The SAY Award 2019: Submit your favourite Scottish album

It's your chance to give your favourite Scottish album of the past year a shout out, as submissions open for the 2019 SAY Award

Article by Tallah Brash | 01 May 2019
  • The SAY Award

The race for the 2019 Scottish Album of the Year Award (aka The SAY Award) is now on, with submissions for all eligible albums now open until midnight 31 May. If you, or someone you know, like or admire released an album between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019, then it’s eligible for the award and could be in with a chance of winning the £20,000 cash prize. 

It’s free to nominate an album, with digital-only releases that fit the criteria also counting, and any genre will also be considered, but the important thing is that all eligible albums must be nominated by midnight 31 May via The SAY Award website to be in the running. As our theatre editor recently said, “shy bairns get nowt.”

For more information on the eligibility criteria and guidelines, head here.

The SAY Award: How it works

Throughout May, anyone can nominate an eligible Scottish album, released between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019. Once all eligible albums have been submitted, 100 impartial nominators from across journalism, broadcast, radio, music retail and live music venues nominate their five favourite albums in order of preference, which are then assigned a score. The 20 highest scoring albums will then be announced as The SAY Award Longlist for 2019.

The Longlist is then handed over to a panel of judges, which in the past has included Turner Prize-winning artists, composers, filmmakers, promoters, journalists, festival directors and more, with one of the top ten being decided via an online public vote.

Then on the night of The SAY Award ceremony – which this year will take place at The Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh on 6 September, making it the first time the award has come to the capital – the panel of judges will battle it out until they can come to a unanimous decision of who the prize should go to.

“Celebrating the album as a format has always been integral to the ethos of The SAY Award,” says Robert Kilpatrick, General Manager at the Scottish Music Industry Association, the organisation responsible for developing the award. “Whilst curated playlists may now dominate listening habits for many music fans, artists across all genres still strive to create bodies of work that effectively showcase and reflect their artistic identity.

“Albums are life-changing, and they’re as much about identity and connection for music fans as they are to the artists that create them. They’re important, they’re crafted and they deserve to be recognised as a huge artistic and creative achievement.

“As Scotland’s national music prize,” Kilpatrick continues, “it’s the job of The SAY Award to celebrate, promote and reward the most outstanding Scottish albums each year, regardless of sales, genre or record label affiliation.”

Since its inaugural year in 2012, Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat, RM Hubbert, Kathryn Joseph, Anna Meredith and Sacred Paws have all scooped the £20,000 cash prize, with Edinburgh trio Young Fathers winning it twice, for Tape Two in 2014 and for Cocoa Sugar in 2018. As well as the main cash prize, the nine runners up that make the ten-strong shortlist, as selected by a panel of esteemed judges, receive a £1000 cash prize, with all shortlisted artists receiving a bespoke prize created by an emerging Scottish designer.

Submissions for eligible albums for the 2019 SAY Award are now open, with a deadline of the 31 May

The SAY Award Ceremony takes place at The Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, 6 Sep