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Photo Credit Rory Barnes

Today, the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award returns for 2022, calling on artists, labels and music fans to submit eligible albums – for free – at will close at midnight on Friday 22nd July 2021

Last month The SAY Award made an exciting announcement as it revealed Stirling as the new location for the 2022 ceremony. The host city was unveiled in a spectacular projection display on one of the city’s most renowned landmarks, The National Wallace Monument. Incorporating lyrics from the iconic Scottish ballad ‘Caledonia’ by singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean, music fans can watch the impressive ode to Scotland and its talented music industry here.

The SAY Award ceremony will take place on Thursday 20th October at the stunning Albert Halls where artists, industry professionals, press and music fans will have the opportunity to attend one of the most highly anticipated nights in Scotland’s musical calendar. The evening will look to celebrate Scottish music and the cultural impact of outstanding Scottish albums, with The SAY Award winner receiving a £20,000 first prize and walking away with the coveted title of Scottish Album of the Year. Nine runners-up will each receive £1,000, as well as bespoke prizes created through The SAY Award design commission. A limited number of pre-sale ceremony tickets are available now at

Photo Credit: Ryan Buchanan

To be considered for The SAY Award 2022, eligible albums must have been released between 1st June 2021 – 31st May 2022. To submit albums for FREE, plus view eligibility criteria and guidelines for 2022’s award, visit

The SAY Award reached a significant achievement in 2021 as it celebrated an incredible 10 years. Since its inception in 2012, the national music prize has distributed over £300,000 in prize money to Scottish artists and championed 200 Longlisted albums over 10 campaigns. Now in its 11th year, The SAY Award continues to enhance the profile, reputation and credibility of Scottish artists, putting Scotland’s thriving music industry on the global map.      


Last year, The SAY Award announced Mogwai – ‘As The Love Continues’ as the 2022 winner. Speaking about the band’s win, Stuart Braithwaite said: “Winning The SAY Award last year was a huge honour for Mogwai. To be recognised by a panel of peers in this way meant the world to us as a band, particularly given the quality of the other musicians on both the Longlist and Shortlist. Scotland continues to produce a plethora of great musicians making outstanding work year on year so for us to win this award is humbling in the extreme.”

2022 will also see the return of two new awards, the ‘Modern Scottish Classic Award’ and the ‘Sound of Young Scotland Award’. Artists on this year’s Longlist will choose the winner of the ‘Modern Scottish Classic Award’, recognising an iconic album from Scotland’s past. Last year ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’ by Frightened Rabbit was crowned the winner of the newly introduced award.


Supported by Ticketmaster, Youth Music Initiative (Creative Scotland) and Youth Music, The Sound of Young Scotland Award will see a panel of previous SAY Award nominees choose the winner. The winning artist will receive a funding package worth up to £5,000 to facilitate the creation of their debut album, with the award designed to invest in Scottish music’s future and provide vital support to an up-and-coming artist. 2021’s winner LVRA has grown from strength to strength since winning the award and now prepares to make her debut at Connect Festival later this summer.

To be considered for The Sound of Young Scotland Award, artists must be 25 or under to apply (in a band, 50% of core members must be 25 or under), not previously released an album and have made Scotland their creative base for at least the past two years. Full information will be published in due course, and emerging artists can apply from Monday 25th July until midnight Monday 15th August via


Robert Kilpatrick, Creative Director of the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) / The SAY Award, said: “As we now move into a post-Covid landscape, The SAY Award’s role in celebrating Scottish music and the cultural contribution of albums proves more crucial than ever. Artists and music industry professionals are working hard to recover from the significant impacts of the pandemic, and whilst many challenges are thankfully now behind us, the cultural landscape remains in many ways fractured. Creative and business risks are having to be taken, and with many turbulent external factors still at play, resilience, innovation and a sheer determination to highlight the power and value of music is proving fundamental to Scotland’s cultural recovery.

“As we open submissions for 2022’s SAY Award, we’re reminded of the passion, diversity and commitment of our artists and music industry. The bodies of work recognised by SAY enrich the lives of the people who call Scotland home, as well as the lives of many people from far beyond. Our four-month campaign will work to bring a renewed sense of community, instil civic pride and increase cultural confidence; all of which is vital for our national wellbeing. We look forward to working with our partners as we gear up to this year’s Ceremony – our Stirling debut – and we hope you can join us at The Albert Halls on Thursday 20th October for what is always one of the best nights in Scotland’s musical calendar.”


Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland said: There’s every chance that the crop of eligible albums for this year’s SAY Award will be bigger and more bountiful than ever, spread across every genre imaginable. When the pandemic closed doors to performance, Scotland’s musicians wrote and recorded instead, and the past few months have seen the fruits of their labours released to the world. Each year, The SAY Award provides an opportunity to celebrate Scotland’s musical excellence. In 2022, however, there’s more reason than ever to shout out loud about the sheer breadth and depth of what Scotland can create against the odds. So get those submissions in now.”

The SAY Award is a Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) production. The SAY Award 2022 is delivered in partnership with Creative Scotland, Stirling Alive with Culture, Stirling Council, Ticketmaster, PPL, Youth Music Initiative, Youth Music and Music Declares Emergency. Following Frightened Rabbit winning the Modern Scottish Classic Award in 2021, The SAY Award is delighted to reveal Tiny Changes as the Charity Partner for 2022. As Scotland’s national music prize transitions into a new decade, The SAY Award is dedicated to highlighting the power that music can have on a person’s mental health and overall wellbeing. Tiny Changes is at the forefront of this movement as the Scottish mental health charity looks to reduce stigma, support change and build communities across Scotland. The partnership between The SAY Award and Tiny Changes aims to positively impact young people’s mental health by raising awareness of the Scottish charity and the transformative work they do.

Kara Brown, Tiny Changes CEO said: “Tiny Changes is so excited to be this year’s The SAY Award charity partner. We love that this iconic Scottish award inspires young people and celebrates musicians who’ve turned their own life experiences, pain and mental health challenges into works of art.”  

Once all eligible albums have been collated, 100 impartial ‘Nominators’, chosen from sectors including journalism, music retail and music venues across Scotland, nominate and rank their five favourite albums in order of preference. The SMIA assigns a score to each title in a Nominator’s Top 5, before announcing the 20 highest scoring albums asThe SAY Award Longlist.

The Longlist will then be whittled down to a Shortlist of 10 albums, one of which will be chosen by music fans via a 72-hour online public vote. The remaining nine albums will be chosen by The SAY Award judging panel, who will then reconvene at the ceremony to decide on 2022’s winner.

Now in its eleventh year, 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).

To keep up with The SAY Award 2022 journey, make sure you follow the award on Twitter @SAYaward, Instagram @sayaward and Facebook @SAYaward


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.

For further information on the SMIA and its services, projects and events please visit

Keep up to date with the SMIA across our social media channels:

Twitter:  |Facebook: | Instagram:


Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at

Follow Creative Scotland on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Learn more about the value of art and creativity in Scotland and join in at


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.


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. Working closely with their Scottish clients and venues, Ticketmaster delivers the best of live entertainment throughout Scotland’s music scene.


Founded in 1934, PPL is the UK music industry’s collective management organisation (CMO) for 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 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 rightsholders.

In 2021, in total, we collected £252.8 million across all of our revenue streams, while also distributing money to 147,000 performers and recording rightsholders. 


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.


We believe that every young person should have the chance to change their life through music.

Yet our research shows that 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.


Launched in July 2019, Music Declares Emergency acts to encourage the music industry to drive forward public understanding of the climate emergency and pressure governments to take immediate action on climate and biodiversity loss.

Formed by a group of UK based artists and music industry professionals, Music Declares Emergency has now blossomed into a wide reaching movement with chapters across Europe and into South America, Canada and the US with supporters across the globe.

‘No Music On A Dead Planet’, the slogan that spearheads our work, has been seen on screens and stages across the world by millions.

Our declaration of a Climate and Ecological Emergency has over 6000 signatures from leading artists and businesses within the global music industry, joining us in calling for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and pledging industry action on environmental sustainability. | @musicdeclares 



Tiny Changes was set up in memory of artist and Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison. Through his music and art Scott made tiny changes that had a big impact. His honesty and openness about his own mental health inspired people from all walks of life. Tiny Changes is Scott’s legacy; Scotland’s very first national children and young people’s mental health charity funding projects and ideas that help young minds feel better.

Tiny Changes has funded over 50 innovative projects chosen and led by and for young people with mental health issues or illness in Scotland. Several Tiny Changes projects combine jam sessions, sound engineering, writing or recording music with mental health conversations, therapy and support for marginalised groups of young people and those who’ve been through CAMHS.

Tiny Changes is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SC049112).

Tiny Changes Website | Tiny Changes Facebook | Tiny Changes Instagram | Tiny Changes Twitter |

Tiny Changes TikTok

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