SA Music Awards looks for nominees
2019 is the 25th year of the popular national awards programme
The South African Music Awards (Sama) will celebrate 25 years in 2019 and entries are now open for music released between February 1 2018 and the end of January.
And, after a vibrant year which saw dance crazes, songs becoming national anthems and musicians entrenching their place as household names, the competition is fierce.
The Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA) organises the awards, and in the last two years has seen the number of entries increase, with 778 eligible entries received in 2018, up from 700 in 2017 and about 400 in 2016.
For the second year in a row, the Samas made public the complete list of entries before the announcement of nominees.
Sama25 RiSA CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi believes the 2019 event will be bigger and better.
“We look forward to the 25th edition of the Samas. “We continue to be the biggest and most consistent music award ceremony, and as we look back over the years, we see how our journey has been paved with dedication and commitment to the cause of making SA music recognised for its greatness.”
There are changes for 2019, with reggae now a standalone category, to be know as Best Reggae Album, after breaking away from the Best R&B/Soul and Reggae Album. This is an acknowledgement of the burgeoning music genre which has witnessed an upswing in recent years.
The following categories’ names have also been adjusted: Best R&B/Soul Album replaces Best R&B/Soul and Reggae Album.
Best Kwaito/Gqom/Amapiano Album is the new name for Best Kwaito Album.
Rest of Africa Award replaces Best African Artist. This category recognises the achievement and impact that artists from the African continent have had in SA during the specified qualifying SAMA period. South African artists are not allowed to enter this category. “We pride ourselves in reflecting the changes that are happening within the South African music landscape,” Sibisi said.
Entries for these categories are open for recording artists who have released an album with a minimum of four songs.
The organisers see the substantial increase in entries as a vote of confidence in the awards, saying it reinforces “the integrity and prestige of the Samas as the ultimate music honour for local and continental musicians”.
And, despite big names in South African music such as Cassper Nyovest not entering any creations for the past three years, the awards ceremony remains a popular television spectacle and a platform for new and more established voices.
Newcomer Shekhinah dominated the June prize- giving in 2018, winning Newcomer of the Year, Album of the Year and Female Artist of the Year.
Distruction Boyz won the public-voted Record of the Year for their hit Omunye.
TV and radio personality Somizi Mhlongo co-hosted the one-night screening of the 24th edition of the awards with fellow radio star Dineo Ranaka and comedian Mpho Popps.