South Australian Music Awards 2021 Winners

Teenage Joans made history at the 2021 SAM Awards, winning a record seven awards. Teenage Joans made history at the 2021 SAM Awards, winning a record seven awards. Image © Samuel Grave

Last night's 2021 South Australian Music (SAM) Awards gala ceremony, staged in the open-air on Kaurna Land within the walls of the historic Old Adelaide Gaol grounds, brought the state's music industry together to celebrate the past 12 months.

It was a record-breaking evening with indie rock-punk duo Teenage Joans (vocalist-drummer Tahlia Borg and vocalist-guitarist Cahli Blakers) scooping up an incredible seven awards (the most awards won in a single year by a single artist) smashing the previous best of West Thebarton's four wins in 2018.

The triple j Unearthed High winners, known for 2020's 'Three Leaf Clover', released the 'Taste Of Me' EP earlier this year, which won Best Release, while they were also awarded Best Song ('Something About Being Sixteen'), Best New Artist, Best Group, Most Popular Punk Artist and Best Cover Art (also for 'Something About Being Sixteen' created by Samuel Graves & Eve Burner).

They also won the inaugural award for the City of Adelaide Exceptional Live Music Performance Award that was decided by a collective of Adelaide-based original live music venues.

Additionally, Teenage Joans' manager Rachie Whitford (of 27 Music) took home the win for Best Manager. She also manages indie pop group Glowing who won Best Music Video for their track 'Poppy' (by Harry Nathan).

There were a stack of first-time winners as well led by Tilly Tjala Thomas winning Best Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander Artist as well as the inaugural Emily Burrows Award. She was joined in the first winners class by Boffa (Most Popular Hip Hop), Kitchen Witch (Most Popular Heavy), and Cal Williams Jr (Most Popular Blues and Roots) and The Voice 2021 stars, G-Nat!on (Most Popular Pop).

Veterans also made their mark with past SAMs winners returning to collect new SAM trophies: Ricky Albeck and The Belair Line Band (Most Popular Country), TOWNS (Most Popular Rock) and Siberian Tiger (Most Popular Folk).

Motez also returned to claim the Most Popular Electronic title for the second year in a row, along with a Major Award for Best Solo Artist.

"Despite 2021 being another tough year for music industry workers, venues and artists, we've seen so many great shows of strength and resilience amongst the South Australian music community," Music SA Chair Anne Wiberg says.

"From the number of great new music releases to COVID-safe music events such as Summer Sounds and the re-imagined WOMADelaide festival in a temporary location. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners."

Adds Music SA's General Manager Kim Roberts: "The many displays of community spirit amongst the SA music industry over the past 12 months has been nothing short of inspiring.

"This year's SAM Awards are not only an opportunity to congratulate our nominees, finalists and winners but also a chance to safely come together to acknowledge the countless other heroic efforts within our industry throughout a difficult year.

"From the crowdfunding campaigns that have kept our live music venues open, to the incredibly dedicated individuals that have taken on huge challenges to create opportunities for local artists to perform during the pandemic, this one's for you."

South Australian Music Awards 2021 Winners

Major/Industry Voted Awards Winners

Best Studio
Chapel Lane Studios & Wundenberg's Recording Studio (tie)

Best Studio Engineer/Producer
Kiah Gossner

Best Live Technician
Lisa Lane Collins

Best Major Festival/Event

Best Small Festival/Event
Space Jams South Coast Tour

Best Venue

Best Cover Art
Samuel Graves & Eve Burner (Teenage Joans - 'Taste Of Me')

Best Manager
Rachel Whitford

Best Music Video
Harry Nathan (Glowing - 'Poppy')

Best Song
Teenage Joans - 'Something About Being Sixteen'

Best New Artist
Teenage Joans

Best Group
Teenage Joans

Best Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander Artist
Tilly Tjala Thomas

Best Solo Artist

Best Release
Teenage Joans - 'Taste Of Me'

Best Music Educator
Alison Hams

Best Innovation
WOMADelaide x NSS Academy

People's Choice Awards Winners

Blues & Roots
Cal Williams Jr

Ricky Albeck & The Belair Line Band


Sons Of Zöku

Siberian Tiger

Kitchen Witch

Hip Hop

Chelsea Lee


Teenage Joans


Mum Thinks Blue

2021 Special Award Winners

City Of Adelaide Exceptional Live Performance Award
Teenage Joans

Adelaide Unesco City Of Music Best International Collaboration
Lazaro Numa

Emily Burrows Award
Tilly Tjala Thomas

Rosanna And Neville Clark Award
Ryan Martin John And Aidan Cibich

Music SA Community Achievement Award
Mick Wordley



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