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Fresh Blood First! New School Dominating SAMA Nods

The new face of the South African music industry takes centre stage at the 2nd Annual SAMAs.

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One of the most frequent queries about the South African entertainment industry is the stagnancy of it all. But while the pace at which things have changed has been rather slow in the past, this awards season is giving us some hope. Fresh from the Metro FM Awards where new acts sweeped the gongs, the 22nd Annual South African Music Music have unveiled a nominations list dominated by new artists.

Fifi Cooper SAMA Nominations

Fifi Cooper has been sweeping this awards season so long. Will her streak persist at the 22nd SAMAs? Photo: Facebook.com/FifiCooper

Much like they cornered the charts throughout 2015, the likes of Fifi Cooper, Emtee, Nathi Mankayi, Riky Rick, WTF as well as Junior Taurus & Lady Zamar are all that matters this time around!

Related: Our Exclusive Interview With Fifi Cooper

Junior Taurus and Lady Zamar SAMA nominations

Bangers! Junior Taurus and Lady Zamar are amongst new acts at the 22nd SAMAs. Photo Credit: Facebook.com

Durban continued to emerge at the forefront at the game, but with a twist. While it’s been all about House music and Kwaito, new players like Shekhinah, Kyle Deutsch and Witness The Funk are part of the new school introducing us to Hip Hop and alternative sounds from eThekwini, and it’s been brilliant to witness. Thankfully, they all scored nominations.

Related: Emtee Tells QuenchSA All About His Big Year

Emtee SAMA nominations

Emtee already knows how the Song Of The Year gong feels like in his hands.

We would have liked to see Prince Kaybee in there too. It’s kind of bizarre that he didn’t make it despite having had one of the biggest house music anthems last year. One is also unsettled by the absence of Kwesta, following his reign with Ngud. Though fairly, that smash is still relatively new.

FULL NOMINATIONS LIST

Album of the Year
Francois van Coke – Francois van Coke
Emtee – Avery
Nathi – Buyelekhaya
Tresor – VII
Black Coffee – Pieces of Me

Duo or Group of the Year
Desmond & the Tutus – Enjoy Yourself
Witness the Funk – Finding Nomusa
Marcus Wyatt & the ZAR – One Night in the Sun
Jazz Orchestra, Junior Taurus & Lady Zamar – Cotton Candy
Big Nuz – For the Fans

Female Artist of the Year
Judith Sephuma – One Word
Zahara – Country Girl
Fifi Cooper – 20Fifi
Karen Zoid – Drown Out the Noise
Zonke – Work of Heart

Male Artist of the Year

Nathi – Buyelekhaya
Black Coffee – Pieces of Me
Riky Rick – Family Values
Emtee – Avery
Francois van Coke – Francois van Coke

Newcomer of the Year
Riky Rick – Family Values
Emtee – Avery
Tresor – VII
Fifi Cooper – 20Fifi
Nathi – Buyelekhaya

Best Rock Album
Desmond & the Tutus – Enjoy Yourself
Francois van Coke – Francois van Coke
Shortstraw – Youthless
Karen Zoid – Drown Out the Noise
Saarkie – Reisiger

Best Pop Album
Tresor – VII
Lakota Silva – Pop: The Mix Tape
Loki Rothman – The Way Back
Can Skylark – Overdrive
Vincent Bones – Shaded Soul

Beste Pop Album (Afrikaans)
Karlien van Jaarsveld – My Hartjie
Brendan Peyper – Stop, Wag, Bly Nog ’n Bietjie
Vaughan Gardiner – Sit Vanaand op Herhaal
Pierre Rossouw – In my Bloed
Suzanne – Vuurbestand

Best Adult Contemporary Album
Judith Sephuma – One Word
Watershed – Watch the Rain
Karen Zoid & Various – Republiek van Zoid Afrika Vol. 2
Kahn – Salt
Josie Field & Laurie Levine – Tigerlily

Beste Kontemporêre Musiek Album
Elvis Blue – Êrens in die Middel van Nêrens
Andriëtte – Pêrel vir ’n Kroon
Neil Somers – Hierdie Hande
Bok van Blerk – Sing Afrikaner Sing
Stiaan Reynierse – Sonde

Best African Adult Album

Dizu Plaatjies & Friends – Ubuntu – The Common String
Kabomo – Sekusile
Thiwe – Soul Therapy
L’wei Netshivhale – Mudzimu washu
Jessica Mbangeni – Busisiwe – Tribute to the African Heroines

Best Alternative Album
Petite Noir – La Vie Est Belle/Life is Beautiful
Sannie Fox – Serpente Masjien
The Plastics – In Threes
Moonchild Sanelly – Rabulapha!
Die Heuwels Fantasties – Ja. Nee. Lekker (Deluxe)

Best R&B/Soul/Reggae Album
Nathi – Buyelekhaya
Zonke – Work of Heart
Olwethu – Imbewu
Zahara – Country Girl
The Muffinz – Do What You Love

Best Rap Album
Emtee – Avery
Kid X – 3 Quarter Pace
Da L.E.S – North God
Riky Rick – Family Values
Zakwe – Impande

Best Kwaito Album
Big Nuz – For the Fans
Dbn Nyts – Believe
Kabelo Mabalane – Immortal Vol. 3
Dj Bongz – Game Changer
Mzansi – North Coast Vibe

Best Dance Album
Black Coffee – Pieces of Me
Mi Casa – Home Sweet Home
Mobi Dixon – Tribal Soul Special Edition
DJ Merlon – Original Copy
Junior Taurus & Lady Zamar – Cotton Candy

Best Traditional Faith Music Album
TYGC Family – The Journey Begins
Worship House – Project 12 Praise Live
Worship House – True Worship 2015
Dumi Mkokstad – Ukhona Uthixo
Women in Praise – Various Artists

Best Contemporary Faith Music Album
Ntokozo Mbambo – Spirit and Life
Mark Counihan – To the Brave Ones
Mahalia Buchanan – Redeemed to Worship
24 Skies – Endless Anthem
Benjamin Dube – Sanctified in His Presence

Best Maskandi Album
Imithente – Ichakijana
Thokozani Langa – Khuzeka Mshana
Shwi no Mtekhala – Bazali Bami
Buselaphi – Gabi Gabi
Phuzekhemisi – Woze Durban

Best Jazz Album
Marcus Wyatt & the ZAR Jazz Orchestra – One Night in the Sun
Nduduzo Makhathini – Listening to the Ground
Benjamin Jephta Quintet – Homecoming
Amandla Freedom Ensemble – Bhekisiwe
Bokani Dyer – World Music

Best Classical and/or Instrumental Album
Wouter Kellerman – Love Language
Guy Buttery – Guy Buttery
Deep South – Heartland
Cape Consort – Christoph & Sebastian
KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra – Mintirho ya SJ Khosa

Best Live Audiovisual Recording
Jimmy Dludlu – Live at Emperors Palace
Krone – Krone 2
Ntokozo Mbambo – Spirit and Life
Neyi & Omega – Friends in Praise
Benjamin Dube – Sanctified in His Presence

Best Collaboration
Dbn Nyts ft. Zinhle Ngidi & Trademark – Shumaya
Shekinah x Kyle Deutsch – Back to the Beach
AKA ft. Redsan, Burna Boy & Stoneboy – All Eyes on Me
Major League DJz ft. Cassper Nyovest, Okmalumkoolkat, Riky Rick & Carpo – Sylza Tsotsi
Khuli Chana ft. Patoranking – No Lie

Best Music Video of the Year
Jack Parow & Freshly Ground – Army of One
Riky Rick ft. Cassper Nyovest & Anatii – Fuseg
Al Bairre & PH Fat – Caviar Dreams
iFani – Ayadelela
Monark – Negatives Deluxe

Ticket sales for the 22nd Annual South Africa Music Awards taking place on Saturday, 4 June will be open to the public on Friday, 22 April at 12 noon. Tickets are R350 and available from Computicket

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Netflix

Squid Game Ending Explained; We’ve Been Scammed

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We’ve been had, and Squid Game is here to prove it.

When the end of the South Korean horror drama arrives on the ninth episode, the winner finds himself harrowed by what the coveted prize has cost his soul. In the rat race for survival, along with a better life that hinges on the never ending hustle, there’s no time to stop and see the horror our lives become. By the end, we see how the winner has sold his soul for a crappy deal that came with a few toys, and a happy meal.

A group of 456 players are mysteriously invited to take part in a set of children’s games for a grand prize of $38 million, which will be enough to give the winner the financial freedom they desperately need. The players are selected from different walks of life, with the burden of excessive debt being their biggest motivation to give the Game a go.

The first of deepening terrors comes during the first game, when the players discover that penalties for losing in the challenges will be death. DEATH. Horrified, the players initially vote to leave and return to their lives.

This noble departure doesn’t last long; their material realities as fugitives on the run from debt collectors only highlights the glow of the precious promise they’ve now left behind. When they return for the second time, they now consent to their highly probable deaths.

Led by Lee Jung-jae, who plays Seong Gi-hun, a taxi driver with a gambling addiction, the South Korean series has become somewhat of a global phenomenon. Now the most streamed Korean series of all time, Squid Game is also said to be on pace to dethrone Bridgerton as the most streamed series in the history of Netflix. And it’s with good reason. Squid Game is a trip.

Survival is the drive. The blues of a broke life pile up for Seong Gi-hun, who’s daughter is being taken away to the US by her mother and step father. His mother is battling deteriorating diabetes and even in her frail condition, is still working hard to make ends meet. It’s during the peak of his frustrations that Gi-hun is randomly invited to take part in the Game.

After accepting the offer, he finds himself in a discreet location along with 455 players, who are also drowning in debt. The players are kept under an authoritarian system of surveillance. Masked guards in pink suits keep the scene under control under the supervision of the Front Man. Gi-hun allies with other players, including his childhood friend Cho Sang-woo, as a the most strategic way to survive the bloody challenges.

Amongst those that end up in this team is player 001, a frail old man who who became his “gganbu”. Sae-byeok, who was also in the team, was killed by Sang-woo, Gi-hun’s childhood friend, team member and flip-flopping ally. Several other team members had to be killed by their team mates, which revealed the wickedness of the games.

In the end, Gi-hun’s victory came without an apology. He had to defeat a close ally in the games, the old and frail player 001. They’d bonded throughout their time, but in the end he had to advance himself against those he’d built alliances. As the games progressed, the players found themselves having to face tough calls. Someone else has to die for you to make it another day.

After a series of brutal games, it comes down to childhood friends Gi-hun and Cho Sang-woo. They’d played different games, with Sang-woo having played hard and stopping at nothing to win. Gi-hun is mad at Sang-woo for a series of betrayals, including him stabbing Sae-byeok to her death. In the end, Gi-hun wins when Sang-woo apologised and kills himself.

Yet despite emerging a winner, Gi-hun finds that the cost of becoming an overnight billionaire has bankrupted his soul. For a year following the day his bank account was loaded with a nine zero figure, he didn’t touch the money. After all, he returned to find his mother dead on the floor. One of his motivations was getting the money to get her medical help over her advancing diabetes.

THE ENDING

Gi-hun is clearly troubled by the bodies upon which his new wealth rests. A year passes and he hasn’t touched the money – even oddly reverting to old patterns of asking for loans to get by. It might be late to be so concerned about the moral questions surrounding the games now – the long and short of it is he won and his life has changed.

Later, he is shocked to find out that the “gganbu” who had to be killed after losing to him in a game of marbles, was never really killed.

In a shocking plot twist that changes everything – he also finds out that the old man is in fact the creator of the games! Finding him in a medical bed after receiving a mysterious invite to the location, Gi-hun discovers that the man’s real name is Oh Il-nam, an obscenely rich fella who created the games in 1988 (the same year Korea hosted the Olympics for the first time) purely for their entertainment. We already know by now that ‘the VIPs’ are a bunch of morally bankrupt elites who find pleasure in watching the poor masses slaughtering each other for money in a broken system. Where have we heard that before?

Although his participation in the games as player 001 was a farce, what he told Gi-hun back then, that he had a brain tumour, had been true. And of course, he challenged him to another sick game. A man had been freezing to death on a street pavement, and Oh Il-nam challenged Gi-hun to guess to bet on the odds that someone who help him when the clock strikes 00:00 at midnight. As Gi-hun wins, Oh Il-nam dies.

We assume this marks the end of the games. However later in the episode, Gi-hun sees the man who recruited him doing it to someone else. He runs to stop what is happening, but arrives at the exact scene late, the train has already taken off. Later on the way to boarding a flight, he turns and calls a number. “I can’t forgive you for everything you’re doing,” he tells ta man we assume to be In-ho. He turns back, clearly about to begin his new mission.

What we know now, is that Oh Il-nam created the games to tickle the sick tastes of his sick rich network. But he is now dead. Who is now behind the games? This, and Gi-hun’s passionate manifesto, are strong indications that next season of the series is already shaping up to a different arc. It’s his final transformation, and he is ready to take down the operation and those behind it. He won’t allow people to be “horses” for the entertainment of wealthy elites.

We know that In-ho shot Jun-ho in a bid to stop him from alerting the police about the games. The signal was bad, delaying the delivering of the evidence Jun-ho had been trying to send in several texts, right up to the moment the moment he plunged from a cliff and hit the water. What we don’t know is whether the messages were really not delivered. There’s also no conclusive evidence that Jun-ho is dead.

Potentially, the biggest lesson from season one is that our relentless pursuit for material success in a punishing money system kills us.

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Netflix

First Look at HBO’s Game of Thrones Spin-Off ‘House of The Dragon’

DRACARYS!

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Things look promising for HBO’s upcoming drama series, The House of Dragon. The highly buzzed Games of Thrones prequel’s first visual teaser has been met with much fanfare, raking in more than 8,6 million views on Youtube within two days of its arrival.

The House of Dragon

Photo Credit: HBO via Twitter

First reactions and buzz around the epic teaser have been strong indications that the series, slated to premiere in 2022, is off to a good start despite the infamous final season slump suffered by G.O.T. And it could mean that maybe, just maybe,  the world ready to let old baggage go.

The House of Dragon, created by an entire different team, will arrive about three years since the cold winter. The cast includes Matt Smith, Paddy Considine and Sonoya Mizuno who will be bringing to life a different era of Westeros.

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Midnight Mass is Creepy With A Dark Subtext and You Need To See it

‘God’s angel’ had sinister plans for the town.

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The reign of terror plunges a small and quiet town to ashes when the arrival of a charismatic yet mysterious priest coincides with the return of a disgraced young man who has just been released from prison.

While Riley (Zach Gilford) initially finds that Crockett Island and its 127 residents – along with his childhood sweetheart Erin (Kate Siegel) – still conduct a mundane existence, Pastor Paul (Hamish Linklater) soon changes that.

Midnight Mass

“The LORD’s angel”‘s life giving blood comes scams locals into horrible mistakes on Midnight Mass.

When the island’s much loved Roman Catholic senior priest takes a trip to the pilgrimage and never comes back, an energetic new priest takes his place at the Holy Land church. And while his arrival brings with it a new wave of spiritual revival amongst the island community, something sinister begins to haunt the town.

With each episode, the esoteric occult that powers Paul’s ability to perform astounding miracles and mesmerise the islanders, slowly gains dominion over the unsuspecting community. Instead, they begin taking up a renewed interest in the church as word of mouth spreads about the signs and wonders. Much like Jesus Christ was able to draw crowds wherever he went, the appearance of Paul’s supernatural power is able to attract even those who’d remained sceptics their lives.

It’s the blending of the sacred and the sinister. The taking of communion that has been contaminated with demonic blood, which functions as the miracle drug promising eternal life.

We soon find out the miracles come at an unthinkable cost.

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