Musos elated as Samas give reggae its own category

Upbeat Eastern Cape artists now set their sights on top awards

Reggae vibes are set to rock the Samas.
The SA Music Awards have finally given the beloved genre of reggae its own category – best reggae album.
No one could be happier than Mthatha reggae artist Ras Vuyo, who has been nominated in the category for his debut album Diversion, released last year.
Vuyo said: “I was really happy upon hearing the news.
“It made me feel good because I believe I make quality music that is on an international standard. It is about time that we see the SA music industry recognising reggae.”
He said the album was doing really well, especially overseas, where he was nominated for best african reggae artist last year at the Reggae France Awards.
He felt reggae was more celebrated overseas than it is in SA. The fact that reggae was combined at the Samas into a category with dancehall, soul and R&B undermined reggae.
“Reggae music is already not getting enough airplay, so that is the first point of disadvantage.
“I think there are many misconceptions when it comes to the genre, like that reggae music is only for weedheads and followers of the Rastafarian religion, but all those are false perceptions.
“Reggae actually played an important role in the liberation of SA,” he said.
Vuyo said reggae was about the message and that his music was “edutainment”.
“Society has so many issues and we all have to try to find ways to help it heal. Music is a powerful tool and I use my music to send a message, to provoke your thoughts and to revive the mind and soul.”
His song Agenda 2063 was the “African Union's 50-year plan for the unification of Africa”.
He applauded the people who worked behind the scenes to forge the reggae breakthrough. “They made the organisers realise that the genre is big.”
A fellow nominee in the category, Port Elizabeth-born reggae and dancehall artist Nkululeko Madolo, aka Black Dillinger, also received the announcement with excitement.
Commenting on his Facebook page while on tour in PE he wrote: “Dem decriminalisation Marijuana, now they just did the same to South African reggae category Sama finally and officially announced the independent nomination, especially for reggae music. They used to mix reggae with pop, gospel and kwaito lol … Free@last and now what we need is your crucial support South African reggae lovers.”..

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