Anna Meredith wins 2016 Scottish Album of the Year award

Anna Meredith's music straddles the worlds of contemporary classical and electronica. Picture: Mark Kean
Anna Meredith's music straddles the worlds of contemporary classical and electronica. Picture: Mark Kean
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A FORMER composer-in-residence with the BBC Symphony Orchestra has won the fifth annual SAY Award for the best album by a Scottish artist.

Anna Meredith claimed the £20,000 prize for Varmints, her first full-length solo work.

She beat off competition from the likes of Chvrches, Steve Mason and Emma Pollock to be named the winner at a ceremony at Paisley Town Hall this evening.

Meredith’s music, an ambitious blend of classical composition with electronica, was highly praised by judges.

The composer was born in North London before moving with her family at a young age to South Queensferry. She studied music at the University of York and the Royal College of Music.

Previously known as a classical composer, Meredith began dabbling in electronic music in the late 2000s and released her debut electronic EP, Black Prince Fury, in 2012.

Varmints, her debut LP, took several years to produce and was critically-acclaimed upon its release in March.

The SAY award was staged in Paisley for the first time as part of the Renfrewshire town’s bid to be named UK City of Culture in 2021. The night was hosted by BBC DJs Vic Galloway and Janice Forsyth and saw live performances from two up-and-coming Glasgow acts, Bossy Love and White, as well as a set from last year’s winner, Kathryn Joseph.

Dougal Perman, chairman of the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), said: “Scottish music goes from strength to strength. As Scotland’s national music prize, the SAY Award celebrates a selection of the best albums from the past year.

“The quality and diversity of the artists and albums on the longlist demonstrates the energy and vitality of Scotland’s music industry.

“We’re delighted to be in Paisley this year and support their bid for UK City of Culture 2021. On behalf of the Scottish Music Industry Association I’d like to say a huge thank you to our panel of judges, pool of nominators, production team, partners and supports this year and, of course, many congratulations to this year’s winner Anna Meredith.”

The event, organised by SMIA in partnership with Creative Scotland, was established in 2012 to promote music by artists from north of the border.

The inaugural winner in 2012 was Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat for their album Everything’s Getting Older.

READ MORE: 2016 SAY Awards: The joy of judging new music