Remembering Madiba – attending the tribute service

Last night I again found myself in Houghton, Johannesburg. This time around I was at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, where there was a celebratory service being held for the late statesman. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu led the service, which was attended by musician Peter Gabriel, Johannesburg Mayer, Parks Tau, human rights lawyer George Bizos, media from all over the world and of course some of Madiba’s VSPs (Very Special Persons).

Bishop Tutu is a fantastic speaker. He is funny, heartfelt, intelligent and definitely not shy. The only time he got ‘shy’ was when he met eyes with his wife who was front and centre at the service. Here is a little clip from his address:

Some of most loved musicians were also in attendance. The Grammy-winning Soweto Gospel Choir kicked things off. They were then joined by Johnny Clegg, who sang a very moving version of Asimbonanga (see below). Danny K, Mamma Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Lloyd Cele, Ed Jordan, Louise Carver, Ross from Prime Circle and Sipho Hotstix Mabuse all took to the stage too. It was truly a celebration of the man we all loved, cherished and respected.

Today is the official state memorial. The programme is expected to commence at 11am, CAT. Check your local listings to see when you can watch the proceedings.

Full list of SAMA 19 nominees list


Here they are:

• Album of the Year
Kelly Khumalo – The Past, The Present, The Future
Khuli Chana   – Lost in Time
Maleh  – Step Child
Ntokozo Mbambo  – Filled
The Muffinz – Have you Heard?
• Duo or Group of the Year
BlackByrd                              Strong
Desmond & The Tutus            MNUSIC
DJ Vetkuk Vs Mahoota            Dinaledi
Freshlyground                       Take Me to the Dance
The Muffinz                           Have you Heard?
• Female Artist of the Year
ChianoSky                             Hungry
Kelly Khumalo                       The Past, The Present, The Future
Lulu Dikana                           This is the Life
Maleh                                   Step Child
Ntokozo Mbambo                   Filled
• Male Artist of the Year
Arno Carstens                       Atari Gala
Elvis Blue                             Journey
Khuli Chana                          Lost in Time
ProVerb                                Fourthwrite
Reason                                 Audio3D
• Newcomer of the Year
Bongeziwe Mabandla           Umlilo
Khaya                                 For You
Tailor                                 The Dark Horse
The Muffinz                        Have you Heard?
Toya Delazy                        Due Drop Deluxe
• Best Rock Album
Arno Carstens                    Atari Gala
Desmond & The Tutus        MNUSIC
Prime Circle                      Evidence
The Plastics                       Pyramid
Zebra & Giraffe                 The Wisest Ones
• Best Pop Album
ChianoSky                          Hungry
Kurt Darren                        In Jou Oë
Lloyd Cele                          No Limits
Snotkop                             Oppas
Toya Delazy                       Due Drop Deluxe
• Best Adult Contemporary Album
BlackByrd                          Strong
Elvis Blue                          Journey
Freshlyground                   Take Me to the Dance
Lira                                  The Captured Tour Concert Film
Nianell                             My Heart
• Best Kontemporêre Musiek
Bobby Van Jaarsveld             Wat Geld Nie Kan Koop Nie
Jay & Lianie                         Bonnie En Clyde
Juanita du Plessis                 Jy Voltooi My
Romanz                                Hou Vas
Theuns Jordaan                    Roeper
• Best African Adult Album
Bongeziwe Mabandla           Umlilo
Cama Gwini                        Re-Birth
Kelly Khumalo                    The Past, The Present, The Future
Maleh                                 Step Child
Nomfusi                             Take Me Home
• Best Alternative Album
Bittereinder                                          Die Dinkdansmasjien
Fetish                                                   Little Heart
iScream & The Chocolate Stix                The Paradox
Tailor                                                   The Dark Horse
Yoav                                                     Blood Vine
• Best R&B / Soul / Reggae Album
Kabomo                                 Memory Remains
Khaya                                    For You
Lulu Dikana                           This is the Life
The Muffinz                           Have you Heard?
Zaki Ibrahim                          Every Opposite
• Best Rap Album
Khuli Chana                         Lost in Time
Last Days Fam                     Eternal Effect
PRO                                    Continua
ProVerb                               Fourthwrite
Reason                                Audio3D
• Best Kwaito Album
Bhar                                          Morning Bang
Kabelo                                       Immortal Vol. 2
L’Vovo Derrango                         The Headmaster
Professor                                   The Orientation
Teddybears                               Teddybears
• Best Dance Album
Black Coffee                              Africa Rising
DJ Pepsi                                    Royal House Collection Vol. 2
DJ Vetkuk Vs Mahoota                Dinaledi
Oskido                                       I Believe
Pascal & Pearce                         Passport 2.0
• Best Traditional Faith Music Album
Hlengiwe Mhlaba                     Abba Baba
Rebecca                                  Live in Concert
Thulile Mbili                            My Home-Heaven Spirit Of Praise Vol. 4
Winnie Mashaba                       Bophelo Ke Leeto
• Best Contemporary Faith Music Album
Jonathan Butler                                                                              Grace and Mercy
Retief Burger, Helmut Meijer, Neil Büchner, Louis Britz                   In Verwondering
Loyiso                                                                                            Love Complete
Ntokozo Mbambo                                                                            Filled
Retief Burger                                                                                  Luidkeels Dieper
• Best Traditional Album
George Maluleke                                              Magolongwani
Shabalala Rhythm                                            Please Call Me
Soul Brothers                                                   Siphithiphithi
Dr. Thomas Chauke – Na Shinyori Sisters           Shimatsatsa No. 31
Zozo & Sangere Superbeat                               Mabindu Vol 14
• Best Maskandi Album
Ichwane Lebhaca                        Inkunzi Yomthakathi
Imithente                                   Vuka Mathambo
Ntombethongo                           Thokozile
Phuzekhemisi                             Bayede Zulu
Zero Khumalo                             O Sugar Daddy
• Best Jazz Album
Herbie Tsoaeli                       African Time
Kyle Shepherd                       South African History !X
Lindiwe Maxolo                     Time
Steve Dyer                            Ubuntu Music
Tutu Puoane                         Breathe
• Best Classic & Instrumental Album
Maria du Toit & Nina Schumann                      Luminous Shade
CH2                                                               CH 2 Guitar Duo Live with the UP Symphony Orchestra
Derek Gripper                                                One Night On Earth
Guy Buttery                                                    To Disappear In Place
Nibs van der Spuy & Guy Buttery                     In The Shade of the Wild Fig
• Best Live DVD
Black Coffee                            Africa Rising
Lira                                         The Captured Tour Concert Film
The Parlotones                         Dragonflies and Astronauts
Huisgenoot Skouspel                 Huisgenoot Skouspel 2012
Zahara                                     The Beginning LIVE
• Best Collaboration
Lloyd Cele Feat. Fresh, Euphonik & Slikour                              Louder!
Riot Feat. Zahara                                                                   Thetha Nami
Shabalala Rhythm Feat. Oliver Mtukudzi and DJ Tira                Please Call Me
V.Underground Feat. Mishka                                                   Gelo Wandi
Zahara Feat. Leroy Bell & Soweto Gospel Choir                        Hold On (Bambelela)
• Best Music Video of the YearBenza                                               AKA                                       Jealousy
Salomon Ligthelm                             Gangs Of Ballet                      Hello Sweet World
Warwick Allan                                   Prime Circle                          Evidence
Jolyon Ellis                                        Spoonfeedas                         Attack Of The Hadedas
Claudio Pavan                                   The Parlotones                       Honey Spiders

• Best Producer

Mark Beling                                       BlackByrd                              Strong
Crighton Goodwill                             ChianoSky                              Hungry
Theo Crous                                        Prime Circle                          Evidence
Theo Crous                                       The Parlotones                       Journey  Through The Shadows
Jax Panik                                          Toya Delazy                           Due Drop Deluxe

• Best Engineer

Christopher Tuck                              Macstanley                                                             Lucid Alive And Dreaming
Mark Beling                                      BlackByrd                                                               Strong
Crighton Goodwill                             ChianoSky                                                              Hungry
Jake Odendaal                                 Joe Niemand Night of Light Die Beste Van               Joe Niemand
Marius Marais                                                                                                                Huisgenoot Skouspel 2012

• Remix of the Year

Zynne Sibika                                     J Vetkuk Vs Mahoota                                Istokvel
Chris Sen                                          RJ Benjamin                                            2012 Change The World
DJ Kent                                            Theo Kgosinkwe                                       Thinking About You Ft. Zonke – DJ Kent Remix
Pascal & Pearce                                Toya Delazy                                             Heart – Pascal & Pearce Remix
ClassyMenace                                   Toya Delazy                                              Pump It On – Classy Menace Remix

Who’s going to Joburg Day?

One of the coolest events in the Jozi social calendar has to be the annual Joburg Day Music festival. The event is organised by regional station 94.7 Highveld Stereo every year. It’s a great way to usher in the new season, to be outdoors with friends and family and to listen and see some of SA’s best musicial talent.

I’ve been in the music and entertainment industry for over five years and sadly this will be the first time I wont be in attendance. I have other engagements to attend to and it really is such a shame because the lineup this year is the best, by far. If you don’t know here are the artists set to perform at this year’s Joburg Day, which is presented by Santam:

Toya De Lazy (fresh and fun)

Prime Circle (You always get what you want )

The Graeme Watkins Project (rad, rad, rad bunch of guys)

Mi Casa (what can I say…. they stay #winning)

Chianosky (Check out her album Hungry, in stores now)

Locnville (they’ve been quiet but they’re good chaps and they always impress)

Lloyd Cele (awesome chap)

Kongos (not totally familiar with them but a good addition no doubt)

Crazy White Boy (love them and their album is amazeballs)

Goodluck (love them)

The event goes down this Saturday the Riversands Farm, north of Johannesburg. Gates open at 11am. I’m told tickets are sold out so if you’re going have a jol. Check out some of my pics from last year here.

SAMA 18 – day 1 recap

The South African Music Awards are in full swing. Last year the awards were held at Montecasino in Johannesburg… EPIC FAIL! After a series of technical and production issues, this year’s organisers decided to move the awards back to their rightful home – that being Sun City. The festivities kicked off at the Sun City Ballroom with the industry awards. This part of the two-day event includes categories such as Best Producer, Best Engineer, Best Live DVD among others. It’s very unfortunate that this part of the programme wasn’t well attended because there were some really great performances plus the engineers and the producers who are just as responsible for bringing you the music as much as the artist is, were honoured too.

The industry awards kicked off with an address by Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile. He paid tribute to this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award candidates and then told guests how committed government is to growing the arts and culture industry in South Africa. You know how it goes, blah blah but let’s see. Comedians Tumi Morake and Tatz Nkonzo emceed the show. Before welcoming his co-host for the evening, Nkonzo opened with his own version of nominees MiCasa’s hit song These Streets. This was classic, hilarious. As soon as my videos are ready for upload, I’ll put them up here. The two then introduced the presenters and performers in true comic style, leaving guests in fits of laughter.

Besides the emcees and their ‘performances’ the audience got to see SAMA nominees Loyiso Bala and Idols star Lloyd Cele performing their song Ntando as well as a performance from Afrikaans singer Charlize Berg. Loyiso’s voice is sounding absolutely amazing. He really is one of the best vocalists I’ve heard and I have been a fan for almost a decade now, so hear how his voice has grown throughout the years is fantastic. Lloyd did a great job too! There were also performances from Afro-fusion band Stimela, Kabomo, Lira (love, love Miss Lira), Selaelo Selota, Solly Mahlangu and others, who all paid tribute to legends Vusi Mahlasela and Ray Phiri. On being awarded the Lifetime Achievement Awards, Phiri said “I’m grateful that I’ve been given an opportunity like this to sneak into your hearts. You’ve given me great memories.” He then joked about how to make it in the music business saying, “There’s one thing I know. Be friends with the SAMA, make friends with RISA, talk to the SABC and open your mind and be friends with Ray Phiri and everything will be fine”.

In addition to his Lifetime Achievement Award, Mahlasela has also been awarded the Martin Luther King Jr, César Chavez and Rosa Parks Visiting Professorship award from the University of Michigan in the US For his activism through music. Humbled by both awards, Mahlasela said, ‘Thank you, thank you, and thank you very please. It really gives me pleasure to receive this award on behalf of quite a lot of many who have really supported me up until now. Most difficult times, in the years that I started to be a professional musician. I wanted to go to school to study to be a doctor or a priest. Somebody told me that I was doing that through my music.” After their speeches, the two performed a beautiful and moving rendition of the smash hit Weeping.  So I thought what would this post be without a bit of music… Here is the Most Played Song on South African Radio, it’s Liquideep’s Alone, one of my best tracks:

Stay tuned for more action from this year’s South African Music Awards, coming to you from Sun City.

Watch: Lloyd Cele’s new video for My Air

Runner up of South African Idols season six Lloyd Cele has just released his new single “My Air”. Let me just put it out there, this is possibly the best song to come out of the hit show’s history. Quite a statement right? Well it has everything that a pop idol SHOULD be producing. It’s a great pop song that appeals to a broad market. It’s accompanied by a video and it has a lot of people talking about this. Great song Lloyd! I did have high expectations for this video and I’m a little disappointed, but the song makes up for sure. When you listen to it, you might hear some influence from Usher, particularly his track OMG, which features I really enjoy this track, did I mention that earlier? Okay then. Happy watching and if you want to stay in touch with Lloyd online:

Lloyd’s website



Idols final tonight- Lloyd or Elvis?

So since the top 14 was announced a few months back, this billboard has been posted in the M-Net offices. It shows all 14 and week by week, the booted out contestant would get a big fat OUT plastered across his or her face. It’s now down to two… Lloyd Cele and Elvis Blue. Now look carefully at the poster. You’ll see Elvis is in the centre and Lloyd is two contestants to the right of your screen. Is this pure coincidence or will it reflect tonight’s verdict? I’ve been a follower of Lloyd since I saw his audition in Durbs- so I’ve been rooting and voting for him. They’ve both done really well and they should be commended for their efforts to get this far. It’s a big deal but there can only be one. Ask me what I think will happen? I’m behind Lloyd, but I think Elvis might just take it. Let’s find out tonight at 7pm when the two hour special airs on M-Net. Performances from Loyiso, the top 14 and of course a few other surprises!

Follow Idols on Twitter: @IdolsSA
Check out the website:

Idols- And then there were two

So last night viewers got to see who progressed into the finals of Idols season 6. The two lucky souls? L’loyd Cele and Elvis Blue. Well done to both guys and unlucky for Sindi. In last week’s shocking turn of events, with all the regional DJs and their listeners agreeing that Sindi would be the one to leave, voters had other plans. It turned out that Boki was the one with the least amount of votes- saving Sindi for yet another week. This week the same results were generated, only now the votes matched up to what the radio polls had suggested. The final takes place this coming Sunday, with the results and announcement of the winner happening on Tuesday night in a two hour special. My votes will be going to L’loyd Cele. He has been consistent and I think he is the better one of the two. That isn’t to say that Elvis isn’t talented. He will have a successful career, but I feel like L’loyd is more deserving. You can agree to disagree with me. That’s cool.

The two will be embarking on a whirlwind tour of some of the major cities this weekend. This is where they will be
– Fury William Nicol Ford dealership in Parkmore, Johannesburg, on Saturday morning before
– They will then be performing live at the Curry Cup Final at the Absa Stadium in Durban! That’s a big deal hey- seeing as though they’re both from the opposing provinces.
– On Sunday they will be at Canal Walk in Cape Town Sunday afternoon!

Voting lines are open too. Details are below:
SMS XX to 37400 (R1.50 per SMS. VAS rates apply. No free minutes)

Call 08622777XX from your Telkom landline (R2.02 per call. VAS rates apply)
Call 08390102XX from your Cell phone (VAS rates apply)

Vote on MXit by downloading from and adding M-Net to your contacts (20 Moola per vote)

Just on a side note, judges, Gareth Cliff, Mara Louw and Randall Abrahams have for weeks praised Sindi for her original look and her powerful voice. Well now I call on them to guide Sindi even more as she enters into her career in music. If she’s as good as they claim, then all parties concerned will reap the rewards. This is, in my opinion, what has been missing in this competition since its inception. Once the voted out contestants leave the competition, they’re left to fend for themselves. Sure it is a tough industry and they will need to get used to it, but I really think to make the show uphold its reputation as a nurturing platform for fresh talent, the judges should do a “life after Idols” sort of campaign. Mara especially should be spearheading such a drive.

Let’s see what happens going forward. I must say this bunch of contestants has been by far the strongest in a while!

Idols Top 3 Song Choices

Nine songs, three Idols and one week closer to next week’s all important South African Idols Season 6 final. Who will be there? Well the song choices might give you a slight indication of who the final two will be. The first song choice is theirs and this is what they chose:

Elvis Blue: “You Belong To Me” by Bob Dylan
Interesting choice. Let’s see if he changes the arrangement a bit, but I think Elvis will do a fair job with this one.

Lloyd Cele: “Just The Way You Are” by Bruno Mars
Nice choice. It’s very current and makes many go weak at the knees. I have no doubt in my mind he’ll do this one justice.

Sindi Nene: “And I’m Telling You” by Jennifer Hudson
Second time she’s tackling Jennifer Hudson. My question is why is she not choosing better-known songs by Jennifer Hudson? “Spotlight”, “If This Isn’t Love”

SONG 2: songs were chosen by the Idols judges:
Elvis Blue -“Broken Strings” by James Morrison ft. Nelly Furtado.
Nice choice. It’ll test his lower range at the beginning of the song, which we haven’t heard too much of in previous rounds.

Lloyd Cele:“Dynamite” by Taio Cruz
The judges have done well. Another current tune that everyone loves- young and old. It’ll be good to see how he handles the performance aspect of the song.

Sindi Nene: “Vul’dlela”- Brenda Fassie
Brenda Fassie is and will always be one South Africa’s most loved singers, but surely they could have chosen a more current song? That’s my opinion.

SONG 3: These songs make up a long list by some of the worst (Wooden Mic contenders) auditions. The top three were given the list and were tasked with singing the songs the way they’re supposed to be sung. The songs that you can expect to hear are:

Elvis Blue- “What About Now” by Daughtry
With Daughtry just one week away from touring South Africa for the first time, this I feel is a good decision. Daughtry is of Idols fame, he’s one of the most talented singers to come out of the American version and I love this song. Good choice.

Lloyd Cele- “When You’re Gone” by Avril Lavigne
Lloyd is challenging himself and that I love. Soppy song, but good nonetheless. He’ll do it well.

Sindi Nene- “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Grobin
Ya okay, seriously I think Sindi has the roughest song choice this week. This song is big. I’m sure she’ll do a good job, but I doubt she’ll be recording songs (originals and covers) like this in the future.

Idols Top 6 Song choices

Sindi Nene’s choices:
Jennifer Hudson- “One Night Only”
Beyoncé- “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”

JVB: I think she’ll do the JHud song really well. Her voice, her range is in line with this song. It will also give her an opportunity to belt it out. The Beyoncé song is going to be interesting. If she can pull off some slick choreography, while focusing on the actual singing, she could do well. I’m not so sure though.

Adeline Mocke’s choices:

Luther Vandross- “Dance With My Father”
Shakira- “Give It Up To Me”

JVB: She will be dedicating the Luther Vandross song and her performance to her dad. I think she’ll pull this one off well. Shakira? While she’s contemporary and one of the biggest names in the biz, I just don’t think this is the right song to go with. I’m interested to see how she does it (expecting a bit of sexy choreography and I reckon the stylists will work this into her look this week too).

Boki Ntsime’s choices:
Michael Bolten’s cover of the Percy Sledge classic, “When A Man Loves A Woman”
Justin Timberlake- “My Love”

JVB- Brilliant choices. He’s bound to make a few women around the country go weak at the knees with these two songs. He has quite a low range and yet both songs are quite high. Is Boki testing/pushing himself here? With the JT song there surely will be some dancing involved. I hope so; cause it’ll reveal more of his performance side and that is an important attribute for a musician going forward.

Elvis Blue’s choices:
Simon & Garfunkel- “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”
Kanye West- “Golddigger”

JVB: First song? Great choice. He’ll rock this one and like Boki he’ll make many weak at the knees. As for the second song? Well, I’m expecting him to change the arrangement a bit because I just don’t see Elvis rapping like Kanye. I’m all for him trying new things, but rapping isn’t one of them. Let’s see what he does with this one. There’s also a method behind his madness with this song choice. Watch this video to find out what it is.

Lloyd Cele choices:
Owl City- “Fireflies”
Usher- “OMG”

JVB: When the Fireflies song came out last year I like it, but the more the radio stations played it, the more I got over it. Quickly. Having said that, I like Lloyd. He’ll do it well, no doubt! Usher OMG is a good choice too, but will there be some dancing involved with this performance? Well we haven’t really seen him to something like this yet, so I’m curious!

Pieter West’s choices:

Bruce Springsteen- “Dancing In The Dark”
Joe Cocker- “You Can Leave Your Hat On”!

JVB: Randall has been, in a sense, begging Pieter let go; show more of his personality in his performances in recent weeks. This is the perfect opportunity for him. Two not so current songs, but Dancing In The Dark is a classic and he really can let go and rock out with this one. The Joe Cocker song suits his voice too, so let’s see how he gets on. If he stuffs this one up, he really must leave!

Idols Top 8 song choices

Adeline Mocke will be singing a song by Nianell called “Who Painted The Moon”.
JVB: good song choice. It’s a difficult song, but it’s different to what she did last week and it will show of a different side to her voice. Versatility.

Boki Ntsime is taking on Liquideep’s “Fairytale”
JVB: Clever. We know how the votes are going and I think Boki is choosing good songs that will keep the voters interested in him. This song has huge crossover appeal and I hope he’ll crack it.

Jess Yallup chose the Just Jinger ballad “What He Means”
JVB: Jess has a dedicated and loyal fan base. Add a Just Jinger song into that mix and you’ve got something good going on. I’m not too familiar with this song, but I’m curious to hear her version

Elvis Blue will be taking on Malaika’s “Destiny”.
JVB: Interesting!! Tshidi from Malaika has quite a high range. So I wonder if Elvis is going to change the arrangement like he has done in previous weeks.

Jamie-Lee Sexton takes on the Clout hit, “Save Me”
JVB: Hmmmm… I don’t know this song. I don’t know how many young voters will know this song either, but she has been saved enough times to assume she has quite the following so let’s see.

Sindi Nene will be performing her version of Mango Groove’s hit “Moments Away”
JVB: Nice song choice. Mango Groove is always popular and I think her voice will suit this song. Surprised she’s not doing a Brenda Fassie song though. Especially with all the recent comments from judges Mara and Randall…

Lloyd Cele takes on the Parlotones’ hit “Push Me To The Floor”
JVB: Again, like Boki, this is a clever song choice. It’s contemporary, fun and nice to jam to. I think he’ll do it justice.

Pieter West chose Jesse Glegg’s “Today”
JVB: Great. Great. Great song choice. Like Jesse, Pieter has a raspy voice. I might be jumping the gun here, but this could be his week to shine!