Cape Town electronica act Goldfish is the leading nominee in this year's South African Music Awards.

The duo scored a record-breaking eight nominations for the May 1 and 2 event at the Sun City entertainment complex in South Africa's North West province, just under two hours outside Johannesburg.

The annual record industry celebration is organised by the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA) with sponsorship from cellular operator MTN and a main broadcast partner in SABC 1, which will screen the main awards event live on May 2.

Goldfish earned the multiple nominations for "Perceptions Of Pacha," released domestically via Sony SA and through Ibiza-based Pacha Records for the rest of the world.

The album is up for album of the year, best duo/group, best producer (for Goldfish's Dominic Peters and David Poole) and best dance album. Radio single "This Is How It Goes" is also in the running for record of the year, the only public-voted category at the annual awards event, now in its 15th year.

An academy of 194 judges drawn from the industry itself chooses the nominees and final winners in 50 categories. Bar the public-voted record of the year, the remaining seven categories are sales driven and will be announced at the awards. These include best-selling album and DVD as well as several that cater for the increase in digital sales in the market, among them best selling download of the year and best selling mobile music ring tune.

Also taking multiple nominations is Afro-soul artist Lira whose album "Soul In Mind" (Sony SA) sees her in the running for six Samas including best female artist and album of the year. The latter category caused a few surprises when two independent label releases were on the list of finalists - Afrikaans artist Chris Chameleon's "Klassieke Chameleon" (Rhythm Records) and 340ml's "Sorry for the Delay" (Sheer).

A group of Afro-dub Mozambicans based in SA, 340ml also picked up nominations for best duo/group, best alternative music album: English, best producer and record of the year ("Fairytales").

Chameleon - also up for best male artist, best adult contemporary album: Afrikaans and record of the year for "Sterredank" - and 340ml were not the only independent label acts impacting the nominees list. Electro rock act Zebra & Giraffe's "Collected Memories" (Just Music) picked up nominations for best newcomer, best rock album: English, record of the year ("The Knife") and best album packaging, while Jesse Clegg's song "Today" from his debut album "When I Wake Up" is up for record of the year and best music video.

The list didn't exclude industry stalwarts. Veteran jazzman Abdullah Ibrahim's "Senzo" (Gallo) is up for best male artist and best traditional jazz album and Hugh Masekela celebrates his 70th year with a nomination for best contemporary jazz album for "Phola" (Gallo).