Sho Madjozi shines like a supernova
Tsonga trailblazer Sho Madjozi is getting ready for her first South African Music Awards (Samas) in Sun City, North West, tomorrow.
The 27-year-old supernova is not only attending the 25th Samas as a guest, but as a four-time nominee and performer.
Her family - including her mother, younger sister and cousin - will be right there cheering her on. "The nerves are not too bad. I'm hoping to go there and have as much fun as possible," she says.
"We have really been working so hard and sometimes we forget that this is our dream coming true. We also have to make sure that we enjoy it.
"I never thought my first time at the Samas will be in this context. I didn't think the first time I will be attending I will be a multiple nominee and performer as well.
"It's crazy because you grow up and see the Samas, you just never think you will be in there. You kind of hope it can happen. That's why I don't want to stress too much about what ends up happening."
Real name Maya Wegerif, she is nodded for Music Video of the Year, Female Artist of the Year, and Best Kwaito/Gqom/Amapiano.
But Newcomer of the Year, where she is nominated alongside Mlindo The Vocalist, Paxton, Simmy and Sun-El Musician, is what leaves butterflies in her stomach.
"It's a very competitive year. Best newcomer is always such a high achievement. But we have some of the best newcomers compared to other years," she says. "Usually, you can clearly spot a winner. It depends on what the judges are looking for.
"If you are going to be looking at who has had the most impact on fashion, culture, trends, hair and international appeal ... then maybe me.
"But maybe other artists might have bigger radio play. I'm happy to be considered as one of the best new things to come out of South Africa.
"My album is really good and I love it. I'm confident and proud of myself."
Sho will be performing on the night, although she opted to keep mum on what song(s) she will be singing.
"Every day we take it a step higher and higher, we always do something slightly different," she teases.
Renowned for always adding her bright-hued xibelani (traditional Tsonga skirt) to her sartorial choices, Sho plans to have a total of three outfit changes.
"Most of the designs I worked on them myself with a stylist and designers to put them together," she says.
"All of our looks will be made from scratch. They will all have a touch of village girl. I like all of them and obviously the one that is for the stage is out of this world."
June promises to be an explosive month for the Huku hitmaker as she's headed to the BET Awards in LA later in the month. She is nominated for Best New International Act alongside Teni (Nigeria), Octavian (UK), Nesly (France), Jok'Air (France) and Headie One (UK).
"When I sat at home and thought about it, the guys at BET looked at all the new acts from around the world outside of the US and decided I was one of the most exciting things happening in the world.
"It's a huge achievement just to be nominated. I won't be bitter no matter which way it goes."
This week she was also announced in the hot line-up for the third Afropunk Joburg taking place on December 30 and 31 at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg.
She joins US singers Solange, Miguel and Masego.
Samas air live on SABC 1 tomorrow at 8pm. The red carpet starts at 7.30pm.