Paolo Nutini’s debut named modern classic at Scottish Album of the Year awards

Paolo Nutini has won the modern Scottish classic award for his “iconic” debut album, organisers of the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) have announced.

The musician is also on the 10-strong shortlist for the SAY award, which was revealed on Thursday, along with artists including Young Fathers, Brooke Combe, Joesef and Hamish Hawk.

The annual modern Scottish classic gong, in association with YouTube Music, recognises an album from Scotland’s past that is considered iconic and still inspires today.

Nutini’s 2006 album These Streets, featuring hits including New Shoes and Last Request, was selected as the winner by the 20 artists originally longlisted for the SAY award.

Young Fathers
Young Fathers are on the shortlist for the SAY award (Ian West/PA)

“This is a fantastic representation of the strength and diversity of Scottish music; past, present and future.

“In light of the recent Government cuts to culture funding, and with a myriad of wider financial challenges currently impacting artists at all levels, the SAY award’s role in celebrating, promoting and rewarding artistic endeavour remains crucially important.

“Culture is our identity; it’s how we see ourselves, how we see our place in the world and how we relate to others. It’s the stories of life in Scotland, and it underpins mental wellbeing – both collectively and individually – in many ways.

“Our lives and our stories matter, and through championing our nation’s musical output, we can share our stories with the rest of the world and find new ways to connect.”

The Scottish Government last month reimposed a £6.6 million cut to the arts organisation Creative Scotland, which used its own reserve cash to meet the shortfall.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “There will be no funding impact for regularly funded organisations this year, as a result of an agreement reached with Creative Scotland to use part of its own funding reserves to cover a shortfall in its National Lottery funding.

“While financial challenges as a result of persistently high inflation and public sector pay settlements mean the Scottish Government is unable to make up the shortfall in Creative Scotland’s National Lottery funding this year, the Culture Secretary has given the Creative Scotland board a commitment that the Scottish Government will be able to cover next year’s shortfall within the Budget for 2024/25, subject to the usual parliamentary processes.”

Joesef is also on the shortlist (Lesley Martin/PA)

The nine remaining shortlisted albums in the running for the £20,000 prize were chosen by the SAY award judging panel.

The five finalists for the sound of young Scotland award – designed to support the next generation of talent and give the winner the means to create their debut album – have also been revealed.

They are Danny Cliff, Pearling, Pippa Blundell, No Windows and Queen of Harps.

The winners of the awards will be announced at a ceremony at The Albert Halls in Stirling on Thursday October 26.

The nine runners up on the shortlist will each receive £1,000 plus a bespoke prize from the SAY award design commission, created by Brutal Concrete Workshop.

The winner of the sound of young Scotland award will receive a funding package worth more than £10,000 to help them create their debut album.

The SAY award shortlist for 2023 is:

Andrew Wasylyk: Hearing The Water Before Seeing The Falls;
Becky Sikasa: Twelve Wooden Boxes;
Bemz: Nova’s Dad;
Brighde Chaimbeul: Carry Them With Us;
Brooke Combe: Black Is the New Gold;
Cloth: Secret Measure;
Hamish Hawk: Angel Numbers;
Joesef: Permanent Damage;
Paolo Nutini: Last Night In The Bittersweet;
Young Fathers: Heavy Heavy.

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