At a total of 1163, the number of entries received for SAMA27, has set a new record in the history of the SAMAs.
The industry responded positively to the call for entries by the SAMAs that started in November 2020 and ended at midnight on 31 January 2021. 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 in the proverbial hat to be considered for the much sought after 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 set a record for the SAMA since they 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 last five years, the numbers have shown an upward trajectory as the industry embraced the most prestigious music awards show in the country. At SAMA22 entries clocked in at 400, SAMA23 earned 740, SAMA24 had 778, SAMA25 saw 752 while SAMA26 attracted 802 entries. Showing a significant and sustained growth, the SAMA has grown almost threefold in just five years.
RiSA CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi enthused: “We are greatly encouraged by this huge number of entries that came despite the challenges we faced as a nation from Covid-19 pandemic to economic woes and loss of income especially in the creative sector. We are humbled that the industry has voted in overwhelmingly great numbers that they believe the SAMA has a place in their careers and the industry they operate in. This has been an incredible and successful drive, congratulations to the team at the SAMA and best wishes to the musicians who have brought their names forward.” The next step in the process is the vetting of entries which will be conducted by a special independent committee of industry practitioners, this will be followed by a judging process by independent panellists as selected by the industry committees. The list of nominated artists will be made public in April 2021.