The Metro FM Music Awards (MMAs), held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban on Saturday 23 February was bang on the urban pulse of South African music. Blue Moon pulled out all eventing stops to put together an outstanding event that truly raised the bar for live television and got the entire country tweeting up a storm, resulting in the #MMA12 hashtag trending globally.
Mafikizolo perform their hit Khona - one of the night's most popular performances
Ethekwini Mayor James Nxumalo and Luthando Shosha present Best Male Album
Azania and Robert push fans to Metro FM's Twitter and Facebook accounts for more comms
The Urban Pulse ceremony celebrated the exceptional musical diversity that SA has to offer, which is so excellently represented by the Metro FM brand through its listeners, DJs and music. The creative thought behind the Urban Pulse of the MMAs was to celebrate the unique, world-class talent that exists in South Africa and to present a dynamic urban view of our music industry and how it forms the beat to the lives of South Africans. KZN talent was particularly highlighted by showcasing artists Big Nuz, DJ Tira, Toya Delazy and Khaya Mthethwa, who all got the audience on their feet and dancing.
Aired live for the very first time ever on SABC1, the show kicked off at 8pm sharp with a performance by The Soil and Best Hip Hop winner Zakwe. This electric display of talent immediately set the tone for the rest of the ceremony. Other performances included Best Newcomer nominees and crowd favourites Khaya Mthethwa and Toya Delazy, DJ Pepsi and international artist Monique Bingham, as well as Khuli Chana. The two most talked-about performances on Twitter, however, were the ones by Mafikizolo, who performed their popular new single Khona, and DJ Vetkuk and Mahoota's remake of Via Orlando featuring Dr Malinga. The latter was in fact the surprise performance of the night as the man behind the original version of the song - Monwa - appeared on stage to an awed crowd, who sang along with the legend.
Performing twice on the night, the leaping, kicking, jumping, shaking Dr Malinga was the absolute star of the show. With his quirky short suits and multi-coloured shoes, he had the audience, and Metro FM's twitter followers in an absolute frenzy, resulting in the national trending of the hashtag #DrMalinga.
Chicco Twala, recipient of the Lifetime Achiever Award, also gave a stunning performance of some of his classic songs, which again had the audience singing along, hands raised in praise.
Emcees for the night were Metro FM DJ Azania Mosaka, who stunned the audience with her gorgeous dresses and natural beauty, and sport presenter Robert Marawa. The two kept the show running smoothly and had a genuine, playful synergy that kept everyone entertained. Read out during the show were live tweets sent in by fans watching the awards live. This, and the consistent display of the #MMA12 hashtag on TV screens, added to the Twitter frenzy.
Remaining true to the Metro FM brand throughout the show, the event showcased a radio station and a nation that is trend setting, entertaining, and ultimately worships at the beat of local music. "We aimed to create a show first and foremost for the audience," says Blue Moon Creative Dominique Masson, "And for the industry guests, as well as the viewers at home, the fans, who are the end consumers of the product. We believe that a brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is - it is what consumers tell each other it is."
Key to success of the awards was the creative powerhouse of Darren Hayward, Director of the show, Elmir Arnautovic, who was responsible for the audio-visual elements, and Greg Maqoma who pulled together the memorable choreography.
No aspect of the ceremony went unchecked. From the dynamic yet simple set, which included scaffolding and large screens, to the ever-changing lighting and pyrotechnics, there was never a dull moment on screen or off, as was experienced on Twitter. Partnering with SoulProviders, Blue Moon made sure that anyone not watching the show would know exactly what was happening by tweeting photos and updates, quotes and results on a minute-by-minute basis from the MetroFMSA Twitter account.
Blue Moon Executive Producer, Deana Heslop-Mthembu says she is pleased at the way the show came together: "There was a fantastic energy from the performers and the audience, which translated onto the TV screen. This is sometimes hard to capture, but I feel the Skhonyane Productions team responsible for the live broadcast got the mix just right for this magic to happen."
Prior to the ceremony guests were welcomed on the stylish black carpet where they were photographed and interviewed for shows such as SABC's Selimathunzi and Hectic9Nine. The nominees and invited celebrities, all looking absolutely gorgeous, were then greeted by screaming fans eagerly awaiting their arrival in the lobby.
Metro FM made a bold move by hosting the awards in February to cut through other music awards clutter, and it seems their approach has paid off. As one Twitter fan said, "This looks set to be the entertainment event of the year."
Leslie Ntloko from the SABC had these kind words to say, "Well done to you and your team on the amazing production of the 13th Metro FM Music Awards, audience in the arena and those who watched the show on television were blown away by the quality of production. Thanks and hope it was a good foundation as we work to build this great brand."
Metro FM Award Winners:
Best hip Hop: Zakwe for Zakwe Best Male Album: Professor for The Orientation Best Collaboration: Khuli Chana for Tswa Daar Best Compilation Album: Kalawa Jazmee for Kalawa Jazmee 2012: Pre Release Best Newcomer: Khaya Mthethwa Best Styled Artist: Donald Best Female Album: Zonke for Ina Ethe Best Contemporary Jazz Album: Mbuso Khoza for Zilindile Song of the Year: Oskido for Tsa Mandebele Best Group Album: The Muffinz for Have You Heard? Best R&B Album: Bryce Anderson for Ready for the World Best Hit Single: AKA for Jealousy Best Dance Album: DJ Pepsi for Royal House Best Produced Album: Donald for Train of Love Best Music Video: Julian Gomes for Love Song 28 Best African Pop Album: Berita for Conquering Spirit Best Urban Gospel Album: Solly Mahlangu for Mwamba Mwamba Best Kwaito Album: Professor for Orientation Best Digital Download: Arthur for Hlokoloza
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