You need smart plan to win Summer Song title, says organiser
Would the real king of dance music please stand up?
Is it Malwedhe hit-maker King Monada or Banomoya house music maestro Prince Kaybee or Skeleton Move mastermind Master KG?
That was the polarising question that rocked Mzansi when the clock struck midnight and the ball dropped on New Year's Day.
After all, their honorary stage names all have royal and noble rankings, further making the million rand question difficult to answer.
The much-coveted SABC Summer Song 2018 added fuel to the fire by once again stirring controversy when it named Bolobedu dance maestro Master KG's sleeper hit Skeleton Move featuring Zanda Zakuza as their top pick.
It previously garnered controversy in 2016 when Mroza's Van Damme scooped top honours while many were certain that King Monada's Ska Bhora Moreki was a lock.
Since its inception in 2015, when Nathi Mankayi's Nomvula won, the Summer Song of the Year campaign sees SABC stations participating. The song that receives the most votes wins the big prize of cash and a car.
Campaign founder Owen Ndlovu reiterates that it does not matter how popular a song is or how big a star is, it's all about smart marketing to ensure that you get enough votes.
"What I want to rectify is that there is no radio station in SA that has Summer Song of the Year. Radio stations have what they call their own top 10 based on their playlist. They get to their number one, which becomes their crossover song," Ndlovu explains.
"We based our calculation on our SMS line, not on social media, on who accumulated the most number of votes."
Ndlovu says an audit report will be released for the sake of transparency. "I'm not worried about controversies behind things because when I started this I wanted to bring something different, that belongs to the people and level the playing field," Ndlovu says.
"People were expecting for example big stars like Cassper Nyovest or Black Coffee to win. Master KG beat them because it's not about popularity. It's the votes that count.
"People are saying King Monada should have won, but he doesn't have a single picture running a campaign on social media. Black Coffee only managed just over 100 votes, whereas the winner is sitting at over 100,000 votes. You must have a proper marketing strategy to win."
Thobela FM's song of the year is the only SABC station to coincide with Summer Song of the Year by going with Master KG's Skeleton Move.
The 22-year-old Tzaneen-born newcomer, real name Kgaugelo Moagi, just came from another big win late last year. He won the Best Artist, Duo or Group in African Electro at the Afrima Awards held in Ghana, beating DJ Maphorisa, Babes Wodumo, Distruction Boyz and Patoranking. The song also won Best Dance/House Single at the Limpopo Music Awards.
"I'm overwhelmed with joy. I cannot believe that we made it. I'm indebted to the fans, supporters and followers who are behind my career. I am nothing without you guys," Master KG gushes.
"It is a big deal for me, thank you so much to all. I will continue to make music that you will be proud of. I look forward to 2019 and what I will be releasing."
Ukhozi FM, the biggest station in SA, and Metro FM picked Prince Kaybee and Busiswa smash hit Banomoya as their song of the year.
"It feels great. It's just good music, people like good music, there is nothing specific that made it stand-out," Kaybee said. "People can expect more good music this year; I will be dropping my third studio album in February."
King Monada's Malwedhe was number one on Motsweding FM and Capricorn FM.
"To the voters, all fans including the silent ones, supporters, followers of King Monada music and all participants of #MalwedheChallenge you will remain the cores, pillars and proud keepers of King Monada Music," Monada took to social media to thank his supporters.
All roads now lead to the awards season, in particular to see who will dominate the 25th annual South African Music Awards (Samas).
"I feel like I have done my fair share of winning awards, if more comes this year it's ok and even if they don't come it's still ok," Kaybee says.