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Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award launches for 2018

Published: 01 May 2018

SAY Award logo 2018

The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award 2018 is now open for entries, with artists, labels and music fans now able to submit eligible albums to The SAY Award website to be considered for this year’s award. The SAY Award has no categories, and is open to all genres of music. Eligible albums must have been released between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018, with the submissions deadline being 23.59hrs on Thursday 31 May.

Since its inauguration in 2012, The SAY Award has grown to become Scotland’s most popular and prestigious music prize. Developed by the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) with support from Creative Scotland, The SAY Award offers one of the UK’s most lucrative prize funds and champions the extraordinary strength and diversity of Scotland’s musical landscape. Confirmed partners for 2018 include Renfrewshire Council, Paisley.is, Creative Scotland, TicketWeb, PPL and Help Musicians Scotland (Charity Partner).

Once all eligible albums have been collated, 100 impartial ‘Nominators’, chosen from sectors including journalism, broadcast and radio, music retail and venues that host live music, will consider the titles from

The SAY Award’s Eligible Albums list, nominating their five favourite albums and ranking them in order of preference. ‘Nominators’ include specialists in a variety of genres, such as jazz, classical, electronic and traditional folk, as well as key influencers from elsewhere in the arts. The SMIA assigns a score to each title in a Nominator’s Top 5, before announcing the 20 highest scoring albums as The SAY Award Longlist for 2018.

The Longlist is then whittled down to a Shortlist of 10 albums, one of which will be chosen by music fans via an online public vote and the others decided by The SAY Award judging panel. Previous judges have included the composer Craig Armstrong, Turner Prize winning artist Susan Philipsz, Music Editor of The Skinny Tallah Brash, Edinburgh International Festival Director Fergus Linehan, Sub Club Partner/Director Barry Price and Scottish Ballet’s Sophie Laplane.

The SAY Award Ceremony will take place on Thursday 6 September, returning to the stately setting of Paisley Town Hall for the third consecutive year. The winning artist will pick up a £20,000 cash prize, with the nine runners up each being awarded £1,000. Each Shortlisted artist will also receive an exclusively designed piece of artwork from the SAY Award Design Commission.

SAY Award

Robert Kilpatrick, General Manager at Scottish Music Industry Association, said:

“Now in its seventh year, The SAY Award has illuminated Scotland’s music scene with the ambition, credibility and commitment it so richly deserves. Having now championed 120 Longlisted albums and distributed £174,000 in prize money, the impact of The SAY Award is indisputable, and we look forward to seeing the award continue to celebrate, promote and reward outstanding Scottish records in 2018. We’re delighted to be returning to Paisley Town Hall for this year’s ceremony, the third year of a fantastic partnership with Renfrewshire Council, and we look forward to announcing some exciting details around this year’s campaign very soon.”

Anna Meredith

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said:

“The SAY Award is one of the most prestigious dates in Scotland’s musical calendar and we are very excited that Paisley will host this event for a third year. The town is home to a thriving music scene and is a hotspot for cultural and creative talent, so hosting an event of the significance of The SAY Award helps to showcase what Paisley has to offer. The stunning surroundings of Paisley Town Hall will make for another momentous night and we look forward to welcoming the country’s music industry back to the town in September."

Previous winners of The SAY Award are Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat’s ‘Everything’s Getting Older’ (2012), RM Hubbert’s ‘Thirteen Lost & Found’ (2013), Young Fathers‘Tape Two’ (2014), Kathryn Joseph’s ‘Bones You Have Thrown Me And Blood I’ve Spilled’ (2015), Anna Meredith’s ‘Varmints’ (2016), and last year’s winner, Sacred Paws‘Strike A Match’, the critically acclaimed debut album which joyously blends African rhythms, post-punk guitars and indie-pop.

Sacred Paws

On winning The SAY Award 2017, Rachel Aggs of Sacred Paws said: “This is an insane sort of dream. Thank you so much to The SAY Award, to all the judges, to everyone at Rock Action. I can’t believe it… We feel validated for what we do.”

To submit an Eligible Album, please visit The SAY Award website for eligibility criteria, guidelines and more information: http://www.sayaward.com

#SAYaward #SAYeligible18

Keep up to date with The SAY Award on Twitter @SAYaward and on Facebook: facebook.com/SAYaward

Notes to Editors

SAY Award Logos available via Dropbox

Photography from 2017 by Euan Robertson Photography is available via Dropbox

Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA)

The Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) is a membership organisation and innovation agency which exists to represent and develop the Scottish music industry. With a sharp focus on common rather than competing interests; a commitment to communicate and cooperate across all areas of the industry and, above all, a determination to deliver services, projects and a programme of events that are both meaningful and of benefit, the SMIA is inclusive, positive and progressive; meeting need, realising potential and encouraging ambition.

Having recently joined Creative Scotland’s Regular Funding Network 2018-21, the SMIA will soon deliver a pioneering innovation-led development programme, designed to help nurture business talent and build infrastructure in the Scottish music industry. For further information on the SMIA and its services, projects and events please visit www.smia.org.uk

Twitter: @TheSMIA | Facebook:  www.facebook.com/scottishmusicindustryassociation


New destination brand Paisley.is will showcase everything that makes Paisley a great place to live, invest and visit. The new destination brand was co-created with local people and businesses across Renfrewshire and sparked a global conversation that reached 170,000 people. The new site reflects what the people of Renfrewshire told us Paisley is – bold, friendly, honest, good fun, together and proud.

Backed up by a new website (www.paisley.is) and social media presence the brand will signpost to everything we want the world to know about Paisley and Renfrewshire.

Social media channels: (twitter@paisleyis – Facebook /paisleyis – Instagram /paisley.is)

Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here.  We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life.  We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery.

For further information about Creative Scotland please visit www.creativescotland.com.  Follow us @creativescots and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland


TicketWeb started in 1995 as small group of music fans who wanted to build a truly DIY ticket site dedicated to shining a light on the freshest new acts. After launching in the U.S., Canada, the UK & Ireland we soon became the go-to ticket seller for independent promoters and venues on both sides of the Atlantic. Two decades later and we’re still proud to be part of that scene but now we also work directly with the artists who fill those venues to make it even easier for real fans to get into their shows.

Find out more at www.ticketweb.uk. TicketWeb – a Ticketmaster company.


Founded in 1934, PPL is the UK music industry’s collective management organisation (CMO) for tens of thousands of performers and record companies.  We license recorded music in the UK when it is played in public (shops, bars, nightclubs, offices etc.) or broadcast (BBC, commercial radio, commercial TV etc.) and ensure that revenue flows back to our members.  These include both independent and major record companies, together with performers ranging from emerging grassroots artists through to established session musicians and influential festival headliners.  PPL’s public performance licensing is now carried out on PPL’s behalf by PPL PRS Ltd, the new joint venture between PPL and PRS for Music.

PPL has a market-leading international collections business, with 87 agreements in place across 41 countries, helping members to maximise their revenue when their repertoire is played overseas.  We collected £212 million in the UK and internationally in 2016 and paid over 92,000 performers and record companies.

http://www.ppluk.com @PPLUK.

Help Musicians Scotland

Help Musicians UK is Britain's leading independent music charity. Since 1921, Help Musicians UK (HMUK) has provided help, support and opportunities to empower musicians at all stages of their lives. The charity works in partnership to transform the music industry through advocacy, campaigning, programmes and targeted investment for all those within it.

In 2018 Help Musicians UK launched a permanent Scottish base to support and empower the Scottish music industry. Help Musicians Scotland aims to reach the entire country, having an impact beyond the central belt into the Highlands, Islands, and borders of Scotland through programmes of support, advice and campaigns. HM Scotland is inclusive of all genres in Scotland and will celebrate the musical heritage and history of Scottish music as well as creating sustainable programmes and funding for the future.

More information

For more information please contact:

Luciana Markey,  Tel: 07842 324 475, Email: lucianamarkey@gmail.com

Robert Kilpatrick, Tel: 07515 777 335, Email: robert@smia.org.uk