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Two North artists longlisted for album of the year award – still time to vote!

By Margaret Chrystall

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Fans can have their SAY in Scotland’s national music prize by voting, for free, for their favourite longlisted album before Wednesday at midnight.

Su-a Lee who lives in Grantown is longlisted
Su-a Lee who lives in Grantown is longlisted

The result will guarantee one of the longlisted artists – such as Su-a Lee from Grantown (for Dialogues), Brighde Chaimbeul from Skye (for Carry Them With Us) – or Paolo Nutini, The Snuts, Joesef, Young Fathers and Bemz – a place on the shortlist.

Brighde Chaimbeul.
Brighde Chaimbeul.

People are asked to vote before Wednesday's deadline for who they would like to see shortlisted.

Artists remaining after that will be in the running to win the coveted title and £20,000 first prize.

With voting now open, music fans can back their favourite record.

The award ceremony will be co-hosted by Nicola Meighan and Vic Galloway on Thursday, 26 at Stirling’s Albert Halls.

Fans can vote for free, once per person until midnight Wednesday, October 4.

Music fans can choose between 20 albums on The SAY Award Longlist, from trad to jazz, punk to indie, rap to electronic and more.

The album with the most public votes will be guaranteed a place on the 10-strong shortlist, taking home a minimum prize of £1,000 and be in the running to win Scotland’s Album of the Year title and £20,000 prize.

The list is:

Andrew Wasylyk Hearing The Water Before Seeing The Falls

Becky Sikasa Twelve Wooden Boxes

Bemz Nova's Dad

Brìghde Chaimbeul Carry Them With Us

Brooke Combe Black Is the New Gold

Brownbear Demons

Cloth Secret Measure

Comfort What's Bad Enough?

Eyes of Others Eyes of Others

Free Love Inside

Hamish Hawk Angel Numbers

Joesef Permanent Damage

Juliette Lemoine Soaring

Kapil Seshasayee Laal

LVRA Soft Like Steel

Paolo Nutini Last Night in the Bittersweet

Scott William Urquhart & Constant Follower Even Days Dissolve

The Snuts Burn The Empire

Su-a Lee Dialogues

Young Fathers Heavy Heavy.

Alongside the one album voted onto the shortlist by the public, nine others will be chosen by this year’s judging panel, chaired by culture journalist Arusa Qureshi, also recently announced as Edinburgh venue Summerhall’s new music programme manager.

Robert Kilpatrick, interim CEO and creative director of the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), said, “The SAY Award public vote is the chance for music fans to have their SAY in the determination of the shortlist. From the 20 outstanding Scottish albums that made this year’s longlist, the public’s choice will automatically be guaranteed a place in the 10-strong shortlist along with a minimum prize of £1,000.

“In any year prize money is important for artists, but as Scotland’s music industry faces yet another devastating blow with the recently announced Government cuts to culture funding,

"The SAY Award prize fund remains vitally important as wider support erodes at an alarming rate. The myriad of financial challenges currently facing the sector is impacting artists at all levels, so now’s the time to get behind your favourite longlisted record and secure its place in the shortlist.

“The SAY Award winner will receive a £20,000 prize, and the SMIA is proud of its ongoing key commitment to the value of music in Scotland; made possible through the support of our long-term partners Creative Scotland.

"Best of luck to each of this year’s nominees – we eagerly anticipate which records will make the shortlist, and we look forward to the exclusive announcement of this year’s winner as we celebrate the cultural impact and contribution of incredible Scottish music at The SAY Award Ceremony later this month.”

The judging panel choosing nine out of 10 albums on this year’s shortlist, before reconvening to determine 2023’s winner, are: Adem Holness (head of contemporary music, Southbank Centre), Andrea Gibb (screenwriter), Ariel Cohen (strategic partner manager, artist development, YouTube Music), Becci Scotcher (senior grants and programmes manager, PRS Foundation), Charles Jeffrey (fashion designer), Gordon Smart (broadcaster), John Rostron (CEO, Association of Independent Festivals), Katie Goh (writer and editor), Laura Boyd (entertainment reporter and presenter), Pete Sparkes (artistic director, Drake Music Scotland), Titania Altius (head of member services, PPL).

Music fans can buy tickets to attend the awards night on October 26 here:

With 2022’s winner Fergus McCreadie set to open the show, with a special live performance from former SAY nominee TAAHLIAH, who will perform the closing set following the announcement of 2023’s SAY Award winner.

Further live performances are yet to be revealed, with the event set to be a celebration of the strength and diversity of Scotland’s musical landscape.

The SAY Award longlist was whittled down from a record-breaking 437 eligible album submissions this year by 100 impartial industry nominators.

All artists will receive bespoke prizes created by a Stirling-based artist through The SAY Award Design Commission.

The SAY Award winner will be revealed alongside the winner of The Sound of Young Scotland Award and the Modern Scottish Classic Award.

The Sound of Young Scotland Award (supported by Help Musicians, Youth Music Initiative and Youth Music) aims to stimulate the future of Scottish music and provides a young and emerging artist with a funding package worth over £10,000 to enable the creation of their debut album.

The Modern Scottish Classic Award (in association with YouTube Music) recognises an iconic album from Scotland’s past that still inspires today.

The SAY Award is a Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) production and has distributed over £330,000 in prize money to Scottish artists since its inception in 2012.

The SAY Award’s Charity Partner for 2023 is Tiny Changes; Scotland’s very first national children and young people’s mental health charity funding projects and ideas that help young minds feel better.

Fans can vote for free, once per person, HERE: now until midnight Wednesday, October 4.

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