The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award has announced the opening of applications for The Sound of Young Scotland Award.

Emerging Scottish artists will be able to apply to win a funding package worth up to £5,000 to support the creation of their debut album. Artists can apply from Monday 25th July 2022 until midnight Monday 15th August via www.sayaward.com.

Introduced last year, The Sound of Young Scotland Award aims to recognise an outstanding emerging Scottish artist annually. The winner will receive a cash grant of £2,500 which can be used to cover additional costs in relation to recording, as well as in-kind funded studio time, mixing and mastering at The Tolbooth in Stirling, where the winner will create their debut record.

The SAY Award Ceremony will take place in Stirling for the first time in 2022, in the city’s Albert Halls, situated at the foot of the hill leading to the Tolbooth – a multi-disciplinary arts venue which also houses a state-of-the-art recording studio based in what used to be the Tolbooth’s Cellar.

The winner will also receive a bespoke art prize from The SAY Award Design Commission, along with a showcase slot at The SAY Award Ceremony 2023, for which a limited number of pre-sale tickets are available at www.sayaward.com.

Last year LVRA aka Rachel Lu took home the winning title of Sound of Young Scotland and since then the producer and vocalist has released two EPs and is set to perform at Connect Festival in Edinburgh next month.

Robert Kilpatrick, Creative Director of the Scottish Music Industry Association / The SAY Award, said: “The Sound of Young Scotland Award is about enabling Scotland’s most exciting emerging talent to add to the strength of our national recorded output.

“Making your debut record is one of the most exciting and important steps in an artist’s journey, and this prize provides the means to do that along with driving engagement and appetite in the yet to be created body of work.

“With both the finalists and the winner chosen by a panel of previous SAY Nominees, the award truly encapsulates the peer-to-peer community spirit of Scotland’s ever-evolving music scene.”

To apply for The Sound of Young Scotland Award, artists must be 25 or under (in a band, 50% of core members must be 25 or under), not previously released an album and have made Scotland their creative base for the past 2 years.

Following the application deadline on Monday 15th August, a judging panel made up of 11 previous SAY Award Nominees will whittle all eligible applicants down to five finalists. The finalists will be announced on Thursday 6th October in conjunction with The SAY Award Shortlist – the Judging panel will then reconvene later in the year to decide on the winner; announced at The SAY Award Ceremony on Thursday 20th October at The Albert Halls.

The SAY Award has seen a record-breaking number of submissions for 2022, with 370 eligible albums now in the running for the coveted title of Scottish Album of the Year and £20,000 prize. Nominators will now rank the albums in order of preference, before the 20-strong Longlist is announced on Thursday 15th September.

The Sound of Young Scotland Award is supported by Ticketmaster, the Youth Music Initiative (funded by the Scottish Government through Creative Scotland) and Youth Music. More at www.sayaward.com.