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Tyler ICU joins an elite crop of SA nominees for MTV EMAs

Best African Act category was launched in 2005

Emmanuel Tjiya S Mag Editor-in-chief
Amapiano sensation Tyler ICU nominated at the MTV Europe Music Awards.
Amapiano sensation Tyler ICU nominated at the MTV Europe Music Awards.
Image: Supplied.

Mnike continues to be goated, with the hit-maker for the amapiano smash hit Tyler ICU nominated for the 2023 MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs).

Real name Austin Baloyi, the fresh-faced music producer and DJ joins an elite crop of SA artists to be nodded for Best African Act since the category launched in 2005, including Zamajobe, HHP, Mi Casa, Goldfish, AKA, Black Coffee, Cassper Nyovest, Babes Wodumo, Nasty C, Distruction Boyz, Shekhinah, Kabza de Small, DJ Maphorisa, Focalistic, Musa Keys, Mafikizolo and Prince Kaybee.

Afro-fusion band Freshlyground (2006), electro hop music duo Locnville (2013) and Jerusalema Master KG (2020) are the only Mzansi acts to have won the award.

Tyler ICU will compete against Nigerian musicians Asake and Burna Boy (2019 and 2022 winner); Libianca originally from Cameroon and Tanzanian megastar Diamond Platnumz (2015 winner).

“2023 marks a historic moment for the MTV EMAs as we proudly embrace and celebrate the rich diversity of talent from across the globe,” said Monde Twala, senior vice president and general manager for Paramount Africa and lead for BET International.

“This year’s nominations reflect our commitment to showcasing artists from all corners of the world, highlighting their unique voices and talent.”

Doja Cat'.
Doja Cat'.
Image: ANDREW KELLY

Best Afrobeats will make its debut as an all-new category with Asake, Aya Nakamura, Ayra Starr, Burna Boy, Davido and Rema nominated.

The awards will return to Paris for the first time since 1995 on November 5 with American musician Taylor Swift leading the nomination pack with seven nods including Best Artist, Best Song and Best Video. Olivia Rodrigo and SZA  scored six nods respectively, with Doja Cat, Måneskin, Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj each honoured with four nominations.

“We are thrilled to introduce the ‘Best Afrobeats’ category, a testament to the global impact and influence of this vibrant genre,” said Twala.

Nicki Minaj.
Nicki Minaj.
Image: ANDREW KELLY
International superstar SZA performs at Global Citizen Festival at the Black Star Square in Accra, Ghana.
International superstar SZA performs at Global Citizen Festival at the Black Star Square in Accra, Ghana.
Image: Masi Losi

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