Ford presented the award for the Best Motion Picture at this year’s Golden Globes. The award goes to The Descendants.

“We would like to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press. Thank you to the Hollywood Foreign Press. We had an extraordinary ensemble cast. Besides from giving a career changing performance, he was so giving of his time. I just wanted to say how much we admire you and how proud we are of you.”

We salute our fellow nominees. A big thanks to the casting crew and to the people who helped us out in Hawaii. It was a beautiful opportunity.”

Selena Gomez to host this year’s MTV Europe Music Awards

Forget Guy Fawkes and remember! Remember the 6th of November because that is the day one of the most entertaining and brilliant music awards takes place. It’s the annual MTV Europe Music Awards. This year’s awards will take place in Belfast and MTV has just announced who the host is… It’s teen sensation Selena Gomez.

Here’s what MTV is promising for this year’s awards and its choice of host:

For the first time ever, MTV will have its EMA host fully integrated into the show across multiple screens, as Gomez will be the lynchpin across all platforms for MTV’s global celebration of the year’s best in music.  As host of the main show, she’ll be overseeing all the onstage antics, performances, winners and unforgettable moments of the evening.  On the digital front, Gomez will be juggling several duties to engage with EMA fans all over the world throughout the show – from checking in with the Twitterverse to sharing behind-the-scenes gossip to offering her unique commentary on mtvema.com.

 

On being announced as the host, the star said, “I’m so excited to be the host of the ‘2011 MTV EMA’ – it’s a dream come true! This is such a huge event that always recognizes the biggest stars in music from across the globe, so it’s a real honor to be MC at this year’s show.”

Don’t forget you have the power to decide who walks away with the awards. All you need to do is vote by visiting the www.mtvema.com.

So there you have it. What do you think about this news?

 

SAMA 17- My thoughts.

So the 17th annual South African Music Awards took place at Monte Casino at the weekend. The weekend festivities were split into two nights. The Friday night awards focused on honouring the technical awards. Things like Best Producer, Best Album packaging as well as some of the “less mainstream” awards. On Saturday night the big awards were to be handed out during the live broadcast on SABC 1. So the yellow carpet was rolled out ahead of the broadcast, where presenters, performers and nominees all strutted their stuff in their designer attire, chatting to media and basically just being part of the festivities. Sounds good right? Well it wasn’t all that smooth sailing, let me tell you that much.

On arrival at Monte Casino, I parked my car without any hassles, took my equipment and headed up to the SAMA dome. The SAMA dome was erected especially for the event and lets just say it looked awesome. I knew I was heading in that direction, but there were no signs to the yellow carpet, which is where all the stars would be arriving, posing. You know what them celebs do. When in doubt, ask. So I asked the security guards where to go, seeing as though they should know the venue and all. Nope they had no clue, so the guessing game began. En route to the where I believe the carpet would be, I bumped into a bunch of other media guests who were also seemingly lost. We’re ushered to the media area, which is on the other side of the dome, where we’re met by one of the PR reps. She tells us that the yellow carpet is actually where we came in. So off we head, back to that area. The yellow carpet was tiny and stashed away in the corner of the Heineken marquee. Hardly glamorous I’d say and it’s quite small but we’ll make do. I just keep thinking that from previous experience of covering such an event, the stars all tend to arrive at the last hour and this results in one big bottleneck. So perhaps it could’ve been a bit longer and in a more exclusive area? That’s why I think.

                          

                          

The yellow carpet was fun. I interviewed the likes of Somizi, Shashi Naidoo, Loyiso, Nothende, The Arrows, Theo Kgosinkwe and many many more. It was madness but again when the pushing and shoving starts, my years of waterpolo experience come in handy. The murmurs from media guest and stars alike are present in the tent, in Monte and all over. People aren’t happy about how late they got their invites, their accreditation etc. I’m one of them. I love SA music and I think it’s grown in leaps and bounds over the years, so to be apart of this weekend is something I love. Having said that I got my accreditation email notification on Thursday morning. Up to that point I thought I wouldn’t be going and I’d made peace with the fact that I probably wasn’t going to be accredited to cover the event, so I made plans. I believe that is what happened to many people hence the fact the venue was rather quiet on Friday night I’m told. What was with the delay? If there was an issue, surely we would’ve been told? Things happen, we know they do. So just tell us what’s going on and lets go from there. It would help with planning etc. Check out my video from the yellow carpet here.

So after about an hour and a half of yellow carpet festivities, everyone is quickly ushered into their respective areas. My battery is pretty low, so I think it’ll be fine to charge the camera in order to do more interviews with winners etc. Guests, performers etc go into the Dome and we go to the media area (a marquee just outside the dome). It has a coffee stand with water and coke on offer. That’s all. There are no plug points or Internet access points, which I find bizarre for a media tent. People need to file their pictures and stories. Surely the events management company would have thought about this when putting on an award ceremony of this nature? In previous years the media areas have been quite cozy to say the least; buffet style food, drinks and snacks. One on one areas for interviews as well as a press conference style set up. That worked really well in the past, why not stick to a formula that works?

Two of my friends and industry colleagues who were supposed to be seated in the venue came stomping into the media area shortly after the awards started and they were not in good spirits. They were told to move out of their seats because several government representatives hadn’t been allocated seats? SAY WHAT? What a joke! Seriously. Tim actually bought his ticket. I hope he gets refunded for that. Then I’d heard several other reports from twitter and from colleagues that people wanted to stand and as a result they were blocking the cameras. Think an amateur pirated movie and that’s what I’m told the broadcast looked like at the beginning. The events company/ RISA/ sponsors should’ve made more of an effort to control this. Get the people in quickly, shut off the yellow carpet action half an hour before the live broadcast. Seat all your guests, which includes ministers and paying guests. In that way you wont have camera men getting irritable and annoyed with people who are in their shots.

I’m also told that choreographer and dancer Somizi pissed off gospel singer Rebecca Molope, so much so she just bounced I’m told. When it was time for her to present an award, she was MIA. Oy vey. A lot of people were complaining about RGB host Phat Joe and how not so good he was. I can’t comment on that because I didn’t see him to be honest. On the up side, Bonang looked beautiful when I saw her in her many Gert Johan Coetzee dresses and I’m told that as always she was brilliant. I know this is an SABC broadcast event, but to have a separate yellow carpet for RGB (so I’m told) is somewhat conceited and arrogant in my opinion. The yellow (red carpet) is where all the buzz happens. All the media guests get to interact with one another and the stars. While it does get a little crazy at times, admittedly, you get more from being apart of that rather than isolating yourself from the rest of the group. It also caused a bit of confusion with the guests because how are they to know that there is yet another yellow carpet. You don’t see E! Entertainment rolling out their very own red carpet at the Grammys and the Oscars, so seriously, it really doesn’t have to be done in South Africa.  So next year, organisers you must JBS and tell them to be on the yellow carpet.

So after getting cold and hungry sitting in the marquee, I eventually decided it was time for me to go. Throughout the whole experience I was surprisingly calm, but I thought I should share my thoughts on this year’s SAMAs with you all. If this is supposed to the Grammys of SA, then we have a long way to go. Transparency is key and right from the word go we were all left guessing as to whether the awards were actually going to happen this year, let alone be at Sun City/ Monte, be sponsored by MTN etc etc. It was an utter shambles and instead of getting irritable, I just cringed more to be honest. “Oh no that didn’t just happen” “Really did that just happen” etc. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. Lets pull it together next year from a production, events perspective and actually really celebrate our artists and their fantastic achievements in music. They deserve to be treated like superstars over a weekend like this, not have their phones stolen outside the after-party venue on the Monte premises.  To everyone involved, I feel it’s time you go back to the drawing board and get organised for SAMA 18.

What up with the SAMAs?


For the last four years, I’ve covered the South African Music Awards, starting with the nominations announcements, the parties building up to the awards, the weekend festivities, the production, the yellow carpet and of course the actual awards. I love it! I think the organisers have provided such a great platform for our artists to shine, to showcase their talent to not only their fans, but music lovers from other genres too. The production has grown from strength to strength in the years that I’ve covered it and I think they can only get better as we move forward.

Having said all of that, I now need to raise a few concerns. What is going on with the SAMAs this year? There are so many murmurs from within the industry about the venue being changed; MTN no longer sponsoring the awards. The nominations party was pushed back to a later date (still to be announced) and there still is no word on what is happening. Now I know not to believe the rumours until there is official word or confirmation, but I’m really starting to wonder what on earth is going on. I can’t imagine why MTN would pull out of such a prestigious event and I don’t really know why the awards would change venues, when the Sun City Superbowl has played host to the awards for so long. Everyone I know talks about the #RoadToSunCity etc etc.

In short, I love these awards. I believe South Africa music has never sounded and looked better. The production, musically and visually (videos) is world class and I think we need to continue to show our artists the love they deserve. I would just love to know what on earth is going on and when we can expect to start building up to SA music’s biggest night. If the organisers see this, email me or drop us all a statement. It’s good to be clear, upfront and honest about what is going on… Just saying.

HOUSE MUSIC AWARDS……2011

The first House Music Awards are coming. Bass Breaks & Beats announced earlier that they will be hosting the first of its kind awards in October this year. I think this is fantastic. We’ve got the SAMAs coming up, which do acknowledge and recognise house music, but not nearly as much as what these awards will. Our house culture/ scene is massive and I think this is great work – and imagine what the pre and after parties will be like? Start resting now.

The categories to be honoured include:

Album Of The Year
Artist of The Year
Best DJ Compilation
Best Male
Best Female
Best Remix
Song Of The Year
Best New Artist
Best Selling Album
Best Selling Download
Best Music Video
Best Engineered Album
Producer Of The Year
Best CD Artwork
Best New DJ

The awards will also honour an artist in the category of Special Contribution Award.

Bring on October!