Paolo Nutini confirmed as the Most Played artist to have been Shortlisted for The SAY Award

On today’s inaugural National Album Day, the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) has teamed up with music licensing company PPL to produce a Top 10 chart of the most-played artists who have been Shortlisted for the prestigious Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award, based on 21st century UK radio and television airplay.

Celebrating, promoting and rewarding the most outstanding album releases each year, The SAY Award is Scotland’s national music prize which showcases the incredible strength and diversity of Scotland’s musical landscape. With no entry fee or marketing contribution required from artists or their labels, the award offers a highly accessible platform for artists of any genre and at any stage of their career, with a £20,000 prize for the winner, nine runner-up prizes of £1,000 each and a design commission which highlights the enduring links between music, art and design in Scotland. Since 2012, the award has distributed a total of £203,000 in prize money to some of Scotland’s most important and influential artists.

Whilst The SAY Award celebrates artistic merit through the album format, today’s chart shines a light on 10 artists who have not only been commended for fantastic album releases but have also achieved notable airplay on UK radio and TV.

Paisley-born Paolo Nutini, who was Shortlisted for The SAY Award in 2015 for ‘Caustic Love’, takes the top spot on the chart off the back of an array of global hits over the past 12 years, including ‘Last Request’, ‘Candy’ and ‘Jennie Don’t Be Hasty’.

Other acts featured in the Top 10 include Kilmarnock outfit Biffy Clyro (number two), who formed in 1995 and have since gone on to achieve worldwide success with hits including ‘Mountains’ and ‘Many Of Horror’. They were Shortlisted for The SAY Award in 2014 for their sixth studio album ‘Opposites’. Glasgow’s Franz Ferdinand come in at number three, who have seen key success with hits including ‘Take Me Out’ and ‘Do You Want To’. Shortlisted for this year’s SAY Award for their fifth studio album ‘Always Ascending’, they were also previously Shortlisted for their ‘FFS’ collaboration with Sparks in 2016.

The 10 most-played SAY Award Shortlisted artists (based on 21st century UK radio and television airplay) is as follows:

1.)  Paolo Nutini

2.)  Biffy Clyro

3.)  Franz Ferdinand

4.)  Edwyn Collins

5.)  Belle & Sebastian

6.)  Mogwai


8.)  Twin Atlantic

9.)  Django Django

10.) Boards of Canada 

* The chart above has been produced by considering all SAY Award shortlisted artists since the Award’s inception and is based on PPL UK radio and TV airplay data from 2000 to 2017

PPL licenses recorded music in the UK when it is played in public or broadcast on radio and TV, and then works to ensure that the revenue collected flows back to the performers and record labels it represents. PPL recognises the talent that Scotland produces and the impact those artists have on a global scale and has been a long-term partner of The SAY Award, having supported the project since its second year.

Robert Kilpatrick, General Manager at the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) said: “Year after year, and across all genres, the recorded output from Scotland is incredible. This chart from PPL highlights 10 artists who have not only achieved critical success in terms of fantastic album releases celebrated through The SAY Award, but have also seen key commercial appeal through considerable UK radio and TV airplay. To strike this balance is something to be truly proud of, and it’s fantastic to celebrate these 10 previously Shortlisted artists on National Album Day.”

Peter Leathem, Chief Executive Officer at PPL commented: “Scotland produces a consistently strong musical output across a variety of genres and the SAY Award plays a key role in championing a diverse range of Scottish artists. We are pleased to have been able to support the Scottish Music Industry Association and the vital work they do in supporting emerging talent and new music in Scotland.”

The winner of 2018’s SAY Award was revealed last month (Thursday 6th September) at a Ceremony which took place in the elegant surroundings of Paisley Town Hall. The winning album was ‘Cocoa Sugar’ by Young Fathers, with Young Fathers becoming the first band to win The SAY Award twice, having previously taken the title in 2014 for ‘Tape Two’.

The SAY Award is produced by the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), with partners for 2018 having included Paisley Is, Renfrewshire Council, Creative Scotland, Harviestoun, TicketWeb and PPL. The SAY Award was delighted to support Help Musicians Scotland in 2018 as the award’s official Charity Partner.

Respected by artists and valued by the industry, each year The SAY Award is responsible for a surge in musical discovery and an explosion of impassioned debate on social media. Previous winners are Young Fathers’ ‘Cocoa Sugar’ (2018), Sacred Paws’ ‘Strike A Match’ (2017), Anna Meredith’s ‘Varmints’ (2016), Kathryn Joseph’s ‘Bones You Have Thrown Me And Blood I’ve Spilled’ (2015), Young Fathers’ ‘Tape Two’ (2014), RM Hubbert’s ‘Thirteen Lost & Found’ (2013) and Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat’s ‘Everything’s Getting Older’ (2012).