It's all roads lead to Sun City next weekend for the 25th installment of the South African Music Awards (SAMAs) as Mzansi honours and celebrates the crème de la crème of the music industry.
We caught up with one of Mzansi’s heavy weights Kelly Khumalo ahead of the prestigious event who is confident she’s going to win big this year. The 34-year-old muso is a big contender in the Best Female Artist of the Year and Best Afro Pop Album for her 8th album "Unleashed".
"It's funny that my producer and I predicted the Best Female nomination, in fact he predicted both. When we were in the studio we were like 'if we don’t get nominated for these two, then, what are we doing?' and we spoke it to life.
"And everybody that I worked with believes that "Unleashed" was worth being nominated and even winning a couple of awards.”
When quizzed about her view with regards to awards in general, Khumalo who walked away with the SAMAs Best Female Artist award in 2013 thinks it’s "cute" that 15-years into the industry her work is still being appreciated.
"I’m a different type of person or an artist, I never seek validation in anything. I believe that I'm a highly gifted artist but it’s also nice to actually put your work out there and have it appreciated and 15 years later and I still get nominated, I think it’s really cute,'' she enthused.
The star has in recent years been a target of social media trolls, with her name being associated with death, following the tragic passing of her football star boyfriend Senzo Meyiwa who was gunned down in 2014. She constantly takes the heat with cyberbullies harassing her to reveal Meyiwa’s killers but the Asine hitmaker who has a daughter with the slain soccer superstar says she is not defined by people’s opinions.
"I don't care about what's been said, I’m not defined by what’s been said about me. I strongly believe that how a person sees you, is a reflection of how they see themselves. One thing I've learnt in life is that people will always drag you down when you remind them of their failures and when you rise above everything, for them they will never understand how do you do that because they’re still at the same place they were 15 years ago."
On how her music has aided her to keep her head above the water in the midst of the hardships she had previously endured, and how she has managed to stay relevant she said: "The staying power lies within respecting the business, respecting your craft and respecting your fans and hard work as well and over and above that, being authentic. People want real people, people can relate to real. I talk (sing) about real stuff that women go through and somehow they can relate to that, and that has somehow kept me in the game."
Khumalo also shared why she decided to keep her nuptials to rapper Chad Da Don a secret, saying: "Certain things are better kept out of the public eye and I think umshado (marriage) is for the two of us. I have lived my life in the limelight half of my life basically and I just want my marriage to be something that is for me and my family."
The SAMA25 takes place on May 31 and June 1 in Sun City, North West province. It will be broadcast live on June 1 on SABC1 at 8pm.
Tickets are available at Ticket Pro for R415.