THE SAY AWARD ANNOUNCE LIVE SHOWCASE LINE-UP FOR 2020 AWARD CEREMONY, INCLUDING HAPPY SPENDY, KAPIL SESHASAYEE, VLURE AND ZOE GRAHAM
WINNER OF £20,000 PRIZE AND COVETED TITLE WILL BE ANNOUNCED VIA DIGITAL BROADCAST ON 29TH OCTOBER
EXPLORE THIS YEAR’S SHORTLIST
The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award today announce an incredible line-up of emerging artists set to perform at this year’s online award ceremony. Filmed at Edinburgh’s Summerhall, the four acts chosen to perform are Happy Spendy, Kapil Seshasayee, Vlure and Zoe Graham.
The SAY Award ceremony traditionally provides a showcasing opportunity for some of Scotland’s most exciting emerging artists. The artists chosen to showcase usually perform to an invited audience of over 800 guests, made up of artists, industry professionals and press and media from across the UK. This year, broadcasting as a YouTube Premiere from 7pm on 29th October, fans from across the world are invited to tune in to discover their new favourite act, as well as find out who will collect one of the most lucrative prize funds in the UK as the Scottish Album of the Year winner is announced, collecting £20,000 along with the coveted title.
With this year’s SAY Award campaign going digital for the first time ever due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, fans around the world now have the chance to be front-row at the traditionally industry-only exclusive final award ceremony, broadcasting as a YouTube Premiere. Set to be an outstanding celebration of the country’s flourishing and diverse music scene, Glasgow based synth-pop purveyors of feelgood sad songs Happy Spendy will perform on the night, having released their brand new compilation album ‘You’re Doing Okay’ in June this year, which received support from the likes of BBC Radio 6 Music and BBC Radio Scotland. They will be joined by songwriter and soundsmith Kapil Seshasayee who combines electronica flourishes with Indian Classical guitar, stunning vocals and unorthodox instrumentation to create some of Scotland’s most exciting new sounds, hailed by the likes of VICE and Pitchfork. Glasgow five-piece VLURE also join the line-up, with synth laden hooks and club influenced rhythm twisting around emotionally confronting lyrics, the band create an intense, life affirming live show which will be extremely welcome in a year sorely missing live performances. Singer-songwriter Zoe Graham completes The SAY Award ceremony line-up, perfecting her knack for refining universal emotions into electronic pop and having just released her new EP ‘Gradual Move’ last month, Zoe is a true star on the rise.
One artist and their album will then be crowned the Scottish Album of the Year, in turn collecting £20,000 – one of the most lucrative prize funds in the UK – and a bespoke physical award, created by Glasgow based designer and architect Rekha Barry.
The 2020 Judging Panel, who will decide the ultimate winner of the award, is chaired by John Williamson and includes: Ally McCrae (Producer, BBC), Charlotte Dryden (CEO, NI Music Prize), Dirk Löwenberg (Head of Member Services, GVL), Edith Bowman (Broadcaster), Fay Milton (Founder of SAY Award charity partner, Music Declares Emergency), Jack Saunders (BBC Radio 1 Presenter), Jess Brough (Founder/Director of Fringe of Colour), Kieran Hurley (Playwright), Maurits Westerik (Director, Best Kept Secret Festival), Solène Lorry (Head of Label & Artist Relations (France), YouTube), Wezi Mhura (Creative Producer & Founder of AfriFest & BLM Mural Trail).
This year’s Shortlist of ten includes a record-breaking eight debut albums; a first in the history of the award. The 10 Shortlisted albums in the running for the Scottish Album of the Year Award title are:
The SAY Award Shortlist for 2020:
Blanck Mass Animated Violence Mild
Bossy Love Me + U
Callum Easter Here Or Nowhere
Comfort Not Passing
Declan Welsh & The Decadent West Cheaply Bought, Expensively Sold
Erland Cooper Sule Skerry
The Ninth Wave Infancy
2020’s Shortlist provides a snapshot of the strength and diversity of Scotland’s music scene, spanning a range of genres and styles to celebrate the country’s most outstanding albums, and the incredible network of people who created them. Each Shortlisted album has won a guaranteed minimum prize of £1,000, and will receive an exclusively designed art prize.
In a special one off series to celebrate the Shortlist, The SAY Award have teamed up with Tim Burgess’ Twitter Listening Parties to bring music fans together to discover their new favourite Scottish album each evening from 26th – 28th October, prior to the winner announcement on Thursday 29th October. Timings for The SAY Award special #TimsTwitterListeningParty can be found on timstwitterlisteningparty.com
For 2020’s SAY Award, a record-breaking 362 eligible album submissions were narrowed down to the 20-strong Longlist by 100 impartial nominators; representing a variety of genres including jazz, classical, hip-hop, pop, trad folk, rock, electronic, indie and many more. The Longlist has now been whittled down to a Shortlist of just 10 albums, with the final winner chosen by the esteemed Judging Panel.
Developed and produced by the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), the 2020 campaign is delivered in partnership with Creative Scotland, City of Edinburgh Council, YouTube Music, 54EP, Sweetdram, Culture & Business Fund Scotland via Arts & Business Scotland, PPL, Summerhall, Ticketmaster and new charity partner Music Declares Emergency.
Previous winners of The SAY Award include Auntie Flo ‘Radio Highlife’ (2019), 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).