IN a coup for Eastern Cape musicians, six artists from the province have been shortlisted for accolades at the 12th Metro FM Music Awards in Durban next month.
The announcement was made last night at a gala event in Johannesburg.
Now musicians Zonke and Lulu Dikana, Loyiso Bala, Berita, Camagwini and Unathi Msengana are holding thumbs that their fans will show their support by voting for them.
The Dikana sisters – Lulu and Zonke – who hail from New Brighton in Port Elizabeth, will compete against one another in two categories – best-produced album and best-produced female album.
Lulu, who is also nominated in the best contemporary album category, said yesterday she was ecstatic.
"I am very humbled by these nominations. Competing with my sister is not a problem because she is a musician and I would be happy if she won the awards, but I will be happier if I win," she said.
Bala, originally from Uitenhage, has been nominated for best urban gospel album with Hlengiwe Mhlaba, Jabu Hlongwane, Redeemed and Solly Mahlangu.
"I am always surprised when I get nominated. It is always an honour to be nominated with the big names in the gospel industry," Bala said.
Camagwini, who released her album Rebirth last year, is nominated for best-styled artist or group.
She has been nominated alongside Toya Delazy, Nandi, Unathi and Donald.
"It is good that people do appreciate our style. Everyone nominated in this category is beautiful in their own way," she said.
New kid on the block, Afro-soul singer Berita – a financial information system student at Walter Sisulu University – said she was still shocked by her two nominations.
She is up for best African pop album for her album Conquering Spirit, and also best contemporary album.
"I feel honoured that my work is being appreciated. I recorded this album just for the love of music and I am glad that people liked it," she said.
"I wrote all the songs myself and it was released in March last year. It only started getting airplay around June and it was available in stores around September.
"I am truly excited about my two nominations."
A Metro FM breakfast show co-host, Msengana has also been nominated in four categories – best African pop album for her album With Love, best female album (for the same album), best-styled artist and best music video for Kwano Lali.
The voting lines open at midnight for the public to vote.
Fans can SMS the category name and their favourite artist to 34764. Voting closes on February 17, ahead of the February 23 awards.