SCOTLAND’S national music prize, The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award, have announced the independent judging panel set to deliberate over this year’s SAY Award Longlist. In what is an incredible milestone for the Scottish music industry, the Scottish Music Industry Association, who are the team behind The SAY Award, have revealed a 50:50 gender balance on this year’s esteemed judging panel and nominators list, both featuring a broad range of influential and experienced tastemakers from across the creative industries.

The SAY Award will reveal the 2019 Longlist live this Friday night in Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall. Live at the Longlist will see BBC Scotland’s Vic Galloway and Nicola Meighan announce the 20 outstanding albums making up The SAY Award Longlist for 2019, with live performances from previous nominees C Duncan, Kobi Onyame and an exclusive collaboration between Modern Studies and Rod Jones of Idlewild. The event will also feature a DJ set from Tallah Brash (The Skinny) with the event raising funds for the 2019 charity partner Help Musicians Scotland. Fans can still grab a ticket to the event here.

The 11 judges, who will be chaired by John Williamson, are tasked with listening to the twenty outstanding albums which make up this year’s Longlist to narrow down to a Shortlist of ten. Nine titles will be chosen by the judging panel, with the 10th chosen by music fans via a 72-hour online public vote. This year’s judging panel features Arusa Qureshi (Editor, The List), David Mogendorff (Head of Artist Relations (EMEA) – YouTube Music), Jonathan West (Marketing Director – Ticketmaster Artist Services), Lori Duncan(Producer – TUNE, BBC Scotland), Maxie Gedge (Keychange Project Manager, PRS Foundation), Michael Hines (Television and Film Director (Chewin’ The Fat, Still Game) and BAFTA Scotland Committee Member), Peggy Hughes (Chair, Literature Alliance Scotland / Programme Director, National Centre for Writing (Norwich)), Robin Murray (Editor, CLASH), Ross Sinclair (Professor of Contemporary Art Practice, Glasgow School of Art), Sarah Wall (Senior Events and Outreach Manager, PPL) and Patrycja Kupiec (Director, YWCA Scotland – The Young Women’s Movement).

The Longlist has been selected by 100 valued and impartial nominators who were all asked to vote for their favourite new releases. Spanning a wide range of contemporary music genres and styles, the nominators list features STV News Presenter Laura Boyd, music journalist Jules Boyle, The Skinny editor Tallah Brash, TENEMENT TV owner Chae Houston, Festival Director Caroline MacLennan, promoter Joe Rattray and more. See full list here.

Now in its eighth year, The SAY Award celebrates the most outstanding Scottish albums each year, regardless of sales, genre or label affiliation. Boasting one of the most lucrative prize funds in the UK, the winning artist will pick up a £20,000 cash prize, with the 9 runners up each being awarded £1,000.

After another huge year for Scottish music, The SAY Award has moved to Edinburgh for the very first time. The special Live at the Longlist event takes place at the Queen’s Hall to coincide with its 40th anniversary celebrations while the winner of this year’s SAY Award will be chosen by the judging panel and announced at the final ceremony at the Assembly Rooms on 6th September.