Scotland’s national music prize, The SAY Award, launches its campaign to find the Album of the Year for 2020, with music fans, artists and record labels asked to submit long players for consideration.
Now in its ninth incarnation, the Scottish Album of the Year award is to go digital for the first time, with its associated live events moving online this year, meaning music fans across the country will have the chance to be part of the traditionally exclusive final award ceremony.
Also, recognising that international opportunities and visibility for Scottish music are significantly limited at present, this year The SAY Award will for the first time feature judges from four selected international territories.
Eligible Scottish albums released between 1 April 2019 and 31 May 2020 can now be submitted at sayaward.com. Unlike other music prizes there is no fee to submit an eligible album for consideration, and digital releases that fulfil the criteria are also deemed eligible.
All submissions must be made before midnight on Friday 31st July 2020.
Robert Kilpatrick, General Manager of the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) said: “Scotland’s music industry is in crisis. For many of my industry colleagues, celebrating our music scene may be the last thing they’ll feel like doing. How can we celebrate when venues have closed, are closing and will continue to close unless something more is done? When our young people are losing access to music? How do our young people become future talent, active fans and economic supporters of our industry?
“How do we celebrate when artists have lost all their live income? When our international opportunities and connections are under threat? When promoters, studios, producers, engineers, crew, music retail and multiple other sub-sectors of the industry are continually and sorely feeling the impact. There are no easy answers, and as the situation continues, Scotland’s music industry remains at significant risk, with a strong reliance on people coming together to create or experience music, as well as a high level of self-employment.
“Never more than now is it important we celebrate Scottish music. By celebrating, we promote its visibility, highlight its value, develop audiences and stimulate opportunity at a time it’s never been needed more.”
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture added: “These awards are a key moment for us to recognise Scotland’s diverse and evolving music scene and the central role it plays in our culture and creative industries.
“This also demonstrates the resilience and determination of our musical community, and I hope, with The SAY Award going virtual for the first time in history, even more people can get involved.”
2019’s winner was ‘Radio Highlife’ by Auntie Flo (pictured), who said: “The Scottish music scene is world renowned and The SAY Award does a great job of highlighting its breadth of talent. Winning The SAY Award was proof that artists who are properly independent, that work across diverse cultural boundaries and between different scenes and genres can be rewarded for their efforts. I hope my winning it inspires an even more diverse range of submissions this year.”
Previous winners of The SAY Award also 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 I’ve Spilled’ (2015), Young Fathers ‘Tape Two’ (2014), RM Hubbert ‘Thirteen Lost & Found’ (2013) and the inaugural winner Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat ‘Everything’s Getting Older’ (2012).
To submit albums, plus view eligibility criteria and guidelines for the 2020 award – visit www.sayaward.com, and follow the award on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @SAYaward.