Fury over Sama nominations

2017-05-28 08:43

Explanation by Recording Industry South Africa (Risa) has done little to allay suspicions about two Samas Record of the Year nominations, reports Ntombizodwa Makhoba, who was dressed by Spree for the event.

Sun City - Barely hours before the 23rd South African Music Awards (Samas) started at the Sun City Superbowl in Rustenburg on Saturday, there were questions around the selection of two songs for the Record of the Year award.

Along the corridors of Sun City hotels music industry figures questioned the nomination of the songs Grapevine by Locnville and Ameni by Miss Pru featuring Emtee, saying they never made it into the top 20 according to an airplay data chart by Radiomonitor.

City Press is in possession of the chart which was independently confirmed by three sources as an authentic document used by the judges and sourced during the nominations’ stipulated period. The chart is dated 01 March 2016 to 28 February 2017.

It showed that Grapevine was at number 29 with 2 847 spins, while Ameni was at number 37 with 2 530 spins.

According to criteria set by the Samas, both songs should not be on the awards list since only the top 20 should be considered. However, the Samas rules also state that all short-listed songs for Record of the Year are to be judged based on cumulative airplay over the specified period. Initially, there were 20 nominations for Record of the Year, and on Friday last week, the top ten were announced on SABC1’s Live Amp. Listeners were asked to vote for their favourite song.

Nhlanhla Sibisi, CEO of Recording Industry South Africa (Risa), denied there was anything untoward or a breach of rules when the songs were considered. He said the judges use two systems to guide them in choosing deserving winners.

“We used media guide [referring to Barcelona Music and Audio Technologies] and Radiomonitor. The auditors, and not even us, look at the two [charts] and [calculate] the average. They then tells us, using different chart methodology, what it means.”

You might find in the one chart there is a song in the top ten but in another chart it is not there. But based on the number of spins they work out an average. It’s purely a mathematical thing that is done behind the scenes by auditors,” Sibisi emphasised.

He added that it was not possible that the auditors could get things wrong as alleged by those complaining based on limited information.

Radiomonitor is the industry standard when it comes to airplay monitoring and is used by all major record labels, artists, managers, label services and performing rights organisations across Europe, he said.

Industry sources said if Sibisi’s explanation was taken into consideration, that would explain why Amanda Black’s Amazulu made it into the top 20 nominees list because it was only on position 23 on the spin list.

However, those who disputed the inclusion of Grapevine and Ameni said Sibisi’s clarification still did not explain why Miss Pru’s track made it into the top 20 when the Radiomonitor chart showed she was at number 37, well out of the top 20.

“Something isn’t right here. Let’s say they’ve used [Barcelona Music and Audio Technologies], discrepancy can’t be that big,” said one source.

“It’s confusing why Da Capo featuring Kayle and DJ Kent featuring Dominic were not in the top 20, because according to spins [Radiomonitor] report, they also qualified,” said one suspicious industry source.

Radiomonitor managing director Jarrod Aston told City Press on Friday that the two charts were based on two different parameters: one on just spins and the other on the Radio Audience Measurement Survey’s (Rams) listenership figures.

“Listenership increases the impact and places them higher on the charts. Let me explain it in another way: one song can [win] on the basis of being the most played song on South African radio or it can be a song that could be with the most impact that can be in Rams charts,” explained Aston.

City Press didn’t get access to the Barcelona Music and Audio Technologies (BMAT) South Africa report.

When we called Sergio Botelho, a BMAT representative, he told City Press that he wasn’t allowed to issue the report to anyone, let alone the media.

“BMAT is a business company that collects data for all radio stations and television, we sell data,” he said.

* City Press journalist Ntombizodwa Makhoba was dressed in a Spree outfit that was chosen by City Press readers. Take advantage of the partnership using this voucher code:

Read more on:    samas 2017  |  locnville  |  sun city  |  music

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