Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMA) 2020 Winners

The Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMA) have announced the winners of this year’s awards celebrating the best in new Scottish music for 2020.

The 11th edition of the awards took place online on Wednesday 18th November with performances from Walt Disco and 2020 SAY Award winner Nova

Following the three-day public ballot which received over 10,000 votes, the 2020 SAMA winners are:

Best Acoustic sponsored by BTO BeCreative
Jenny Sturgeon
Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jenny Sturgeon is known for her stunning presentation of evocative folk music doused in rich imagery and atmospheric charm. Her music has been featured on BBC Radio Scotland, Radio 3, Radio 6 Music, Radio 2, and Radio Nan Gaidheal. In 2018 she was nominated as Composer Of The Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards.

Best Electronic sponsored by citizenM hotels
Best Newcomer sponsored by The Academy of Music & Sound
The first black trans artist to be nominated, and the first artist to ever be nominated and win in two categories in the same year, TAAHLIAH is a powerhouse performer whose foundations lie in the underground queer dance scene. As an artist, producer and DJ, she works within fluid and vivid electronic genres, creating art and music that is both captivating and politically charged.

Best Hip Hop sponsored by Help Musicians Scotland
India Rose
A rising star of the Scottish hip hop scene, Dundee’s India Rose is only just getting started, having been recording and releasing music for two years. The young rapper grew up on the road and is inspired by her upbringing, travelling around Europe with her parents, before they settled in Scotland over a decade ago. Her music is composed of a heady mix of emotive vocals, a passionate lyrical identity and an infectious flow. 

Best Live Act sponsored by Musicians Union
Callum Easter
Edinburgh musician Callum Easter has built up a strong reputation as one of the most eclectic and original singer-songwriters working in Scotland right now. With his gripping voice and matching minimalist allure, Callum has received plaudits from the likes of BBC 6 Music’s Marc Riley and Gideon Coe and BBC Radio Scotland’s Vic Galloway, with his debut album Here Or Nowhere recently shortlisted for the 2020 SAY Award.

Best Metal sponsored by Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow
Meaning ‘free’ in Scottish Gaelic, Saor create self-proclaimed Caledonian metal – an expressive blend of black metal, Celtic folk and traditional Scottish sounds. The band’s founder Andy Marshall is accompanied by an ensemble of talented musicians who all contribute to providing the intensity behind Saor’s powerful songs, as well as their gripping live performances. 

Best Rock/Alternative sponsored by Rock Rose Gin 
Glasgow six-piece Fauves describe their sound as art funk, merging elements of indie, pop, R&B and electronica. They take their name and visual identity from the early 20th Century French art movement Fauvism, which is characterised by strong, vibrant colours and distinctive brushwork. With a similarly colourful, warm and inviting energy to their music, the group has already received radio play and press from around the world.

Run in partnership with Creative ScotlandDrygate BrewingHelp MusiciansMusicians’ Union and more, the SAMA are a chance for the Scottish music community to come together to celebrate the strength of its talent.

TAAHLIAH, winner of the Best Newcomer and Best Electronic awards said: “I’m delighted to have won! Especially, winning twice. It is a real honour to be the first black trans artist to win, but I know and hope I will not be the last. It means a lot to be recognised so highly, so early on my career as an artist.”

Read the January 2021 issue of SNACK magazine on your tablet, mobile, or pc.

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