Fergus McCreadie wins The SAY Award 2022

Fergus McCreadie has been announced as the eleventh winner of the annual Scottish Album of the Year Award for his album Forest Floor

Feature by Tallah Brash | 20 Oct 2022
  • Fergus McCreadie

Two days on from the rescheduled date for the 2022 Mercury Prize ceremony, which saw Little Simz scoop the top prize for her outstanding 2021 album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert, the winner of the 2022 Scottish Album of the Year has just been announced as fellow Mercury Prize nominee Fergus McCreadie.

Decided by a panel of judges which included the likes of National Theatre of Scotland’s Jackie Wylie, Intercultural Youth Scotland’s Khaleda Noon, writer and comedian Paul Black and BBC Introducing in Scotland presenter Shereen Cutkelvin, after narrowly missing out on the Mercury Prize, it's a delight to see Fergus McCreadie win The SAY Award for their phenomenal record Forest Floor, the first jazz record to win the award in its 11 years.

On his win, McCreadie said: “I’m absolutely honoured and thrilled that Forest Floor has been selected as this year's Scottish Album of the Year. I’m really proud of how the trio comes across on the record and it’s such a privilege for us to have that recognised by The SAY Award panel. I’m also so excited by what this can do for Scottish jazz – we’re the first jazz act to win the prize and I really hope we won’t be the last.

"Scottish jazz is full of incredible musicians and bands that I respect so much, and I really hope this will be only one step of an incredible journey for a scene which truly punches above its weight. All that to say, thanks so much to The SAY Award and the panel, to David and Stephen for their incredible musicianship and friendship, to all my fellow musicians in Glasgow for their support and to you, the audience, who make it happen for us. I will always be grateful to make and play music."

In the ceremony, which took place for the first time in Stirling’s Albert Halls, McCreadie beat fellow shortlisted nominees AiiTee, Constant Follower, Hamish Hawk, Hen Hoose, Kathryn Joseph, Kobi Onyame, Niteworks, Proc Fiskal and Walt Disco, to secure the £20,000 cash prize. 

Of this years winner, Robert Kilpatrick, Creative Director of the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) / The SAY Award, said: "Fergus McCreadie is not only at the forefront of Scotland’s jazz scene, but he’s a shining example of someone who’s making some of the most exciting and innovative jazz music worldwide. With a Mercury Prize nomination and a SAY Award win now under his belt, 2022’s been a phenomenal year for one of Scotland’s most exciting talents, and firmly places Forest Floor as one of the defining records of this year."

Iain Munro, CEO of Creative Scotland said: "Huge congratulations to Fergus McCreadie and to all of the incredible albums and musicians that made up this year’s shortlist. The SAY Award not only celebrates and recognises the achievements of some of Scotland’s finest musicians but also brings these fantastic albums to the public’s attention. Fergus is one of Scotland’s most exciting young musicians and a rising star of the UK jazz scene, as reflected in his recent Mercury Prize nomination and now this accolade. Many congratulations.”

Image: Berta Kennedy courtesy of The SAY Award

As well as the Scottish Album of the Year Award, two new awards that were introduced last year were also given out tonight. Cocteau Twins were the proud recipients of the Modern Scottish Classic Award for their 1990 album Heaven or Las Vegas, announced alongside the shortlist reveal earlier in the month, while Berta Kennedy was crowned the Sound of Young Scotland.

Beating fellow up-and-coming artists Dead Pony, KLEO, Psweatpants and Uninvited, as voted for by past SAY Award nominees which included TAAHLIAH, Stina Tweeddale (Honeyblood) and Jubemi Iyiku (Bemz), along with the title, Kennedy has also won a funding package worth up to £5000 towards the creation of her debut album, including recording time at Stirling’s Tolbooth.

Past winners of The SAY Award include Mogwai for As the Love Continues (2021), Nova for Re-Up (2020), Auntie Flo for Radio Highlife (2019), Young Fathers for Cocoa Sugar (2018), Sacred Paws for Strike a Match (2017), Anna Meredith for Varmints (2016), Kathryn Joseph for Bones You Have Thrown Me and Blood I’ve Spilled (2015), Young Fathers for Tape Two (2014), RM Hubbert for Thirteen Lost & Found (2013) and Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat for Everything’s Getting Older (2012).