GARAGELAND: Distruction Boyz from Durban, Zipho Mthembu and Thobani Mgobozi, will be at the SA Music Awards at Sun City tonight.
DURBAN - From the hard beats of gqom to the stirring strings of classical music, KwaZulu-Natal musicians feature prominently in tonight’s SA Music Awards with nominations for top local musicians like the Distruction Boyz, Shekhinah, Nqubeko Mbatha and even the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra.

The awards will be hosted by Dineo Ranaka, Somizi Mhlongo and comedian Mpho at Sun City and will be broadcast on SABC1 at 8pm.

Distruction Boyz, from KwaMashu, were nominated for best collaboration with the album #Gqomisthefuture, and best engineered album for the anthemic Omunye, featuring Benny Maverick and Dlala Mshunqisi.

The KZN Philharmonic Orchestra was nominated for a collaboration with the University of Limpopo Choristers in local work Matimba Ya Vuyimbeleri for best classical and instrumental album.

A best contemporary faith album nomination will see Nqubeko Mbatha from Richards Bay heading up north, along with Shekhinah, who has been nominated in best pop album category with Rose Gold.

Some of the other frontrunners include Lady Zamar, who flies the dance flag with My Baby and Love is Blind, while Kwesta hits hip hop with Spirit, featuring Wale, and Ngiyazifela Ngawe with Thabsie.

House DJs who may also have a reason to celebrate include Prince Kaybee, who got the green light for Charlotte; DJ Zinhle with Colours, featuring Tamara Dey; Heavy K for Inde, featuring Bucie; DJ Kent on Love You Still, featuring Domini; DJ Maphorisa with Midnight, featuring D; and Black Motion with Imali.

Mafikizolo, Mi Casa and Nana all received four Sama nominations. The Distruction Boyz told The Independent on Saturday that the nominations prove gqom really is the future.

The duo has been nominated for the Best Entertainment Television Awards to be held in Los Angeles on June 26.

Zipho Mthembu, 21, said he had grown up with Thobani Mgobozi, 21, and their parents had been friends before they were born. During school holidays they used to compose beats in their garages.

“We started playing our beats at house parties and every Saturday we’d go to Bat Centre to try and get recognition and eventually we did.

“Producing Babes Wodumo’s hit Wololo and a lot more for Mampintsha and DJ Tira has brought us a lot of fame in the industry and we thank the guys for giving us a chance to shine,” said Mthembu.

Bongani Tembe, chief executive of the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra, said he was excited and that this was the second time the orchestra had been nominated.