#IdolsSA – It’s Brenden vs Musa in the finale

Episode 26 - Musa, image 06    And then there were two… Next week #IdolsSA season 9 comes to an end and we’ll get to find who between Musa Sukwene and Brenden Ledwaba will be crowned the new South African Idol. It has been a fantastic season with some great talent and to be honest, I’m not really too sad if either one of them wins. I dig them both. I’ll say this much though, personally I dig Musa a lot. He has a presence, a great energy and he commands attention when he takes to the stage. What are your thoughts? Who are you digging? Share your thoughts and to read the full press release, scroll down.

Idols 9: Top 3 Results

It’s Brenden and Musa in the tightest final ever!

The voters have spoken in the most hotly contested season of Idols SA ever and 26-year-old MUSA SUKWENE from eMalahleni and BRENDEN LEDWABA (19) from Graskop are going to be battling it out in the nailbiting Finalé of Idols Season 9.

SONKE MAZIBUKO (21) from Soweto fell at the final hurdle in tonight’s (Tuesday, 19 November) Top 3 Results Show, live from the Moreleta Park Church Auditorium in Pretoria, losing his chance to sing in the all-important final showdown.

Episode 26 - Brenden, image 02

This competition was so close that after their three rounds of performances in the Top 3 Spectacular on Sunday, Brenden and Musa were both at the bottom of the polls in one round and at the top of the polls in another, with Sonke, who has never been in the bottom three throughout the season, consistently stuck in the middle for all three rounds.

“It is always sad to have to say goodbye to a contestant this close to the final,” M-Net’s Head of M-Net Publicity and Special Projects Lani Lombard said tonight. “But that is the nature of Idols and Sonke can take comfort in the fact that we have never seen voting results as close as we did this season. It’s been a neck-and-neck race and in this final week of voting the pressure really is on like never before. It’s going to be an exhilarating Idols Finale.”

Continue reading “#IdolsSA – It’s Brenden vs Musa in the finale”

Pictures: 2011 Joburg Day Music Festival

Freshlyground perform at Joburg Day

Lira performs at Joburg Day

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.

SAMA weekend is here, Friday night winners announced

The South African Music Awards (SAMAs) are here. This is one of my favourite weekends in the entertainment industry in SA because I love how far our artists have come. We celebrate their achievements in music, production, music videos, style, performances and overall entertainment. I’ll be heading through to the awards in a little bit for the live broadcast. We’ll get to see who the major winners are, we’ll get to see the lovely Bonang and Phat Joe get their hosting duties on, we’ll get to see who takes to the stage to perform (I have word that Loyiso and The Arrows might be collaborating) and we’ll see who wears what on the yellow carpet. Speaking of the yellow carpet, R&B singer and now double SAMA winner, LeAnne walked off with two SAMAs last night. Wearing her Funduzi gown by Craig  Jacobs, the start said, “I’m so emotional, I can’t believe this. I’ve worked so hard and waited so long to have this.”LeAnne walked off with the Best R&B/ Neo Soul album as well as the Best Producer album.

Award 1: Best Traditional Jazz Album – Tutu Puoane – Mama Africa

Award 2: Best Instrumental Album – Wouter Kellerman – Two Voices

Award 3: Best Popular Classical Album – Peter Martens & Luis Magalhaes – Beethoven Cello Sonatas

Award 4: Best Jazz/Instrumental/Popular Classic DVD – SterlingEQ – Live in concert at the Artscape Opera House, Cape Town

Award 5: Best R&B/Neo-Soul Album – Leanne – The Journey

Award 6: Best Urban Gospel Album – Patrick Duncan – Worship in Colour

Award 7: Best Urban DVD – Thandiswa – Dance of the Forgotten Free

Award 8: Best Reggae Album – Jah Seed – No Retrest No Surrender

Award 9: Best Producer – Leanne – The Journey

Award 10: Best Engineer – Freshlyground – Radio Africa

Award 11: Best Album Packaging – Versus the Wolf – Uncovering Faces

Award 12: Remix of the Year – Stimela – Turn on the Sun

Award 13: Best Adult Contemporary Album – Steve Hofmeyr – Duisend en Een

Award 14: Best Rock Album: Afrikaans – Van Coke Kartel – Skop, Skiet en Donner

Award 15: Best Country Music Album – Manie Jackson – Manie Jackson

Award 16: Best Afrikaans Gospel Music Album – Willie Joubert – Ek Wil Jubel

Award 17: Best Afrikaans Traditional Music Album – Mooiplaas Boere Orkes – Boere –  Lekkerkry

Award 18: Best Afrikaans DVD – Romanz – Treffers Live

Award 19: Best Alternative Music Album: Afrikaans – Bittereinder – n’ Ware Verhaal

Award 20: Best Kiddies Album: Afrikaans – Alta Joubert and Minkie Burger – Lollos 2 – Bons Dat Dit Gons

Award 21: Best Adult Contemporary Album: English – Freshlyground – Radio Africa

Award 22: Best Alternative Music Album: English – Yoav – A Foolproof Escape Plan

Award 23: Best Contemporary Christian Music Album – CRC Radiation – With All My Heart

Award 24: Best Global Chart DVD – The Parlotones – Live Design

Award 25: Best Kiddies Album: English – African Treehouse – African Numbers

Award 26: Best Global Dance Album – Goldfish – Get Busy Living

Award 27: Best Multi-Artist Live DVD – Huisgenoot Skouspel 2010 – Huisgenoot Skouspel 2010

Award 28: Best-selling True-Tone – DJ Mzi and DJ Cleo – Nababantwana

Award 29: Best-selling DVD – The Parlotones – Live Design

Award 30: Best South Sotho Music Album (SeSotho) – Morusu – Morusu Vol. 2

Award 31: Best Tsongo Music (XiTsonga) Album – Thomas Chauke – Shimatsatsa No. 30

Award 32: Best Venda Music (TshiVenda) Album – Zozo Sangere Super Beat – Tshelede

Award 33: Best Alternative Music Album: African – Nomsa Mazwai – Nomisupa

Award 34: Best Mbaqanga Album – Soul Brothers – Thul’ Ubheke

Award 35: Best Adult Contemporary Album: African – Stimela – A Lifetime

Award 36: Best African Contemporary Gospel Album – Mthunzi Namba – Mercy Live in Durban

Award 37: Best Traditional African Acapella Gospel Album – Amadodana Ase Wesile – Ke Dumetse Ho Morena

Award 38: Best Traditional/African Adult Contemporary African DVD – Stimela – Live in Concert: 30 Years

Joburg Day is here

It’s one of my highlights of the year, a celebration of some of South Africa’s most awesome musical talent from 10am to 10pm… It’s Joburg Day, as organised by radio station 94.7 Highveld Stereo. The weather looks fantastic so far, probably going to cook a little later, but that doesn’t phase me much. Last year when we arrived it was exactly the same, but then the heavens opened up, drenching everyone who wasn’t ‘lucky’ enough to be in VIP ha! I feel today will just be sunny, hot and rocking. PLUS as far as I am aware the station has never sold out- until now. 16 000 people are expected to start making their way to the Riversands Farm in a bit! On the Joburg Day bill today:

Freshlyground, La Vuvuzela, Axene, Prime Circle, Locnville, HHP, Thembi Seete, Parlotones, Danny K, Denim, Liquideep, Loyiso, Arno Carstens and Jack Parow. I’ve seen most of these acts before, but one person I haven’t seen is Jack Parow before, so I’m really looking forward to seeing him on stage. I wonder if he’ll play his new track I Miss… digs it!

Joburg Day details

Summer is on the way and with that comes a whole bunch of fun outdoor activities, starting with this one: Joburg Day. The annual music festival features some of the best local talent on one stage. Here are the deets:
Venue: Riversands Farm, north of Jozi.
Date? 4th of September!
Line-up: The Parlotones
Prime Circle
Danny K
Arno Carstens
Jack Parrow
Thembi Seete
La Vuvuzela
PJ Powers

Apart from some of the coolest artists this year, the station has now introduced it a great campaign called The Homebrew Road to Joburg Day. The best in unsigned talent will get the opportunity to perform on stage on the 4th and hopefully give them the platform to launch a successful musical career. Nice!!

Tickets cost R200 for adults, R70 for children under 12, and are available from Computicket.