Here’s what the first SA Popular Music Awards 2021 are all about

The aim of the first annual awards ceremony is to celebrate 10 years of popular and great music

You can nominate Sho Madjozi to win an award at the South African Popular Music Awards 2021 (Sapmas).
You can nominate Sho Madjozi to win an award at the South African Popular Music Awards 2021 (Sapmas).
Image: Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage

While SA artists have long complained about not being recognised often enough by award ceremonies, the first annual SA Popular Music Awards 2021 (Sapmas) plan to celebrate creatives in the music industry who believe they have been overlooked. 

This is stated to soon be a “thing of the past” as the organisers behind the Sapmas, also known as #Popular, plan to change the rules of the game by allowing musicians and the public to have a voice and be heard.

People will be given a chance to nominate artists and music that speak to them.

According to the awards' head of communications, Mathawe Matsapola, they are “here to take up the space as genuine game-changers” as they plan to bring a different dynamic. 

“This is a platform created to celebrate artists without bias and favour. It’s about the people and popular genres that speaks to our market.”

The ceremony, which is set to take place later this year, will look into a decade of popular and great music.

Entries for the awards will open from February 25 until April 26 for singles and albums commercially released from January 1 2010 to December 31 2020.

“Anyone is eligible to submit entries and public participation is at the core of the awards, from submitting entries to voting for the overall winners together with a panel of judges.

“The submitting criteria and processes will be announced soon and no entry fee is required. The only requirement is that the music must be popular.”

Popular genres to be recognised this year:

  1. Afro-soul
  2. Hip-hop
  3. Mbaqanga/maskandi
  4. Gospel
  5. Amapiano/gqom/kwaito

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