FERGUS MCCREADIE’S ‘FOREST FLOOR’ REVEALED AS WINNER OF SCOTTISH ALBUM OF THE YEAR AWARD
SCOTLAND’S MUSIC INDUSTRY UNITED IN STIRLING’S ALBERT HALLS WHERE FERGUS MCCREADIE’S ‘FOREST FLOOR’ WON THE COVETED SAY AWARD TITLE AND £20,000 PRIZE FUND
PLUS, COCTEAU TWINS CELEBRATED AS ‘HEAVEN OR LAS VEGAS’ WINS MODERN SCOTTISH CLASSIC AWARD, WHILE BERTA KENNEDY IS CROWNED THE SOUND OF YOUNG SCOTLAND 2022.
Tonight, the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award – Scotland’s National Music Prize – announced Fergus McCreadie’s ‘Forest Floor’ as the winner of the coveted title and £20,000 prize at the exclusive Ceremony in The Albert Halls, Stirling. In the award’s 11th year, Cocteau Twins were also recognised, picking up the Modern Scottish Classic Award for ‘Heaven and Las Vegas’, while Berta Kennedy won the Sound of Young Scotland Award and a funding package worth up to £5,000 to support the creation of her debut album.
25-year-old Scottish pianist Fergus McCreadie’s latest album ‘Forest Floor’ is recognised as Scottish Album of the Year at the Ceremony in Stirling – the city where he first developed his unique vision for jazz music. Scottish folk influences are central in defining Fergus’ sound, with precisely placed notes and rich harmonies which saw him shortlisted for the Mercury Prize which he attended earlier this week. Longlisted for a SAY Award in 2021 and shortlisted under Fergus McCreadie Trio in 2019, it’s third time lucky for this exciting and unique artist. Seonaid Aitken accepted the prize tonight on Fergus’ behalf.
Listen to 2022’s Scottish Album of the Year HERE.
Fergus McCreadie, Scottish Album of the Year Award Winner for 2022, who was sadly unable to attend the ceremony 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.”
Held for the first time in Stirling’s Albert Halls, the Ceremony was co-hosted by BBC Radio Scotland presenters Nicola Meighan and Vic Galloway, and was truly a night to remember as artists, music fans and industry figureheads gathered to celebrate 2022’sShortlist, with all nine runners up each collecting £1,000 and a bespoke trophy created by local artists ART FUTURO via The SAY Design Commission. Following tonight’s ceremony, The SAY Award have distributed over £320,000 in prize money and championed 220 Longlisted albums across 11 previous campaigns, demonstrating the award’s continued ambition, passion and commitment to accelerating a growing Scottish music scene.
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.
A huge congratulations also to Berta Kennedy on winning this year’s Sound of Young Scotland Award, and to ‘Heaven or Las Vegas’ by Cocteau Twins for winning the Modern Scottish Classic Award for one of the most magical Scottish records of all time.
On behalf of the SMIA, I’d like to thank all involved who make The SAY Award happen. As our industry continues to navigate challenging times, prizes like SAY and the financial and promotional support they offer are more vital than ever.”
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.”
Convener of Stirling Council’s Finance and Economy Committee, Cllr Margaret Brisley said:“Stirling was proud to host the most exciting night in Scotland’s music calendar to celebrate these outstanding albums and the talented artists behind them.
“Congratulations to the three award winners and the shortlisted artists, who will all take home innovative and unique trophies created in Stirling by one of our many amazing design studios. Having several artists with a strong Stirling connection on the final shortlist was fantastic and recognition of Stirling’s thriving music scene, creative spirit and the continued investment in culture by the Council and other key partners.
A huge thanks to everyone involved in organising such a fantastic and inspiring event in Stirling’s historic Albert Halls, which demonstrated again why it’s such a special and versatile venue. The SAY Award 2022 showed Stirling at its best – a welcoming city that can successfully stage a wide range of major events, a place that is alive with culture.”
The Ceremony’s Stirling location for 2022 was unveiled earlier this year through a SAY Award projection onto the National Wallace Monument, which featured the lyrics of the iconic Scottish ballad ‘Caledonia’. Tonight, the ceremony opened with a powerful and special rendition of the song by Shortlisted RnB/Soul singer AiiTee, mesmerising an audience packed with music industry royalty hanging off every word including Dougie MacLean who wrote the song in 1977 as a love song to his homeland and thus becoming an anthem of Scottish pride.
Other spectacular performances on the night included fellow Shortlisted artists, Stirling’s own Constant Follower, Glasgow indie band The Just Joans, and Seonaid Aitken Ensemble who paid homage to the 2022 Modern Scottish Classic Award Winner – Cocteau Twins’ ‘Heaven or Las Vegas’ – with a specially curated reimagined set. Seonaid Aitken said: “What an absolute honour to be asked to reimagine this incredible album”. The Sound of Young Scotland Winner Berta Kennedy also performed her debut single ‘Free-Swimming’, and previous SAY Award Winner Kathryn Joseph sang her cover of ‘A Way From Rage’ in a touching tribute to Beldina Odenyo Onassis, also known by her artist name ‘Heir of the Cursed’. Kathryn pronounced “we fucking miss you, Belinda” before signing while footage of Belinda’s performance from last year’s SAY Award Ceremony played behind her.
In alphabetical order, 2022’s The SAY Award Shortlist:
AiiTee – ‘Better Days’
Constant Follower – ‘Neither Is, Nor Ever Was’
Fergus McCreadie – ‘Forest Floor’
Hamish Hawk – ‘Heavy Elevator’
Hen Hoose – ‘Equaliser’
Kathryn Joseph – ‘for you who are the wronged’
Kobi Onyame – ‘Don’t Drink The Poison’
Niteworks – ‘A’Ghrian’
Proc Fiskal – ‘Siren Spine Sysex’
Walt Disco – ‘Unlearning’
The 2022 judging panel – made up of influential tastemakers from a range of creative spheres – included Amina Shah (CEO, National Library of Scotland); Anneliese Harmon (General Manager, MMF); Corbyn Asbury (Label Relations Manager, YouTube); Dave Francis (Director, TRACS); Jackie Wylie (CEO / Artistic Director, National Theatre of Scotland); Jude McArdle (Membership Manager, AIM); Khaleda Noon (Executive Director, Intercultural Youth Scotland); Paul Black (Writer/Director/Comedian); Shereen Cutkelvin (Presenter, BBC Introducing) and Will Page (Author and Economist); who together debated the Shortlist and crowned Fergus McCreadie the Scottish Album of the Year.
The Sound of Young Scotland Award, supported by Ticketmaster, Youth Music and Youth Music Initiative,saw five finalists – Berta Kennedy, Dead Pony, KLEO, Psweatpants and Uninvited – recognised at the ceremony with the overall winner chosen by a panel of formerSAY Award nominees. Nicola Meighan and Vic Galloway presented the award to this year’s winner, Berta Kennedy, who will receive a funding package worth up to £5,000 to facilitate the creation of her debut album, including recording time at Tolbooth Stirling.
Ahead of her surprise live performance, a delighted Berta Kennedy, Sound of Young Scotland Winner 2022, said ahead of her performance: “I’d like to thank my amazing band – I’m so honoured to share the stage with them, they’re so talented. And thank you to The SAY Award and SMIA for supporting and uplifting people like me.” She also gave a shout out to her parents who yelled with excitement as Vic and Nicola announced their daughter’s win.
Morag Macdonald, YMI Manager at Creative Scotland said: “We’re delighted for Berta Kennedy who has scooped this year’s award from such a strong shortlist of young artists. We hope that this recognition and the package of support will enable Berta to take the next steps in her musical career.”
For the second year, the winner of the Modern Scottish Classic Award was chosen by 2022’s Longlisted artists, recognising an outstanding album from Scotland’s past that still inspires music being made today. The winner was ‘Heaven or Las Vegas’ by Cocteau Twins.
Accepting the award remotely, Robin Guthrie, a founding member of Cocteau Twins, said: “Some 40 years ago, Cocteau Twins played our first ever show in what was then a nightclub called Le Clique, just 500m down the road [from Albert Halls]. We were teenagers, we had six songs, we didn’t know much. There wasn’t the type of support the Scottish music industry now brings – but we stuck at it. Fast forward to 1989 and the stars aligned with a new studio, Elizabeth was a wee bit pregnant, and we were very slowly becoming adults. The soundtrack to this time we recorded as ‘Heaven or Las Vegas’. I’m really pleased to accept the Modern Scottish Classic Award on behalf of myself, Elizabeth and Simon. We’d like to thank the award’s Longlist who chose to recognise that this album should become a Scottish icon.”
The legacy of last year’s debut Modern Scottish Classic winners, Frightened Rabbit, continues through The SAY Award’s charity partnership with Tiny Changes, set up in memory of late frontman Scott Hutchinson. The SAY Award is developed and produced by the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), with accessibility, inclusivity and diversity at the heart of their flagship project. Other partners for 2022 include Creative Scotland, Stirling Council, Stirling Alive With Scotland, YouTube Music, Go Forth, Ticketmaster, Spotify, PPL, Youth Music Initiative, Youth Music, Brewgooder, Stirling Distillery and Music Declares Emergency.
Previous winners of The SAY Award include Mogwai ‘As The Love Continues’ (2021), Nova ‘Re-Up’ (2020), 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).
ABOUT SAY AWARD PARTNERS
Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA)
The Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) is a not-for-profit trade body and membership organisation which exists to strengthen, empower and unite Scotland’s music industry.
As a Creative Scotland Regularly Funded Organisation (RFO), we work to create and nurture an inclusive membership community which reflects the full spectrum of Scotland’s music industry. We give voice to our membership when speaking to Government, Parliament and development organisations, and we both produce and support projects and programmes that stimulate sustainability, domestic and international growth, development and innovation in Scotland’s music sector. Our services, projects and events are designed to strengthen and increase the value of Scotland’s music industry on the world stage: economically, socially and culturally.
Keep up to date with the SMIA across our social media channels:
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 distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery.
Rooted in the heart of Scotland,Stirling’s blossoming urban city centre is surrounded by diverse rural communities.
The nation’s most cherished landmarks are found here, making Stirling alive with history, while a growing modern arts scene nurtures new cultural talent.
With a similarly diverse business sector, cultivated by new infrastructure and investment, Stirling aims to be a place where everyone can thrive.
YouTube Music is a completely reimagined streaming music service with music videos, official albums, singles, remixes, live performances, covers and hard-to-find music you can only get on YouTube. It’s ALL here! YouTube Music serves music based on your tastes and what’s moving the community around you. Discover something new or keep up with what’s trending. Basic functions such as playing music and watching videos are totally free, and you can upgrade to YouTube Music Premium to explore the world of music ad-free, offline, and with the screen locked. YouTube Music is currently available on mobile and desktop within 78 global markets. For additional information, visit www.youtube.com/musicpremium.
Go Forth Business Improvement District
Go Forth Business Improvement District (BID) involves Stirling businesses working together and investing collectively in local improvements.
The organisation gives businesses a unified voice and delivers projects and services that will improve the trading environment of the Stirling BID area; to the benefit of the businesses, their customers and visitors to the city centre.
For more details visit www.goforthstirling.co.uk
Ticketmaster is the global and local market leader in live event ticketing, digital marketing, and mobile fan engagement tools that drive over 500 million tickets to fans in 32 countries.
Spotify transformed music listening forever when it launched in 2008. Discover, manage and share over 80 million tracks, including more than 4 million podcast titles, for free, or upgrade to Spotify Premium to access exclusive features for music including improved sound quality and an on-demand, offline, and ad-free music listening experience. Today, Spotify is the world’s most popular audio streaming subscription service with 433m users, including 188m subscribers, across 183 markets.
Founded in 1934, PPL is the UK music industry’s collective management organisation (CMO) for over 120,000 performers and record companies. We licence 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 globally renowned artists. PPL’s public performance licensing is carried out on PPL’s behalf by PPL PRS Ltd, the joint venture between PPL and PRS for Music.
We also collect performance rights internationally when music is played overseas in public and used on TV, radio and some online streaming services, as well as for private copying. International royalties are an increasingly important revenue stream for performers and recording rights holders.
Youth Music Initiative
The Youth Music Initiative is a music education programme with a vision to put music at the heart of young people’s lives and learning funded by the Scottish Government through Creative Scotland. Since its establishment in 2007 the programme has distributed over £140 million, transforming music learning facilities for children and young people across the country.
You can find out more about the programme on the Creative Scotland website.
Youth Music believes every young person should have the chance to change their life through music. Yet our research shows many can’t because of who they are, where they’re from or what they’re going through.
Our insights, influence and investment in grassroots organisations and to young people themselves means that more 0–25-year-olds can make, learn and earn in music.
Youth Music is a national charity funded thanks to the National Lottery via Arts Council England, players of People’s Postcode Lottery and support from partners, fundraisers and donors.
At Brewgooder we believe that beer can be a force for good. That’s why our beer is Brewed on Purpose® to make waves in the world. We’re dedicated to brewing award-winning people positive beer with every serve helping to fund people & community projects undertaken by The Brewgooder Foundation.
Since 2016, our drinkers have helped to reach and empower over 160,000 lives worldwide, supporting projects that span vital areas such as clean water & sanitation, hunger, and inequality.
Stirling Distillery is a family-run, hand-crafted spirits company situated in the shadow of Stirling Castle, on the castle rock. Known for our award-winning London dry gin, made with foraged Stirlingshire nettles, our unique offerings range from the classic to the eclectic, celebrating local history and folklore. We offer daily gin and whisky tastings, distillery tours and a weekly gin school, so book a visit today!
Music Declares Emergency
Since its launch in London in July 2019, Music Declares Emergency has worked with the music industry and artists to harness the power of music to educate, inspire and engage the public with the climate emergency and to facilitate industry wide conversations to encourage and envision a sustainable music industry. Our declarers now number over 5000 and include all the UK major labels and industry organisations across all sectors, globally famous recording artists, and performers and individuals working within the music industry. All are committed to using their influence to bring conversations around the climate emergency into the mainstream of public debate.
Inspired by the lead taken by the UK music industry, Music Declares Emergency now has sister groups operating in Germany, Switzerland, France, Chile and Canada with further countries set to join the fold soon. A demonstration of the power of music to unite across languages and culture, the continued growth of Music Declares Emergency places music at the heart of the message of hope for a green recovery from a global pandemic and a brighter future for all.