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Auntie Flo 'hugely surprised' with prestigious SAY Award

The musician - aka Brian d'Souza - was crowned winner for his record Radio Highlife.

Winner: Auntie Flo has won the SAY Award for 2019.
Winner: Auntie Flo has won the SAY Award for 2019. Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award / Auntie Flo Facebook

Auntie Flo has won the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award.

The musician - aka Brian d'Souza - was crowned winner for his record Radio Highlife.

As well as the lucrative award, he also won the coveted £20,000 prize.

Auntie Flo's win was announced in front of an audience of artists, esteemed industry figureheads and engaged music fans at a glittering ceremony in Edinburgh's Assembly Rooms on Friday night.

The musician was unable to pick the award up in person as he was performing at Skye Live Festival.

Afterwards, he said: "It feels absolutely incredible to win the Scottish Album of the Year.

"It might be a cliche, but I literally did not expect to win so it came as a huge surprise and is still sinking in.

"If Radio Highlife does stand for diversity, connectivity and inclusivity, then receiving an accolade such as this means everything.

"It's where the music can become more important and transcend the cultural niches it often rests in.

'It might be a cliche, but I literally did not expect to win so it came as a huge surprise and is still sinking in.'
Auntie Flo

"On purely musical grounds, it means a lot - I've always tried to do something different, say something unique and sound true to myself with my productions, so it's hugely satisfying that this approach has lead to recognition in this way.

"The songs and sounds that make up Radio Highlife have been the literal soundtrack to my life as a DJ over the past seven years - every tune loaded with layers of personal memories that make it an extra special album for me.

"At the same time, I really don't feel the record is about me alone, if anything, it's proof that if you approach everything you do with an open mind and open spirit, doors open and beautiful serendipities happen - anywhere in the world - as proved through the collaborations that went into this record.

"I hope it proves an inspiration to others, where cultural, languages and racial barriers can be broken down through the universal language of music.

"I also hope Radio Highlife continues to earmark Scotland as a place of openness, diversity and compassion in a time when all the above seem to be getting questioned."

Trophy: The award was designed by Emma McDowall.
Trophy: The award was designed by Emma McDowall. Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award

Now in its eighth year, the SAY Award recognises albums across all genres.

In July, the award's longlist was revealed and included the likes of Chvrches, Fatherson and The Twilight Sad.

However, they failed to make the shortlist when it was whittled down to ten albums following an online public vote and judging round featuring a panel made up of key influential and experienced tastemakers from across the creative industries.

Auntie Flo saw off competition from former winners Aidan Moffat, RM Hubbert and Kathryn Joseph, alongside the likes of Carla J. Easton, Free Love, C Duncan and Mastersystem.

Other shortlisted acts included Andrew Wasylyk, Fergus McCreadie and Karine Polwart with Steven Polwart and Inge Thomson.

The nine runners-up each received £1000 from Creative Scotland, as well as an exclusively designed award created by Scottish artist Emma McDowall.

Edinburgh: There were live performances at the ceremony, which was hosted by hosts Vic Galloway and Nicola Meighan.
Edinburgh: There were live performances at the ceremony, which was hosted by hosts Vic Galloway and Nicola Meighan. Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award

Robert Kilpatrick, general manager of the Scottish Music Industry Association, said: "A huge congratulations to Auntie Flo for winning 2019's SAY Award for the incredible Radio Highlife.

"This year's campaign saw 293 eligible albums submitted, the highest number of any SAY Award campaign to date.

"Not only does this highlight the fact that Scotland's recorded output is in great health, but it also shows that in spite of being in the age of algorithm-driven playlists, the album as a format still deeply matters to both artists and music fans.

"Albums remain the best delivery mechanism for artists to truly showcase their creative output and artistic identity.

"I'm incredibly proud that year-on-year, the SAY Award continues to go from strength to strength, showcasing the undeniable talent and diversity of Scottish artists and illuminating our music scene with the ambition, credibility and commitment it so richly deserves.

"A huge congratulations to each of this year's shortlisted artists on outstanding album releases, and thank you for playing such an important part in Scotland's ever-evolving and inspiring cultural identity as a nation."

SAY Award winners

  • Auntie Flo (Radio Highlife in 2019)
  • Young Fathers (Cocoa Sugar in 2018 and Tape Two in 2014)
  • Sacred Paws (Strike a Match in 2017)
  • Anna Meredith (Varmints in 2016)
  • Kathryn Joseph (Bones You Have Thrown Me and Blood I've Spilled in 2015)
  • RM Hubbert (Thirteen Lost & Found in 2013)
  • Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat (Everything's Getting Older in 2012)

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