Johannesburg - SAMA27 has set a new record in the history of the South African Music Awards (Samas) with a total of 1 163 entries received this year.
The industry responded positively to the call for entries by the Samas that started in November 2020 and ended at midnight at the end of January. The rallying call was that the Samas are inclusive and fair, and that music is judged on its merits by reputable music industry experts. Musicians from all genres, persuasions and influences have thrown their names into the proverbial hat to be considered for the much-desired Sama trophy.
Even in a challenging year that will be remembered for the devastation the Covid-19 pandemic wreaked across the world, the number of entries was the highest since the Samas were first staged in 1994.
The best collaboration category received the biggest number of entries, at 170. The newly added best amapiano album earned an impressive 63 entries, and kwaito proved its vitality attracting 19 entries in the best kwaito album category. Gqom held its own with 14 entries for best gqom album.
For the past five years, the numbers have shown an upward trajectory as the industry embraced the most prestigious music awards show in the country. Sama22 entries clocked in at 400, Sama23 earned 740, Sama24 had 778, Sama25 saw 752 while Sama26 attracted 802 entries.
Showing significant and sustained growth, the Samas have grown almost threefold in just five years.
“We are greatly encouraged by this huge number of entries that came despite the challenges we faced as a nation from the Covid-19 pandemic to economic woes and the loss of income, especially in the creative sector. We are humbled that the industry has voted in overwhelmingly great numbers and that they believe the awards have a place in their careers and the industry they operate in. This has been an incredible and successful drive, congratulations to the team at Sama and best wishes to the musicians who have brought their names forward,” said Recording Industry of South Africa chief executive Nhlanhla Sibisi.
The next step in the process is the vetting of entries which will be conducted by an independent committee. This will be followed by a judging process by independent panellists.
The list of nominated artists will be made public in April.