Fergus McCreadie wins Scottish Album of the Year Award at Stirling's Albert Halls

The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award last night announced Fergus McCreadie’s ‘Forest Floor’ as the winner of the coveted title and £20,000 prize in The Albert Halls, Stirling.

Stirling's Albert Halls lit up on the SAY Award night
Stirling's Albert Halls lit up on the SAY Award night

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’ wsa recognised as Scottish Album of the Year at the ceremony in Stirling - the city where he first developed his unique vision for jazz music. Seonaid Aitken accepted the prize on Fergus’ behalf.

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’s Shortlist, with all nine runners up each collecting £1,000 and a bespoke trophy created by local artists ART FUTURO via The SAY Design Commission.

Fantastic and inspiring

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.”

Honoured and thrilled

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.”

Listen to 2022’s Scottish Album of the Year.

The SAY Award has now 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.

Exciting and innovative

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.”

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’.

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.

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’

SAY Award ceremony that took place in Stirling's Albert Halls
SAY Award ceremony that took place in Stirling's Albert Halls

The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award last night announced Fergus McCreadie’s ‘Forest Floor’ as the winner of the coveted title and £20,000 prize in The Albert Halls, Stirling.
The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award last night announced Fergus McCreadie’s ‘Forest Floor’ as the winner of the coveted title and £20,000 prize in The Albert Halls, Stirling.

The bespoke prizes created by Stirling design studio Art Futuro that were presented to the award winners
The bespoke prizes created by Stirling design studio Art Futuro that were presented to the award winners.