The Samas get a revamp
PRESTIGIOUS: SA MUSIC AWARDS CELEBRATE THEIR 25TH ANNIVERSARY
Reggae will become a standalone category at the 2019 Sama25 ceremony.
Since its inception 25 years ago, the South African Music Awards (Samas) have distinguished themselves as the most prestigious acknowledgment of excellence in the music industry.
As the annual event gears up to celebrate a quarter of a century in existence, big changes are afoot.
The Recording Industry of South Africa (Risa), who owns the Samas, has announced changes to a number of selection categories.
Risa events coordinator Retsibilwe Dolamo told The Citizen the Samas prides itself on reflecting what the industry is going through.
With that in mind, Dolamo said, the changes within the different genres are so the event remains relevant as the premier music awards on the continent.
For the 2019 Sama25 ceremony, Reggae will become a standalone category and will be known as Best Reggae Album.
Previously, Reggae fell into the same category as RnB and Soul. Effectively, what this meant was that only one genre out of the three could take the award.
The category is an acknowledgement of Reggae as a burgeoning music genre that has witnessed an upswing in recent years.
“Reggae is alive within the industry and this has been demonstrated by the increase in entries since Sama22,” said Dolamo, adding there had been persistent requests from the Reggae community to have their own standalone category.
In addition to the Reggae adjustment, Best Kwaito/Gqom/ Amapiano Album is now the new name for Best Kwaito Album, while the Rest-of-Africa award replaces Best African Artist.
This category is aimed at recognising the achievement and impact that artists from the rest of the African continent have had on South Africa.
Dolamo highlighted that the Rest-of-Africa category has been refined to only accommodate African artists and that South African musicians could not enter.
In the last two years, the Samas have enjoyed a buoyant upward trajectory with the number of entries on the increase.
After a vibrant 2018 that saw new and seasoned artists claim and maintain their place as household favourites, the emergence of new dance trends and hard-to-forget tunes, Sama24 saw a record-breaking 778 eligible entries received by the Samas office.
This was up from 700 in 2017, and about 400 in 2016.
With entries already open for music released between 1 February 2018, and 31 January 2019, it’s safe to assume that competition for this year’s statues will be at its fiercest.
In preparation for its 25th anniversary, Dolamo said the ceremony will be a celebration of the evolution of music within the 25 years of the Samas.
“It’s going to highlight music that kept us on our toes and also celebrate artists who have positively shaped the industry.”
Celebration of the evolution of music