Last night hip-hop duo A.B. Original won a total of six awards at the third annual South Australian Music Awards (SAM Awards), while pop superstar Tkay Maidza won Best Female Artist and South Sudanese-born rapper DyspOra won Best Male Artist.

A.B. Original cleaned up the awards winning six in total with their 2016 debut album Reclaim Australia winning Best Release, their politically charged anthem January 26th feat. Dan Sultan winning Best Song. A.B. Original also won the awards for all round Best Group and Best Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island Artist. Richard Coburn from Kojo brought another win to A.B. Original with his direction of the Best Music Video for ‘January 26th’. In the People’s Choice Award category, A.B. Original won the Hip-Hop Award.

After a mammoth year since releasing her debut album TKAY in 2016, pop superstar Tkay Maidza was recognised as Best Female Artist. Rising South Sudanese-born rapper, recording artist, and producer DyspOra won Best Male Artist after the release of his 2017 release The REBELUTION. Energetic pop trio and Triple J favourites Heaps Good Friends won Best New Artist after a soaring year featuring highlight performances at Groovin The Moo and BIGSOUND.

On the industry side of the awards, the Grace Emily won Best Music Venue for the second year in a row. For the first time, the travelling bohemian backyard festival Porch Sessions won Best Festival/Event after another ever-growing year. Craig Lock from 5/4 Entertainment won Best Manager for the third consecutive year. Tom Barnes from Mixmasters Studios took out Best Engineer for the second year in a row. The Ryan Freeman Live Music Award, which provides $4000 to assist a person or group to continue their contribution to live music in South Australia, was awarded to Robert Dunstan, Editor of B Side Magazine. Music SA’s Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to The Gov in recognition of their continued support of South Australian music and the Adelaide UNESCO City of Live Music Award for Best International Collaboration was presented to the House of Songs project, which saw three Adelaide musicians (Dan Crannitch, Taasha Coates, and Kelly Menhennett) collaborate with musicians from Austin, Texas on unfinished songs by the late Albert Brumley.

Music SA’s General Manager Lisa Bishop said she was delighted to recognise these overachieving artists and industry members for their work.

“It’s fantastic to see A.B. Original polish off their epic year taking home six more awards honoured in Trials’ home state. Upcoming artists such as DyspOra and Heaps Good Friends are leading examples of the new talents coming out of South Australia, it’s great to recognise them and all of these artists and industry members for their contributions to the South Australian music industry.”

With over 6,500 individual votes cast across the 12 genre-based awards categories on, the People’s Choice Award winners included A.B. Original’s sixth win of the night for the Hip Hop Award. Other People’s Choice Award highlights included Rachael Leahcar taking home the Pop Award, Bad//Dreems winning the Rock Award, Young Offenders winning the Punk Award, Adam Page winning the World Music Award, Ross McHenry winning the Jazz/Art Music Award and Wanderers winning the Blues/Roots Award.

The night included a surprise live performance from Tkay Maidza as she opened the night with a bang of confetti, presenting her track ‘Carry On’. The rest of the night featured special performances as some of Adelaide’s finest took on the challenge of reinterpreting hits from the SAM Award finalists. Timberwolf performed a reinterpretation of A.B. Original’s  ‘January 26th’ with full band as well as his latest single ‘Ikaros’. Lonelyspeck and Allume took on a stripped back version of Bad//Dreems’ ‘Mob Rule’. Glass Skies and Hana & Jessie-Lee performed a soulful version of West Thebarton’s hit single ‘Moving Out’. DyspOra, Elsy and Prospeks covered Tkay Maidza’s ‘Simulation’ and to close the night Grenadiers performed their latest single ‘Long Way Down’ with a little help from Bec Stevens in addition to a heavy hitting twist of Timberwolf’s ‘Washed Out.

Funded by the SA Government’s Music Development Office, major sponsors moshtix, and an array of supportive industry sponsors, the 2017 SAM Awards was brought together on stage with the assistance of Novatech and Nexstage who custom-designed the incredible set and lighting installation which was fitted out in Thebarton Theatre for the evening.

For more information and the full list of winners visit:




Blues/Roots Award – presented by Radio Adelaide

Country Award – presented by Grace Emily Hotel
The Bitter Darlings

 Electronic Award – presented by Fresh 92.7
Abbey Howlett

Experimental Award – presented by Ancient World

Folk Award – presented by Wheatsheaf Hotel
The Winter Gypsy

Heavy Award – presented by Australian Rock & Metal Institute
Ice On Mercury

Hip Hop Award – presented by Northern Sound System
A.B. Original

 Jazz/Art Music Award – presented by Elder Conservatorium
Ross McHenry

Pop Award – presented by The Gov
Rachael Leahcar

Punk Award – presented by Crown & Anchor
Young Offenders

Rock Award – presented by Fat Controller

World Music Award – presented by WOMADelaide
Adam Page



Ryan Freeman Live Music Award
Robert Dunstan

 Best International Collaboration – presented by Adelaide UNESCO City of Music
House of Songs project

Lifetime Achievement Award – presented by Music SA
The Governor Hindmarsh Hotel

Best Studio
Chapel Lane Studios

Best Engineer
Tom Barnes

Best Music Festival / Event – presented by moshtix
Porch Sessions

Best Music Venue– presented by AHA (SA)
Grace Emily Hotel

Best Manager
Craig Lock

Best Cover Art
Henry Stentiford – The Bitter Darlings ‘Stuart Highway’

Best Music Video
Richard Coburn – A.B. Original’s ‘January 26th

Best Song – presented by APRA AMCOS
A.B. Original – January 26th feat. Dan Sultan

Best New Artist
Heaps Good Friends

Best Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island Artist
A.B. Original

Best Group
A.B. Original

Best Male Artist

 Best Female Artist
Tkay Maidza

Best Release
A.B. Original