The SAY Award announce public vote and reveal judges

Scotland’s national music prize, the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award, is set to open voting to the public, plus the 2020’s Judging Panel is revealed.

The SAY Award announce public vote and reveal judges

Article Source: Material
First Published: 2 October 2020 11:10
Updated: 2 October 2020 11:12

Scotland’s national music prize, the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award, is set to open voting to the public, plus 2020’s Judging Panel is revealed. Fans are invited to ‘have their SAY’ and cast their votes to influence which albums secure a place on the highly-anticipated Shortlist, to be announced on 8th October.

Voting is open from 00.00 Monday 5th October until midnight on Wednesday 7th October, meaning music fans have 72 hours to vote for their favourite album on the Longlist at https://www.sayaward.com. The online vote is free to enter and allows for one vote per person. The Longlisted album which secures the most public votes is guaranteed a place on the Shortlist and a minimum prize of £1,000, with the remaining nine Shortlist spots decided by this year’s esteemed panel of judges.

Ensuring a 50:50 gender balance for the second year running, The SAY Award Judging Panel sees a broad range of influential and experienced tastemakers from across the creative industries who are tasked with deliberating over this year’s Nominees to eventually decide who should pick up this year’s coveted title of Scottish Album of the Year and the £20,000 first prize. For the first time in 2020, The SAY Award Judging Panel features three judges from international nations; France, Germany and the Netherlands.

The 2020 Judging Panel, chaired by John Williamson, is:

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).

Edith Bowman said: “I'm honoured to be part of this year's SAY Award Judging panel – to be able to enthuse about music as part of my career is something I am very grateful for and I’m looking forward to discovering some of my new favourite albums as part of the judging process. Scotland has always had such creativity across music and the arts, and it’s never been more important for us to support and celebrate these artists. The hardest part is going to be to narrow down the list – congrats to all of this year’s Longlist!”

Jack Saunders said: “I’ve been playing endless talent out of Scotland on my Future Artists show on Radio 1 so to be involved in picking the Scottish Album of the Year is a real honour. The talent coming out of Scotland right now is some of the best when it comes to music.”

Wezi Mhura said: “I'm delighted to be part of this year's SAY Award Judging Panel - as a huge music fan, I can't wait to immerse myself in some of the incredible albums Scottish artists have created. In a year like this, when music, theatre, art and tv have become lifelines, it's truly more important than ever to celebrate the arts and encourage this country's creativity - congratulations to all of this year's Longlisted artists!”

General Manager of the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), Robert Kilpatrick said: “It’s now time for music fans to ‘have their SAY’, as we move one step closer to announcing this year’s Scottish Album of the Year.

The public vote is a key opportunity for music fans to play their part in determining The SAY Award Shortlist. Supporting your favourite Longlisted album at the public vote stage gives it the best possible chance of being Shortlisted, and with that a guaranteed minimum prize of £1000.

We’re also delighted to reveal the 11 individuals making up The SAY Award Judging Panel for 2020. For the first time this year, the panel includes three international judges from EU nations, providing vital international links for Scottish music at a time where opportunities are highly limited.

With judges from France, Germany and the Netherlands on our panel this year, we’re delighted to be sharing and celebrating our cultural identity both domestically and internationally; allowing the power of music to connect us across borders and keeping Scottish music at the forefront of the international conversation during these challenging times.”


The public have been exploring this year’s 20 Longlisted albums since they were revealed via the virtual ‘Live at the Longlist’ event on Thursday 17 September, featuring socially distanced performances from Free Love, Kinnaris Quintet and Sacred Paws.

The SAY Award Longlist is the product of an extraordinary nationwide consultation; encapsulating the strength and diversity of Scotland’s music scene. This year, a record-breaking 362 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 will now be whittled down to a final 10 albums to make up this year’s Shortlist, one of which will be chosen by music fans in a 72-hour public vote. The top 10 albums to make the Shortlist will be announced on 8th October, and on 29th October, one artist and their album will be crowned the Scottish Album of the Year, in turn collecting one of the most lucrative prize funds in the UK: £20,000.

The SAY Award 2020 Longlist, in alphabetical order, is:

Anna Meredith FIBS
Blanck Mass Animated Violence Mild
Bossy Love Me + U
Callum Easter Here Or Nowhere
Cloth Cloth
Comfort Not Passing
Declan Welsh & The Decadent West Cheaply Bought, Expensively Sold
Elephant Sessions What Makes You
Erland Cooper Sule Skerry
Fat-Suit Waifs & Strays
Free Love Extreme Dance Anthems
Honeyblood In Plain Sight
Karine Polwart Karine Polwart's Scottish Songbook
Lewis Capaldi Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent
Mezcla Shoot the Moon
The Ninth Wave Infancy
NOVA RE-UP
Sacred Paws Run Around The Sun
SHHE SHHE
Vistas Everything Changes In The End

Developed and produced by the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), the 2020 campaign will be 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).

To keep up with The SAY Award 2020 journey, make sure you follow the award on Twitter @SAYaward, Instagram @sayaward and Facebook @SAYaward

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