The winner of Scotlands national music prize, The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award 2019, was tonight (Friday 6 September) announced as Auntie Flo for the album Radio Highlife.
As Auntie Flo played to thousands of fans on stage at Skye Live Festival in the North of Scotland, it was announced in the Scottish capital that Auntie Flos Radio Highlife is this years Scottish Album of the Year. Accepting The SAY Award on Auntie Flos behalf, Tour Manager + driver plus DJ and promoter of Glasgows Healthy club night, Phil Connor read from a napkin of words written by Brian dSouza that said: "Its been a privilege to document 7 years of adventuring around the globe in this record. It has taken me everywhere from Cuba to South Africa to East Asia. Thank you to everyone who made that happen over the years."
Robert Kilpatrick, General Manager of the Scottish Music Industry Association said: "A huge congratulations to Auntie Flo for winning 2019s Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award for the incredible Radio Highlife.
"This years campaign saw 293 eligible albums submitted, the highest number of any SAY Award campaign to date. Not only does this highlight the fact that Scotlands recorded output is in great health, but it also shows that in spite of being in the age of algorithm-driven playlists, the album as a format still deeply matters to both artists and music fans.
"Albums remain the best delivery mechanism for artists to truly showcase their creative output and artistic identity. Im incredibly proud that year-on-year, The SAY Award continues to go from strength to strength, showcasing the undeniable talent and diversity of Scottish artists and illuminating our music scene with the ambition, credibility and commitment it so richly deserves.
"A huge congratulations to each of this years Shortlisted artists on outstanding album releases, and thank you for playing such an important part in Scotlands ever-evolving and inspiring cultural identity as a nation."
Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland said: "Radio Highlife is absolute proof that Scotlands music travels a two-way street with the rest of the world. Brian dSouza as brought the sunshine of Africa into The SAY Award and gives us a worthy winner. Congratulations to him and to all of the Shortlisted nominees."
Held in the magnificent Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh for the very first time, an audience of artists, esteemed industry figureheads and engaged music fans from all over the UK gathered at the glittering final award ceremony in a stunning celebration of Scotlands flourishing music scene. Presented by co-hosts Vic Galloway and Nicola Meighan, the night ended in style with the announcement that Auntie Flo was the winner of the prestigious award, as well as the lucrative £20,000 prize.
While Auntie Flo claimed the coveted prize, the remaining nine Shortlisted albums each won a significant £1,000. This years Shortlist was comprised of ten albums; nine were chosen by The SAY Award Judging Panel, while Mastersystems Dance Music was chosen by music fans via this years online public vote.
In addition to the £1,000 runners-up prize, all of the Shortlisted artists also received a specially designed commemorative award, curated by Local Heroes as part of the The SAY Award Design Commission . The commemorative totems were created by Edinburgh artist Emma McDowall, based on the famous Salisbury Crags of her home town.
The exclusive award ceremony also saw guests treated to memorable live sets from some of Scotlands most exciting emerging artists, with LYLO, Heir of the Cursed, Cucina Povera and Man of Moon showcasing to over 800 invited guests at The Assembly Rooms.
The SAY Award Shortlist for 2019, in alphabetical order –
Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert – Here Lies The Body
Andrew Wasylyk – The Paralian
Auntie Flo – Radio Highlife
C Duncan – Health
Carla J. Easton – Impossible Stuff
Fergus McCreadie Trio – Turas
Free Love – Luxury Hits
Karine Polwart with Steven Polwart & Inge Thomson – Laws of Motion
Kathryn Joseph – From When I Wake The Want Is
Mastersystem – Dance Music
The panel of judges poured over each and every album before reconvening once again in Edinburgh on the night of the ceremony to pick the final winner. This years independent panel was made up of eleven key influential and experienced tastemakers from across the creative industries, and in what was an incredible milestone for the Scottish music industry, the esteemed panel featured a 50:50 gender split. Judges included Arusa Qureshi (Editor, The List), David Mogendorff (Head of Artist Relations (EMEA) – YouTube Music), Jonathan West (Marketing Director – Ticketmaster Artist Services), Lori Duncan (Producer – TUNE, BBC Scotland), Maxie Gedge (Keychange Project Manager at PRS Foundation), Michael Hines ( Television and Film Director (Chewin The Fat, Still Game) and BAFTA Scotland Committee Member), Peggy Hughes (Chair, Literature Alliance Scotland / Programme Director, National Centre for Writing (Norwich), Robin Murray (Online Editor, CLASH Magazine), Ross Sinclair (Artist, Writer, Musician and Professor of Contemporary Art Practice at GSA, Sarah Wall (Senior Events and Outreach Manager – PPL) and Patrycja Kupiec (Director, YWCA Scotland – The Young Womens Movement).
Peter Leathem, Chief Executive Officer, PPL said: "The quality of this years SAY Award Shortlist reflects the strength and breadth of the Scottish music industry; it is home to creativity that for decades has produced globally recognised artists. Its cultural importance is matched by its economic importance, employing thousands of people across hundreds of businesses, significantly contributing to the countrys creative and cultural employment.
"This passion and the music it creates deserves support. As the UKs licensing company for more than 100,000 performers and record companies, we work to offer this by ensuring that those who perform on or own the rights to a recording receive the royalties they are due.
"To all those shortlisted in The SAY Award, to those that work in Scottish music, to the general public that supports it – congratulations on another fantastic year of music."
Gillian Henderson, Senior Business Development Director at Ticketmaster, said: "Ticketmaster is delighted to be sponsoring this years SAY Award. Its encouraging and exciting to see such a diverse list of artists and albums coming from Scotland and we are incredibly excited to see who the well-deserved winner will be.
Jon West, Director of Marketing at Ticketmaster Artist Services, said: "The SAY Award 2019 Shortlist once again demonstrates the sheer diversity of music coming out of Scotland, the standard of albums this year is so high that some incredible albums will have missed out. Scotland continues to produce amazing new artists, so this award will always be highly contested and its one Ticketmaster is really proud to be involved with."
Developed by the Scottish Music Industry Association, 2019s campaign is delivered in partnership with Creative Scotland, City of Edinburgh Council, YouTube Music, Harviestoun Brewery, Ticketmaster New Music, PPL, Sweetdram, The Queens Hall and charity partner Help Musicians Scotland.
Now in its eighth year, previous winners of The SAY Award include Young Fathers Cocoa Sugar (2018), Sacred Paws Strike A Match (2017), Anna Meredith Varmints (2016), Kathryn Joseph Bones You Have Thrown Me And Blood Ive Spilled (2015), Young Fathers Tape Two (2014), RM Hubbert Thirteen Lost & Found (2013) and the inaugural winner Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat Everythings Getting Older (2012).