The South African Music Awards (SAMA) continue the upward trajectory with the number of entries for the prestigious awards on the increase.

This year the SAMA office received 778 eligible entries up from 740 of last year and about 470 of 2016. And for the second year in a row, the SAMA office makes public the complete list of entries.

This sustained and substantial increase is a vote of confidence in the integrity and prestige of the SAMA as the ultimate music honour for local and continental musicians.

A buoyant RiSA CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi says this bodes well for the SAMA: ‘We are still committed to the practice of openness and transparency and a fair selection process. We release these entries for the industry and music supporters to be kept abreast of the developments as we progress through the stages of the SAMA. We also do so to avoid any surprises when we announce the final nomination list in the next few weeks.

‘We are thankful that year after year, the industry gives us a thumbs up knowing that this is a platform that celebrates worthy talent. As we head into the 24th edition of the SAMA we are confident of our credibility and take pride in our longstanding track record that speaks for itself.’

The most popular category is Best Music Video of the Year with 127 entries, it is followed by Best Collaboration that attracted some 100 submissions. Best Produced Album stands at 86 while Best Dance Album boasts 53.

Other competitive categories are Best Engineered Album at 42 entries, the Best Hip Hop Album with 26 entries promises to be a battle royale. The Best Alternative Music Album has 25 hopefuls whereas Beste Kontemporere Musiek Album drew 20.

There has been an uptake of jazz with an impressive 25 entries, while Best Kwaito Album has garnered 8. Best Contemporary Faith Music Album will be a battleground for the 30 entrants. Best African Adult Contemporary Album will see some 21 of the best battling it out for a nod, the same applies in the Best Traditional Faith Music Album also sitting at 21. The rhythms of Maskandi throb at 16.

Best African Artist Album has jumped significantly from 6 last year to an impressive 30.

Recording companies and interested parties were invited to submit entries over a period of three months starting in November 2017 until February 2018. A stringent vetting process presided over by RiSA officials and record company representatives ensured that the entries met all the eligibility requirements. Those who ticked all the boxes have been handed over to panels of independent judges drawn from radio, television, newspapers, blogs and the recording industry for judging.

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