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PMVA: Making of the greats


Ndovu Kuu in attendance during the Pulse Music Video Awards nominees party at Shooters and Dips at Panari. [Photo/Silas Otieno]

The journey to the 2022 PMVAs has been a tough one. After a rigorous judging session, more than 100 nominees have made it into the nomination list, making it the highest number in the history of the awards. A record 950 entries were submitted this year.

It is no wonder it has been christened PMVA – The Greats.

“This is a commitment not just from Kenya Cane but an articulation of Kenya Breweries Limited’s pledge to promote and grow the creative sector in line with the SDGs.I encourage Kenyans to vote in large numbers for their favourite artistes,” says Davis Changalwa, shopper and category marketing manager – EABL.

Some might not have heard of an artiste called Hanta The Samurai. This has nothing to do with the Japanese warrior caste. He is Kenyan. A rapper from Embu.

His song, Kana Ka Nikora released two months ago has him coming up as Kenya’s possible next big rapper. He has that vibe Khaligraph Jones introduced himself with some years back.

Bridget Blue is an amazing new talent. Let us not say she is the next Nikita Kering because there is only one Nikita. But you get the drift. She has been releasing new music videos all year round; Found You, Goodbye, Woman and the latest project Colours. The November release, Colours is something worth checking out.

The country has not been short of new music artistes. 

From Veryl Akinyi aka Mkali Wao from Nakuru with Vzomba, Ray 002 from Kwale with Sawa, and Shifuu, the artiste who had Amber Ray acting video vixen in his Monica video the other day, the PMVA submissions introduced us to the future of Kenyan music. It was the category with the most entries.

The Only Rosa opens a new page in Kenyan music with Only Fans, featuring Bien, and Nasha Travis is the new queen from the Coast.

Then there is Dyana Cods, who you must check out. Try her Foreign, featuring Buruklyn Boyz.

The PMVA comes to bring new talents as we celebrate Kenyan creatives. It has been seven years since taking cue from the Pulse magazine that has been at it for 20 years.

As this year’s PMVA changes the game plan, we are definitely at the edge of something new.    

Celebrated music artistes are up against new players who have been threatening the status quo. It is not a question of if we have new talent. It is about getting ready to usher in new stars.

Even though popular names have dominated this year’s list of nominees, a considerable number of new artistes have made it to this coveted list.

This year’s awards are also bigger and better with 19 categories, up from the traditional 11, with the inclusion of regional categories.

In the competitive Male Video of the Year category, Khaligraph Jones (Mbona) is up against Mejja (Kanairo), Bien (Inauma), Nviiri (Nikita), Otile Brown (Terminator) and Ndovu Kuu (Maggie) featuring Bien The Baldman.

While Khaligraph Jones and Mejja have won the category before, Ndovu Kuu and Otile Brown have been past contenders, with Bien making his entry for the first time as a solo artiste.

“It is a great honour to be recognised and nominated; I am humbled to have been nominated yet again. As much as we do not make music to be nominated, this spirit helps to encourage industry players and in turn, grow the industry. I thank everyone who has been involved in the process and pray the best man wins,” said Ndovu Kuu as he accepted his nomination.   

In the Female Video of the Year group, Nikita Kering (Oh Yah), Femi One (Hepi), Nadia Mukami (Kai Wangu), Ssaru (Kichwa Tu) and Maandy (Sirudi Home) make the list.

The script sounds all familiar with all having featured in the same during the PMVA 2021 awards. While Nadia Mukami won in 2019, Nikita carried the day during the 2021 edition.

The awards, whose gala will be held on December 14 at the Carnivore Simba Saloon, mark the return of Nonini. His new song, One Day, featuring AlekiBoom and Kevin Brown has been nominated in the Best Collabo Video Category.

Matata and Ssaru, who have three nominations each are also featured in this category same as Maandy, Breeder LW, Ndovu Kuu, Savara, Fathermoh and Brandy Maina.

The battle for the Best Group Video is between H_art the Band (Jienjoy), Buruklyn Boyz (23) Matata ft Sauti Sol (Oversize Tshirt) Watendawili ft Okello Max (Drill Rhumba) and Mbuzi Gang (Shamra Shamra) ft JohnBlaq, Wyre, Naiboi, Felista, Gabu Frasha and Kristoff.

“I never saw this coming. Well, I have been working hard since last year to ensure I get my breakthrough. Only out of all the submissions, I did not know I would make it to the nominee’s list. This gives me confidence and encouragement. I am happy to be nominated and I am looking forward to performing during the PMVA gala night,” said Mkali Wao when she got the news of her nomination.

Among the new categories in this year’s list is the Audio Producer and DJ of the Year Category. There is also an inclusion of six regional categories that introduce a new breed of artistes to the awards.

These include Eastern Video of the Year, Central Video of the Year, Nyanza Video of the Year, Western Video of the Year, Coastal Video of the Year and Rift Valley Video of the Year.

Marvo on the Beat, Ricco Beatz, Motif Di Don, Vinc on the Beat and Vic West have been nominated as the best Audio Producers this year.

“Audio is a major component of any music video and that is why we cannot underrate that category. Before awarding video directors and anyone else involved in choreography and cinematography, you must factor in that someone first worked on the audio of the song.

“We must recognise the end users in the chain. These are the deejays who play the music and who introduce this to the mass market,” said DJ Mellow, one of the judges during the nomination process. 


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