Holly Rey became the first woman to take home the SAMA Record of the Year award in 20 Years when “Deeper” was named winner of the highly-coveted category at the 25th annual South African Music Awards. The last woman to win in this Category was Brenda Fassie who won Song Of The Year in 1999 for Vuli Ndlela.
The only public-voted SAMA category, Record of the Year was inaugurated in 1998 (then known as Song of the Year) as a way of enabling music fans to play a meaningful role in South Africa’s annual music awards event. And 2019 saw Holly Rey’s countrywide fanbase step up in numbers, to vote for the song that’s provided the soundtrack to their lives since its release mid-May 2018.
“Winning the SAMA feels like a validation of every young South African who has a dream, and especially those young women who hold on to the belief that they can make it, even when facing obstacles,” says Holly Rey.
Indeed, Holly Rey’s journey to her landmark win at the SAMAs on April 1stis testament to what happens when musical talent combines with an independent spirit and the resilience required for a career in the homegrown music industry. It’s also a resounding endorsement for the way Holly Rey’s signature Afro House sound has found a national audience, from Douglas to Folweni – and beyond.
Independently released, “Deeper” has been a remarkable success story for the Durban-based artist, across all levels of the music industry.
In February 2019, “Deeper” was certified platinum by Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA) – a significant achievement driven by 3.5-million streams and 25-thousand downloads. The video for “Deeper” has had an incredible 5.7-mllion views on YouTube, with no signs of slowing down.
Radio has also been a key element in Holly Rey’s success with “Deeper” becoming the fourth biggest song in terms of radio play in 2018, joining Lady Zamar’s “Collide”, Prince Kaybee’s “Bonamoya” and Black Coffee’s “Drive” in the Top 4. As a mark of the public’s support for “Deeper”, Holly Rey was the only one of these four artists to be in contention for this year’s Record of the Year SAMA. According to Radiomonitor Africa, “Deeper” is closing in on 9000 individual plays, with total impact of over 1 Billion listeners.
“It feels especially gratifying to be the first woman to take home this award in 20 years. This being the same week in which it was announced that women would make up half our new national cabinet,” concludes Holly Rey. “I am honoured to be part of a new generation of female artists who are making their mark on the industry and am so appreciative of every single fan who voted for me.”