The South African Music Awards (SAMA’s) number of entries for this year's ceremony has increased after the award ceremony received over 700 entries, which was far less than 2016, which only had 470 entries.
In their pursuit of "transparency and openness", the office of the SAMA’s has resolved to share all the names of the entrants with the public, these are people who submitted entries over a three-month period starting from 01 November 2016 until 31 January 2017.
After a stringent vetting process that involved officials from the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA) and record company representatives, these potential nominees have been handed over to panels of independent experts drawn from radio, TV, newspapers, blogs and the recording industry for the judging process to begin.
In April the SAMA’s will reveal the five nominees in each category as voted for by the panel of judges and verified by independent auditors.
RiSA CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi said they "pride themselves of a rich heritage that spans over two decades of rewarding excellence in local music. The fact that our numbers keep growing is encouraging and we see it as the industry acknowledging our credibility".
"We have decided that this year, for the first time ever, we would reveal the entire list of artists who have entered the SAMA’s so that fans, followers and lovers of music would be privy as to who has entered to avoid surprises when we announce the final nomination list in the next few weeks," he said.
Best Collaboration is the most competitive category with 106 entries while the Best Produced Album is a battleground with 72 entries from genres as varied as dance, gospel, gqom, rap, jazz and R&B . The Best Engineered garnered 46.
In genre specific categories, the Best Dance Album leads with 27 entries and is followed closely by Best Rap Album boasting 25 entrants. The Best Jazz Album has 15 projects eligible for a nomination.
The Best Maskandi Album which has drawn 13 entries has the genre's most successful talents battling it out for a nod, the same can be said of the Best Traditional Music Album category with its 15 entries.
With 14 entrants, the Best Contemporary Faith Music Album pits some gospel heavyweights against two previous Idols SA winners and a former TV soapie star.
The Traditional Faith Music Album also earned 14 entries, the Best Alternative Music Album ensures stiff competition with 18 entries and in the Best Kwaito Album we have seen a slight increase from last year, with a total entries of 6 albums. This hopefully will continue to increase year on year from henceforth.Remix of the year stands at 16 entries. DVD recordings remain popular with 11 entries in the Best Live Audio Visual Recording.
The newly introduced Best African Artist category attracted six entries from Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Botswana.
"These big numbers ensure a healthy competition. Our judges have their work cut out for them and we are confident that the final nominee list will be testament to the best of the best in each category and also reflect what the SAMAs are about. Best of luck to everyone," concludes Sibisi. - release from SAMAs