IMAGE: Last year’s Sound of Young Scotland Award winner LVRA, Photo credit: Euan Robertson

The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award has announced the opening of applications for The Sound of Young Scotland Award, supported by Ticketmaster, the Youth Music Initiative (funded by the Scottish Government through Creative Scotland) and Youth Music.

Introduced in 2021, The Sound of Young Scotland Award exists to recognise one outstanding emerging Scottish artist annually, awarding them a funding package worth up to £5000 to facilitate the creation of their debut album. The package includes studio time at The Tolbooth in Stirling to mix and master the album, plus a cash grant of £2,500 which can be used to cover additional costs in relation to recording.

The Tolbooth Recording Studio based in Stirling

The winner will also receive a bespoke art prize from The SAY Award Design Commission, along with a coveted showcase slot at The SAY Award Ceremony 2023.

Last year LVRA aka Rachel Lu took home the winning title of Sound of Young Scotland and since then the producer and vocalist has released two EP’s and is set to perform at Connect Festival in Edinburgh next month.

Robert Kilpatrick, Creative Director of the Scottish Music Industry Association / The SAY Award, said: “The Sound of Young Scotland Award is about enabling Scotland’s most exciting emerging talent to add to the strength of our national recorded output. Making your debut record is one of the most exciting and important steps in an artist’s journey, and this prize provides the means to do that along with driving engagement and appetite in the yet to be created body of work. With both the finalists and the winner chosen by a panel of previous SAY Nominees, the award truly encapsulates the peer-to-peer community spirit of Scotland’s ever-evolving music scene.”

How to apply

To apply for The Sound of Young Scotland Award, artists must be 25 or under (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 the past 2 years.

Artists can apply from Monday 25th July 2022 until midnight Monday 15th August here plus view full eligibility and prize information.

Following the application deadline on Monday 15 August, a judging panel made up of 11 previous SAY Award Nominees will whittle all eligible applicants down to five finalists. The finalists will be announced on Thursday 6 October in conjunction with The SAY Award Shortlist – the Judging panel will then reconvene later in the year to decide on the winner; exclusively announced at The SAY Award Ceremony on Thursday 20 October at The Albert Halls.

The SAY Award has seen a record-breaking number of submissions for 2022, with 370 eligible albums now in the running for the coveted title of Scottish Album of the Year and £20,000 prize. Nominators will now rank the albums in order of preference, before the 20-strong Longlist is announced on Thursday 15 September. Listen to all 370 eligible albums here.

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