THE Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMA), now in their eleventh year, is an annual celebration of the best in new leftfield Scottish music.

This year’s live ceremony will take place online at 6.30pm on Wednesday, November 18th, in partnership with live streaming platform Twitch.

The ceremony will include live performances from Glasgow quintet Walt Disco, who are known for their eccentric style and 80s’ post-punk sound; and Edinburgh DJ, rapper, producer and 2019 SAMA nominee Nova, whose debut solo album Re-Up has just won the 2020 Scottish Album of the Year Award. Radio presenter Jim Gellatly will be on hosting duties alongside spoken word artist Leyla Josephine.

The SAMA committee has also just announced the awards shortlist for this year’s ceremony: there’s seven categories, with a quartet of acts selected for each, put together by specialists across the music industry. One of our favourite artists of the year here at Backseat Mafia, Fair Mothers, is up in Best Acoustic category; read our review of his amazing album, In Monochrome, here.

Creative Scotland music officer Jamie Houston said: “The number of bands and artists to emerge from Scotland every year never fails to astonish. Behind the curtain of the mainstream is a world of talent which demands widespread attention.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, Creative Scotland is once again able to support the SAMA to celebrate voices and talent from Scotland’s burgeoning hip-hop, grime and metal scenes, as well as electronic, indie and pop.”

Manager of the charity Help Musicians Scotland, Suzanne Miller, also said: [We’re] so pleased to be supporting the Best Hip Hop Award at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards in this extraordinary year.

“We know how uniquely difficult 2020 has been for musicians; with so many still unable to perform it has been, and continues to be, both emotionally and financially challenging.

“That’s why this year’s SAMAs are perhaps more important than ever before, offering us all a moment to reflect on the incredible power of music, in all its various genres, that has kept us going and lifted our spirits exactly when we’ve needed it. Congratulations to all of the brilliant musicians nominated this year.”

Categories and nominations for the 2020 SAMA nominations are as follows:

Best Acoustic (sponsored by BTO BeCreative)
Bobby Kakouris
Fair Mothers
Jenny Sturgeon 
Man of the Minch

Best Electronic (sponsored by citizenM hotels)
Lady Neptune
Pleasure Pool
TAAHLIAH
Tommy Perman

Best Hip Hop (sponsored by Help Musicians Scotland)
CLING
India Ros3
LOTOS
Louis Seivwright

Best Live Act (sponsored by Musicians Union)
Callum Easter
Free Love
Kapil Seshasayee
Still House Plants

Best Metal (sponsored by Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow)
Bleed From Within
King Witch
Neshiima
Saor

Best Newcomer (sponsored by The Academy of Music & Sound)
Nathan Somevi
Kohla
TAAHLIAH
Tamzene

Best Rock/Alternative (sponsored by Rock Rose Gin)
Dead Pony
Fauves
HYYTS
Pleasure Heads

A three-day public vote will open on the SAMA website on Monday, November 9th, with the winners announced live on Twitch on November 18th.

Tickets for the virtual ceremony are available via Eventbrite and include an option to donate to the charity Help Musicians Scotland, which funds will be invested back into supporting Scottish musicians. To book a ticket, click through here.

Follow the Scottish Alternative Music Awards at the official website and on TwitterFacebook,  and Instagram. Keep ’em crossed for your favourite acts!