Bay Awards to honour top artists

Brian Hayward

THE second annual Bay Area Music Awards (Bamas) is set to rock Nelson Mandela Bay tonight when the competing acts gather at the Feather Market Centre to hear if they have won the coveted top spot.

The event, in association with Bay FM and the National Arts and Music Academy, was started up by northern areas-based non-profit organisation The Bonfire Youth Movement last year, and has since gone from strength to strength, organisers said.

The awards have 20 categories which will see “role players and artists” awarded for their hard work and dedication to building the city’s music industry, organisers say.

Included in the line-up are R&B trio ProTotype, who hail from KwaZulu-Natal, and last year’s Bama rap group winners, Earl and Agemi.

“After a very successful first annual ceremony in 2011, we have seen the public getting involved and voting for their favourite artists. [We were] receiving in excess of 5000 votes per week,” organiser Ashton Prince said.

Promising young crooner Gino Lee is nominated in the category of best male vocal, while R&B and soul group Chapter 3 is nominated in the category of best vocal group. Other nominees include hip-hop artists Qalasive, with deejay Adore Morgan of Bay FM in the running for best presenter. Other categories include best jazz, best vocal group and lifetime contribution, with categories having five nominees each. Winners are determined by public voting via SMS and “a technical panel vote”.

“This year’s event will be much bigger than last year, when the St Thomas auditorium was filled to capacity, with 800 people,” Prince said.

According to Bay muso Raymond Mateza, who helped organise last year’s event, the Bay had “some of the most talented artists”.

“For decades we supplied the rest of the country with the best musos and producers. Our performing artists have been exported all over the globe where they deliver an unparalleled quality of their art,” Mateza said.

“Unfortunately, recognition is widely limited to outsiders. As an artist myself, it is not the easiest thing to be recognised at home.

“The Bamas set a platform for the people of the Bay to acknowledge and, in a way, thank the artists of the Bay for the contributions they have made and are making.

“It’s time to think beyond the three minutes and 55 seconds the song plays, and spare a thought for the hours spent in the studio, the weeks spent rehearsing, the months spent writing and the years of dedication that went into the piece of music you just listened to.

“The Bay Area Music Awards is a small token of gratitude and a means for the public to acknowledge and say ‘well done’ to deserving artists,” he said.

Tickets cost R50 and are still available at Mocca Madness in Cleary Park Shopping Centre and Paint Warehouse in Cape Road.

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