Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMA) have announced that their 12th annual awards ceremony will be taking place at Glasgow’s Saint Lukes on Saturday 27th November 2021. 2020’s ceremony was a virtual affair, so the return to the physical is warmly welcomed.
SAMA founder Richy Muirhead says: ‘Right now is a great time to be celebrating our rich music culture here in Scotland and champion many artists who have been releasing music despite the ongoing challenges of COVID-19. With venues re-opening, restrictions easing and a huge appetite for live music from audiences, we are thrilled to be returning to a live, physical format to celebrate genres, artists and welcome the music industry and music fans to SAMA 2021 – our 12th edition of the event!‘
SAMA have given awards to many major acts early in their career, such as global superstar Lewis Capaldi and album chart-toppers The Snuts.
SAMA 2021 Performers
TAAHLIAH, a Black, trans electronic pop artist based in Glasgow, whose futuristic avant-trance style marks her as the heir apparent to SOPHIE, 100 Gecs, and Arca. As well as being the winner of two SAMA awards in 2020 – Best Newcomer and Best Electronic – the former Berlin resident has recently performed at events, such as Latitude and King Tut’s Summer Nights.
TAAHLIAH explains: ‘Moving out of the virtual realm and performing in the live environment has never been more exciting. Everything that I dreamed of over the past year is finally coming to fruition, and it’s an incredible feeling to experience.‘
2021 SAMA ceremony also boasts the return of cult noughties noir-pop band Union Of Knives. After a fourteen-year hiatus and a change in line-up, the group are ready to return this winter with their new album Endless From The Start. While their first incarnation saw them compared to the epic stadium rock of Muse and the icy darkness of Massive Attack, their new material sees them move further towards the intensity of Nine Inch Nails and late-period Radiohead, with Ladytron’s Helen Marnie providing guest vocals.
The ceremony will also feature a performance from LVRA, an up-and-coming Edinburgh-based singer whose twisted take on r&b and pop conjures shades of Tei Shi and Billie Eilish.
To select the winners, the 21 award nominators will collate their submissions for each category, based on the SAMA music nomination criteria, as well as their knowledge and experience of the past twelve months in Scottish music. The winner will then be decided by an online public vote in November.
SAMA 2021 Categories
Best Live Act
Best Hip Hop
Triple G promoter Jonathan Almond
Club Sabbath promoter Johnny Madden
Primordial Radio DJ and Cathouse nightclub resident Ted Rock
Cultural Programme Manager at Aberdeen Performing Arts Steven Milne
Jupiter Rising’s Claire Feeney
Goddamned Promotions’ Craig Law
Sofar Sounds’ co-ordinator and performance programmer Carla Almeida
Afrohouse producer and resident DJ of La Cheetah and FLY Kilimanjaro
Clubs Editor at The Skinny Nadia Younes
Hip hop promoter AlanaHepburn
Electronic music journalist Jo Dargie
Founder of charity Intercultural Youth Scotland Khaleda Noon
Hip hop platform Up2Standard manager Mobo Laji
Blogger AlistairBraidwood of podcast Scots Whay Hae
Cultural journalist Arusa Qureshi
Guardian contributor Katie Hawthorne
The Scotsman’s Fiona Shepherd
Music Director at Tenement TV Nadine Walker
BBC Radio heroes Vic Galloway, Phoebe Inglis-Holmes, and Shereen Cutkelvin.
Hosting duties will be shared by two figures: acclaimed poet Leyla Josephine and radio DJ Jim Gellatly, who was among the first to champion household names like Twin Atlantic and Biffy Clyro.