THERE’S a new kid on the awards show block.

The South African Popular Music Awards (SAPMAs), also known as #Popular, are aimed at developing and preserving South African culture and heritage by celebrating excellence in the creative arts.

The first awards show will take place later this year and entries will be open from 25 February to 26 April for singles and albums commercially released between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2020.

Head of communications Mathawe Matsapola told Daily Sun: “Anyone is eligible to submit entries and public participation is at the core of the awards, from submitting entries to voting for winners together with a panel of judges.”

Mathawe said criteria for submissions and voting processes would be announced soon, but no entry fee was required.


She said the only requirement was that the music was popular. She said the first awards ceremony would be to celebrate 10 years of popular music.

“For over 20 years, artists have complained about being overlooked and not receiving the recognition they deserve, especially when it comes to awards ceremonies,” she said.

“The public also shares these sentiments, as year after year many of their favourite artists aren’t recognised for the good music they produce and release.”

Mathawe said the awards were changing the rules of the game by allowing musicians and the public to have a say in who got nominated.

“The SAPMAs are here to take up the space as genuine game changers, it won’t be business as usual. This is a platform created to celebrate artists without bias or favour.

“It’s about the people and popular genres that speak to our market,” she said.

Genres to be recognised this year include Afro, hip hop, mbaqanga, maskandi, gospel, amapiano, qgom and kwaito.