The Sa­mas get a re­vamp


The Citizen (Gauteng) - - NEWS - Hay­den Horner – [email protected]­i­

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

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