Legendary musicians Joe Nina, Jimmy Dludlu and McCoy Mrubata are set to receive the #SAMA28 Lifetime Achievement Award this year. The award recognises musical giants who have significantly contributed to the development, upliftment, and advancement of the South African music industry over at least two decades.
Acclaimed house maestro, Black Coffee, will be presented with the International Achievement Award in recognition of his prolific international musical career and setting a gold standard of excellence.
These distinguished honours will be handed over at the 28th SAMAs which will take place on Sunday, 28 August 2022 at Sun City, broadcast live on SABC 1 at 20:00
Makhosini Xaba, known as Joe Nina, was born to a guitarist father and a vocalist mother. The first born of four children cut his teeth in the music industry at 14 by providing music production services under Teal Polygram, Sony, BMG, Gallo and other international record distribution companies. By the age of 25, his persistence, creativity, and ability to experiment with different genres saw him find expression in a new genre termed kwaito, and it was not long before his musical innovation saw him crowned as one of the pioneers of kwaito.
Since the release of his 1994 breakthrough second album Ding Dong, Joe Nina has gone on to release over 20 albums and produced for more than 50 South African artists, including Ringo Madlingozi, Ray Phiri, Sibongile Khumalo, Tsepo Tshola and Sharon D, among other talented musicians.
Committed to the development of local talent, Joe Nina is a devoted arts activist whose belief in empowerment and economic independence saw him found Killa Joe Records as a platform to transform and economically develop young musicians.
Joe Nina is a recipient of three SAMA awards: Best African Pop Album (2000 and 2001) and Best Alternative African Music Album (2010).
His foray into music began after teaching himself to play his cousin’s guitar at the age of 13 by imitating jazz and African music he heard on the radio. This has certainly impacted his own musical style which displays a wide-ranging set of influences, combining both traditional and modern elements of jazz with African rhythms and melodies.
His career took off in October 1995 after sharing a stage with Senegalese singer and guitarist Ismaėl Lo’s African Reconnection Tour in Cape Town. With his band, C-Base Collective, Jimmy went on to perform two highly acclaimed shows at the 1996 Arts Alive Festival in Johannesburg and found himself a PolyGram recording artist by the end of that year, releasing his debut album Echoes from the Past in September 1997 and earning him two SAMAs for Newcomer of the Year and Best Contemporary Jazz Album in 1998. The album sold over 25 000 copies, making him one of the country’s greatest jazz artists. The album experienced international success as well in countries including the US, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden and Hungary.
Saxophonist, flute player, band leader and composer, McCoy was born in Cape Town’s historic Langa township, around the soulful hymns of the Zion Church, the chants and rhythms of traditional healers and the brassy jive of the Merry Macs band that rehearsed opposite his home. When schooling became impossible in the fiery aftermath of the 1976 uprising, the young McCoy then playing flute studied informally under Langa greats.
By the early 1980s he was playing in cover bands until he was spotted by veteran producer Koloi Lebona who offered him a recording deal and a year later he formed Brotherhood, which also included guitarist Jimmy Dludlu pianist Nhlanhla Magagula and Lucas Khumalo.
After touring with Hugh Masekela and guitarist Lawrence Matshiza and late pianist Moses Molelekwa, he formed his own band in the 1990s and created his own album series, Tears of Joy, as leader for the independent Sheer Sound label. Since those days several award winning albums have been released including Face The Music which won the 2003 SAMA in the Traditional Jazz category and Icamagu Livumile which won the same award in 2005, as well as the compilation CD – Best of the Early Years.
McCoy has collaborated with a dazzling array of local and international artists; created scores for South African productions and starred in a Norwegian production based on the life of John Coltrane. He has also created what he calls the Oyoung Friends: a collaboration with the next generation of South African jazzmen.
As Black Coffee proved on his 2009 SAMA-winning album Home Brewed, the DJ and producer defies convention. Sidestepping Afro-house clichés in favour of restrained sophistication, Black Coffee’s penchant is for true Afropolitan house. His biggest breakthrough however was in 2017 when his classic Superman was reimagined into Get it Together by Drake and globally released.
Since his introduction to the music industry, Black Coffee has amassed a number of firsts; many of which have cemented his place on the SA music legends list; these include being the first DJ to perform at Coachella twice, the first African artist to have his show on Apple Music’s Beat 1 and the first African DJ to win a BET award. In 2022, he became the first African DJ to win a Grammy award for his album SBCNCSLY which includes features from the likes of Pharrell Williams, Diplo, Kelly Rowland and Cassie. This moment came shortly after he launched the Black Coffee Foundation and before the news that he had shaped the sound of Drake’s latest project Honestly, Nevermind.
The multiple SAMA winner has additionally invested in building a school and in a music streaming platform merged with a social networking platform called GongBox that aims to have artists own the rights to their music and allow them to profit in the most positive light.
RiSA CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi said: “We are proud to be recognising these national treasures and ambassadors of South African music. These acts have not only raised the profile of South African music as a whole but served to inspire, nurture and cultivate South African talent. Deservedly, these individuals will be presented with these honours at Sun City.”