The CEO of the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA) has spoken out and clarified how winners are chosen for the South African Music Awards.
Speaking to TshisaLive, Nhlanhla Sibisi has acknowledged that Wololo might have been “the biggest song in the country,” but the awards are handed out based on the artist’s body of work in that year and not just one song.
“The SAMAs has always evaluated the entire album of an artist to judge their entire body of work. The Record of the Year category is the only category in which a single track is considered and so an artist may have a great single or series of singles but their album may not be better than another artist,” Nhlanhla explained.
Nhlanhla went on to tell the publication that the SAMAs is not a popularity contest, but that they are now considering the possibility of adding new categories that would allow for songs to be considered for awards individually.
“The judges have no say in deciding who wins Record of the Year. It is decided entirely by popular vote. It is the artist who encourages fans to vote for their song who wins the award. We also find that those with the biggest and most loyal following often win this award,” Nhlanhla told the publication.