Eligible albums can now be submitted for consideration as Scotland’s national music prize, The SAY Award, launches today.

Now in the eighth year, The SAY Award encourages artists, labels and music fans alike to submit eligible albums released between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019 to The SAY Award website. The award strives to be egalitarian in all stages of the campaign and this is reflected in that there is no listing fee to submit an eligible album for consideration, and digital releases which fulfil the criteria are also valid. Submissions close at midnight on 31 May 2019.

The SAY Award has recognised some of the most influential artists in the country’s music scene, with previous winners including Young Fathers, Sacred Paws, Anna Meredith, Kathryn Joseph and more, celebrating outstanding Scottish music of all genres on one bold and unifying platform. Submit albums, view eligibility criteria and guidelines at

Anna Meredith said: “The SAY Award looks for quality, excitement and innovation across genres and across different stages, it’s not just looking for the most popular or the biggest fan club or what might make the best news story. For me, winning The SAY Award gave us the chance to tour in the States which is something I’ve always wanted to do but wouldn’t have be able to do to otherwise.”

Paul Thomson, Franz Ferdinand: “The SAY Award casts a spotlight on Scotland’s vibrant DIY music scene and allows artists who are often overlooked to rub shoulders with other Scottish acts with major label backing. With each year the quality on the Longlist and Shortlist is high and it’s been an honour to be shortlisted in the past.”

Founded in appreciation of the album as an artform,  The SAY Award has illuminated the Scottish music scene since its inauguration in 2012. Wielding one of the most lucrative prize funds in the UK, the award recognises the commitment, credibility and ambition shown by artists making work in Scotland in the creation of their albums. It is an aspirational target for musicians at all career levels which can create career changing opportunities, which many recipients have acknowledged.

Developed by the Scottish Music Industry Association, 2019’s campaign is delivered in partnership with Creative Scotland, City of Edinburgh Council, Harviestoun Brewery, Ticketmaster New Music, PPL, The Queen’s Hall and charity partner Help Musicians Scotland. The award celebrates the extraordinary strength and diversity of Scotland’s musical landscape.

The SAY Award has recognised the incredible achievements from artists Longlisted, Shortlisted and awarded the prize over the years including Young Fathers, Slam, Honeyblood, CHVRCHES, Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, Mogwai, Karine Polwart, Dunedin Consort and Paolo Nutini.

This year will see The SAY Award relocate to the opulent setting of The Assembly Rooms in the heart Edinburgh, with the ceremony taking place on Friday 6 September. With the winning artist collecting a £20,000 cash prize and nine runners up each awarded £1,000, The SAY Award is a truly remarkable event for Scotland’s music industry.

Each year, an emerging  designer is commissioned to make bespoke prizes for all our Shortlisted artists, offering a creative and exciting complement to the award’s musical counterpart, and further highlighting the enduring links between music, art and design in a country overflowing with talent.

The SAY Award believes that an album is greater than the sum of its parts. It regards albums as stand alone artworks in their own right, and as culturally significant and artistic achievements. It shines a light on all those involved in the ecosystem of the creation of the album including musicians, songwriters, producers, sound engineers, labels, those responsible for sleeve art and more.

With artists, labels and music fans able to submit eligible albums for consideration, The SAY Award recognises albums across all genres, reflecting the inspiring, eccentric and ever-evolving Scottish music scene with previous Longlisted albums including hip-hop, rock, jazz, folk, pop, classical and more.

Once all eligible albums have been collated, 100 impartial ‘Nominators’, chosen from sectors including journalism, broadcast and radio, music retail and live music venues, 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 AwardLonglist for 2019.

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 artists Douglas Gordon and Susan Philipsz, Filmmaker Lynne Ramsey, Music Editor of The Skinny Tallah Brash, DJ and Promoter Sarra Wild, Edinburgh International Festival Director Fergus Linehan, Sub Club Partner/Director Barry Price and Scottish Ballet’s Sophie Laplane.

Robert Kilpatrick, General Manager at Scottish Music Industry Association said: “Celebrating the album as a format has always been integral to the ethos of The SAY 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, 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. We’re delighted to launch 2019’s campaign, working with a fantastic set of partners.”

Alan Morrison, Head of Music, Creative Scotland said: “The quality of music recorded and released in Scotland, in every genre, is phenomenal. Albums are made in professional studios and concert halls, in bedrooms and basements, and The SAY Award rounds them all up and shouts about them from the rooftops. The more people who submit their favourite new albums, the better the exposure for the huge range and diversity of the music being made here. This is your chance to play a key role in championing Scottish music to the world.”

Councillor Donald Wilson, Culture and Communities Convener at City of Edinburgh Council said: “Edinburgh is delighted to be the host city for The Scottish Album of the Year Award in 2019. Now in its 8th year, The SAY Award has gone from strength to strength and now represents the pinnacle of creative achievement in contemporary Scottish music. We are committed to making Edinburgh a great city for music on all fronts – from grass roots all the way through to our world famous festivals and venues. These awards, held in our Assembly Rooms, are a fantastic addition to the exciting 2019 calendar of music lined up across in the city.”

Peter Sandstrom, CEO at Harviestoun Brewery said: “Harviestoun Brewery are delighted to be partnering with The SAY Award for a second year. We are very proud to work alongside a great awards body that recognises the diverse talent within Scotland’s music scene. We look forward to being part of this prestigious music prize in 2019 as it moves to the amazing venue of the Assembly Rooms in the heart of Edinburgh, a fitting location for a remarkable event in Scotland’s music industry.”

Sarah Mitchell, Director of Member Services at PPL said: “The SAY Award has been a vital part of Scottish music, art and culture since 2012, showcasing talent from all corners of the country and across a diverse range of genres. We are proud to support a prize that rewards the musical aspiration and commitment we see from the nominations every year and eagerly await hearing the outstanding Scottish albums of 2019.”

Evan Henderson, Chief Executive, The Queen’s Hall, said: “Making the connection between The SAY Award and The Queen’s Hall made complete sense to me, and when I took over as CEO, I made a point of working towards enticing the event east. The Queen’s Hall has long supported both emerging and established talent of all genres over our 40 year history. We have the perfect space, both in its intimacy and it’s renowned acoustics, which I feel will do our most creative Scottish artists proud when we host ‘Live at the Longlist’ this year. Edinburgh has world class venues of all shapes and sizes, from the grungy to the most elegant. The SAY Award – won by Edinburgh’s Young Fathers in 2018 – shines a spotlight on the creative heart and the burgeoning new music scene growing in this city and throughout Scotland.”

Suzanne Miller, Nations Manager for Help Musicians Scotland said: “It’s Help Musicians pleasure to be the 2019 Charity Partner of The SAY Award for a third year in a row. With a mutual focus on developing the sector and providing opportunities for career growth and artist resilience here in Scotland, it’s a partnership that makes sense. We look forward to working alongside the amazing SAY Award team as well as supporting this years’ longlisted, shortlisted and winning artists.’

Previous winners of The SAY Award include 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).