From the opening notes of Amazulu – the title track of Amanda Black’s debut album – it’s easy to see why this songstress is nominated as Female Artist of the Year at this year’s SAMAs. She has also been nominated for Newcomer of the Year, Album of the Year, Best R&B/Soul Reggae Album. With four nominations, Amanda is the third most nominated musician at this year’s awards. Not bad for a newcomer! We did some snooping to give you the lowdown on this platinum-selling artist.

Amanda grew up in the Eastern Cape, and started singing from a very young age. Following her passion (and we’re so glad she did!), she decided to study music at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, graduating with a diploma in 2015, according to Ambitiouz. After graduating, the young musician moved to Johannesburg, and she was discovered just months after moving to the city. If you’re reading this and thinking you’ve heard of Amanda before, that may be because you’ve seen her on TV. In 2015 she entered South African Idols, and managed to get to the top 10 before getting eliminated.

Fast forward just a few years to her debut Amazulu, a beautifully polished set of tracks. Throughout the album, Amanda showcases her incredible vocal abilities. She effortlessly moves between different sounds and ranges: she has the soul to belt her notes like in the track Lila, and the tenderness to soulfully sing ballads like Separate. She does her voice real justice by exploring different sounds, yet keeping the album consistent at the same time.

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Now in its 23rd year, the South African Music Awards (SAMAs) is the highlight of the local music industry’s calendar. This year will be no different as the best in the industry are celebrated. We’ll get to see our faves on the red carpet and on the stage, but arguably one of the best thing about the SAMAs is celebrating the new voices in music. Soul Kuture, Nasty C, Babes Wodumo and Sketchy Bongo are Amanda’s contenders for Newcomer of the Year. It’s going to be a neck-on-neck race for these artists. Watch out for Amanda at the SAMAs, which will be happening on May 26 or follow them on Twitter. And if you’re curious about some of the other women making waves at this year’s SAMAs, MC will be introducing the contenders for Best Female Artist one by one. Keep an eye out.

And, by the way, Amanda has a seriously cool Instagram!

She’s a rockstar baby #AmandaBlack #Amazulu Happy Sunday

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