Stage set for this year’s Eastern Cape Music Awards

The third annual Eastern Cape Music Awards (ECMAS) are back and will take place in East London at the Guild Theatre on February 2.
Conceptualised by businessman Koko Godlo, the awards are not only helping promoters establish local musicians but also those who are hoping to break into the music industry by giving them a platform to perform. It also awards artists for their craft.
Speaking to the Daily Dispatch on Wednesday, Godlo said the awards were very important for all Eastern Cape musicians as they set a platform that would help recognise performers before they were recognised nationally and internationally.
“The platform we are giving artists is very big, we have many success stories.
“Take for example Nathi Mankayi. His very first award was at the ECMAS and others like Mobi Dixon, Zahara, iFani. The list is endless so that is the type of platform we are giving to Eastern Cape musicians,” he said of the awards, which started in 2015.
Godlo said each year they tried to do something different that would make the awards more interesting and fun.
This year they have introduced the Woza Mzala Africa music festival.
“We normally have four or five artists perform at our awards, this year we will have 17 artists.”
Godlo said the voting lines were now closed and all votes had been counted and are to be announced on the day of the awards.
With a total of 12 categories, Godlo said the awards were a true reflection of the province’s music talent.
The categories include artists of the year, song of the year, best male, best female, best traditional artist/ group, best hip hop, best gospel artist/ group, best kwaito, best afro pop, best community radio DJ, best community radio programme and best newcomer.
The biggest nominations for the awards this year went to Phelo Bala, who was nominated for artist of the year, song of the year, best traditional artist and best afro pop.
He is followed by Mpondo artist Nomdakazana Dlamini for best afro pop, best traditional artist and best female artist.
Dlamini said: “I am hopeful for the best, it is my first time participating at the ECMAs.
“I am positive for a good outcome”.
Other nominees include Stundees Music, Mahlanyana, Jelarico, I-Dentist, Great Stone, Ciar Diko, Andile Ncanda, Andile Lento, Adjar Brown, Amawele Ka Mamtshawe, Alutha, 2LZG and Luxx.
Hosting the awards will be Umhlobo Wenene FM’s Amaza Ntshanga and Mdantsane FM’s DJ Anita Rula.
“The awards are about building people and that is why we decided to give Anita a platform to co-host at the awards,” Godlo said.
Addressing the issue of the same artist winning awards, Godlo said the competition was open to every artist to apply for nominations.
“We open an opportunity for all Eastern Cape artists to apply for nominations for the ECMAS then we open lines for the public to vote, winners of the awards are decided for by the public,” Godlo said.
“We happen to receive applications from the same people but we have not had artists win the same category twice,” he added.
This year Godlo received R1m funding from the Buffalo City Metro to stage the awards.
The event starts at 7pm and tickets are available at Computicket for R190...

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