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UKZN alumna wins SAMA Record of the Year

House musician Holly Wasserfall, aka Holly Rey, took home the Record of the Year award for her song, Deeper, at the 25th South African Music Awards (SAMAs), held in June at the Sun City Superbowl. The award is voted for by the public.

Rey studied Media and Communication at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), graduating cum laude with an honour's degree earlier this year.

Speaking at the SAMAs, Rey said: "We mobilised a country to validate the hopes of every young kid who has a dream. This award belongs to all the kids I have met along the way who reminded me of myself and what I started 10 years ago. Believe! Thank you to the entire Kumisa Artist Management Master Class of 2019 for getting behind this campaign and supporting my win. We did it!"

Rey has also received platinum certification from the Recording Industry of SA for her popular single, Deeper, hitting the 3.5 million streams mark. Says Rey: "House isn't a genre, it's a culture; and it's one that I embrace."

She is currently working on fresh material for release over the coming months. She says what's emerging in the studio and from her writing sessions is pushing the musical boundaries of Deeper while building on the song's resonance with music fans from all backgrounds.

"I'm not trying to be something that I'm not," Rey says. "Deeper was not about getting on the House bandwagon, but about giving expression, through a love song, to the music that I feel the deepest connection to, and my new music builds on that."

She considers House music to be about love. "I try to write music that challenges the traditional views of love and promotes a more empowered mindset for women. This year I intend to maintain my independence as an artist and continue to blaze a trail for women artists in the industry," she said.

Words: Melissa Mungroo