Scottish Alternative Music Awards 2022: Nominations
The Nominees for the 13th annual Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMA) have been revealed: the winners will be announced at a ceremony at Glasgow’s Saint Luke’s on Thursday 8th December 2022. The list of nominees highlights an incredible range of exceptional talent across diverse categories. Buy tix for the ceremony and live showcase here
Potential winners include the composer of an underworld opera about trans experience, an audio-visual artist who collaborates with ballet dancers, the progenitor of his own ‘Afrocentric’ genre, a metal band whose latest record critiques town planning and an artist who gained a major label record deal for a stripped-back cover ‘Yes Sir, I Can Boogie’.
From floor-filling funk to psychedelic folk, from uplifting r’n’b and hedonistic slam metal to intimate soul and socially-realist hip hop, the 28 SAMA 2022 nominees show exceptional levels of talent and creativity at play across Scotland in the past twelve months.
The public are asked to vote for the best nominee in each of the seven categories via online vote open from 12pm Monday 28th, to 5pm Wednesday 30th November using a system of one vote per IP address to ensure the winning results are fair and accurate. You can vote on officialsama.com/vote
Now supported by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland in recognition of the event’s key status across Scotland and beyond, the ceremony will feature live performances by electro-rock outfit Vlure, rap trio The Honey Farm and indie-soulster Becky Sikasa.
Lonely Carp aka conceptual recording artist and vocalist Callie Rose Petal is nominated as Best Newcomer, sponsored by the Academy of Music & Sound. Blending orchestral soundscapes with fragments of vocals, melodies and found sounds, the multi-instrumentalist soon releases a remastered vinyl version of ‘Katabasis’, a seven-part opera tracing lived trans experience. Further Best Newcomer contenders are Glasgow-based MC P Caso, who most recently showcased his witty, tight but chill rhymes on five-track EP ‘Sounds Of The South’; Leith’s Pocket Monica, a synth-powered psych-folk duo who found their weird-pop bliss in lockdown and Sinathi aka Glasgow producer/artist Sinathi Maphalala who’s showcased his nostalgic r’n’b and dreamy hip hop on a slew of singles this year.
Performing live at next month’s awards ceremony, Becky Sikasa is nominated in the Best Acoustic category, sponsored by BTO BeCreative. Influenced by soul and indie, the multi-instrumentalist excels with songs which are both intimate and transportive, such as piano-based ‘The Edge’ and the tender ‘Lullaby’. Also nominated is the “stylish folk by unstylish folk” of Fairweather Friends, a Glasgow duo whose debut album ‘Forever Approaching’ is a thoughtful, harmony-driven exploration of early 1970s counterculture; Linzi Clark, the Paisley musician behind the stunning Americana of debut album ‘All I Have Now’ and Lewis McLaughlin, the Edinburgh songwriter championed by the likes of Frightened Rabbit’s Andy Monaghan who released McLaughlin’s debut album ‘Feel The Ground You Walk Upon’ on his Monohands Records.
Nominations for Best Metal act, sponsored by Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow include Ashenspire, one of the most sonically unique, politically radical metal outfits currently in the UK. On this year’s ferocious ‘Hostile Architecture’, the Glasgow band interrogates the inhumanity of the urban environment to those forced to sleep rough. Equally unrelenting are Dundee’s Catalysis, a fierce, environmentally-conscious metal-groove outfit who played Bloodstock Open Air this year as winners of the Scottish Metal 2 The Masses Grand Final. Nominations are completed by Godeater, the Glasgow tech metal provocateurs who continue to stretch the boundaries of the genre with recent album ‘Vespera’ and Party Cannon, Dunfermline purveyors of “unfiltered, IQ-lowering party slam” as most recently heard on new LP ‘Volumes Of Vomit’.
Describing herself as “a self-producing blue-haired Scottish sprite” is Paisley artist Becca Starr, nominated in the Best Hip Hop category, sponsored by Help Musicians. Starr received praise for breaking the silence around relationship abuse with the launch of her acclaimed album ‘Speak Of No Evil’ which raised funds for Scottish Women’s Aid. Nominations continue with Psweatpants, the Edinburgh-based MC whose vivid lyricism can be heard on recent banger ‘The Rave’; Sean Focus, the multi-talented rapper, producer, educator and entrepreneur who designates his unique sound as “Afrocentric” and Tzusan, the Edinburgh MC/producer whose recent full length debut ‘WSPSNSYRP’ is a beguiling take on grime which nods to sci-fi, jazz, noise, world and classical.
Composer/audiovisual artist Sonia Killman is nominated in the Best Electronic category, sponsored by citizenM hotels. 2022 has seen Killman teach in Russia, perform several pieces for sonic arts festival Sonica and cowrite an album in support of LGBTQ+ homeless charity AKT. Killman’s interest in movement and sound has seen her increasingly collaborate with dancers for projects such as BBC Dance Passion 2022 and a new ballet for Rubicon Dance Company. Also nominated is Dundee DJ/producer J Wax whose latest EP ‘Demersal’ shows the continuing evolution of his mix of electro and breakbeat; Kintra aka Frankie Elyse and Jozette, a DJ/violinist twin sister duo who make futuristic Celtic-techno bangers and Glasgow’s Grim Lusk whose latest six-track EP ‘Diving Pool’ offers intergalactic dancehall that’s both hallucinogenic and danceable.
Performing her latest single ‘Confidence’ on BBC Radio 4’s prime time show Loose Ends recently was AiiTee, nominated in the Best Live Act category, sponsored by Musician’s Union. Now studying in Edinburgh, her blend of r ‘n’ b, Afrobeat and Gospel sees her on the cusp of deserved stardom. Buzzing-hot too is nominee Hannah Laing, the DJ/artist who scored an Ibiza residency aged 19 and whose 2022 featured peak-time floor-fillers ‘Climax’ and ‘Don’t Wanna Go’. Nominees continue with Kaputt, the acclaimed Glasgow band having recently returned from taking their frenetic, brass-seasoned post-punk on tour across Europe, and Tom McGuire & The Brassholes, the eight-piece funk juggernaut who play “every song like it’s the last time any song will ever be played by anyone, anywhere”.
Midlothian vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Brooke Combe credits her stripped-back rendition of unofficial Scotland anthem ‘Yes Sir I Can Boogie’ as landing her a deal with Island Records. Now nominated in the Best Rock/Alternative category, sponsored by Saint Luke’s & The Winged Ox, Combe’s string of accomplished singles to date show her as an artist with smarts to spare. Also nominated are bedroom rockers Dutch Wine, a trio whose reverby riffs and layered harmonies give classic indie a dreampop makeover; Gallus, the indie-punks whose typically riotous performances at SXSW, The Great Escape and supporting Biffy Clyro further swelled the ranks of their loyal fanbase and Uninvited, the alt rockers shortlisted for the Sound of Young Scotland Award and whose “raw talent and energy” saw them beat 4,000 other entries to perform in the Radio 1 Live Lounge.
Best Acoustic sponsored by BTO BeCreative
Best Electronic sponsored by citizenM hotels
Best Hip Hop sponsored by Help Musicians
Best Live Act sponsored by Musicians’ Union
Tom McGuire & the Brassholes
Best Metal sponsored by Hard Rock Cafe, Glasgow
Best Newcomer sponsored by The Academy of Music & Sound
Best Rock/Alternative sponsored by Saint Luke’s & The Winged Ox
Founded over a decade ago by Richy Muirhead, the SAMAs have grown in prominence over the years, with past winners including Fatherson, Gerry Cinnamon and Lewis Capaldi.
Now in its 13th year, the awards ceremony marks a celebratory culmination of what’s now a year-long operation presenting other activities including the Paisley Takeover and Pitch, Scotland’s conference of hip hop and underground culture.