Former Port Elizabeth jazz artist Dumza Maswana is one of a number of Eastern Cape artists nominated for the 23rd South African Music Awards taking place in Sun City on May 27.
Nominated for Best African Adult Album for Molo, Maswana said it was his first ever nomination for an award.
“It’s huge because the Samas are not like any other awards. They aren’t hype-driven, they’re about the quality of the music, the quality of sound and quality of the artist,” Maswana said.
“The nomination is a validation of some sort that I’m on the right track.
“As an independent artist I didn’t even think I stood a chance.”
The soulful singer, whose album is mostly in isiXhosa, said he was passionate about the language and that this was “my little contribution to preserving it”. Molo is Maswana’s second album. However he said it felt like it was his first because “the first album wasn’t really who I am and I was still figuring out my sound.”
Originally from Ngqushwa, Maswana moved to Port Elizabeth in 2003 for the “pursuit of music” because, back in his home town, people mostly only appreciated gospel music.
“Port Elizabeth for me was like a university because when I arrived here, I sang gospel.
“Back home there was no platform for me to express my passion, which has always been jazz,” Maswana explained.
Other Eastern Cape artists nominated alongside Maswana include Asanda Msaki Mvana, The Soil, Nathi Mankayi, Thandiswa Mazwai, NaakMusiQ and Vusi Nova.