Sep 9, 2019






Phil Connor, DJ and promoter of ‘Healthy’ in Glasgow + Auntie Flo tour manager and driver, collects award on Auntie Flo’s behalf
“I 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.”



Late on Friday night, in the amazing Assembly Rooms in Scotland’s capital, Auntie Flo was crowned this year’s The Scottish Album of the Year winneras he played a live set at Skye Live Festival and dished champagne out to the crowd. The SAY Award caught up with the coveted winner, Brian d’Souza of Auntie Flo about the winning album and what it means to be issued The Scottish Album of the Year prize: “It feels absolutely incredible to win The Scottish Album of the Year. It might be a cliché, 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.”

“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 7 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.”

Speaking about the moment Auntie Flo found out about the win he said: “Unfortunately, I couldn’t make the ceremony as I was DJing at Skye Live Festival. The announcement actually happened towards the end of my set. I noticed my phone going a little crazy and then when the organisers showed up with a bottle of champagne, I knew I must have won! I celebrated by playing one of my all-time favourite tunes (Laurent Garnier – Man With The Red Face) and serving champagne to the crowd who were none the wiser, they probably thought I do that every set! It was almost poetic to be in one of the most beautiful places in Scotland and doing what I love doing the most when I found out the news.”

Watch the winning moment here.

Addressing the other incredible Shortlisted albums, Brian of Auntie Flo said: “My personal favourite was Andrew Wasylyk’s album. I bought it after being recommended it by Mari from Worldwide FM where I do my radio show. It is absolutely beautiful. I also loved the Free Love album and after seeing them in their element at Skye Live have a lot of respect for Niteworks. Big congratulations to all the nominees though, Scotland has a brilliant musical output that continue to punch above its size.”

Robert Kilpatrick, General Manager of the Scottish Music Industry Association said: “A huge congratulations to Auntie Flo for winning 2019’s Scottish Album of the Year Award. ‘Radio Highlife’ is a truly uplifting record, and one which transcends borders. Featuring a wide range of field recordings and sounds from years of traveling the globe, ‘Radio Highlife’ combines house, electronica and world influences to create a unique blend of groovy hypnotic funk. It’s a record that makes you want to dance, no matter who or where you are. It’s visceral.

“At a politically turbulent time for Scotland, it feels apt for such an outwardly looking record to take the coveted title of Scottish Album of the Year. With valued influences from across the world blended together in this LP, the result is something unique, inspiring and unifying. This is a record which brings sounds, people and cultures together, and that’s definitely something to be celebrated.”

Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland said: “’Radio Highlife’ is absolute proof that Scotland’s music travels a two-way street with the rest of the world. Brian d’Souza has brought the sunshine of Africa into The SAY Award and gives us a worthy winner. Congratulations to him and to all of the Shortlisted nominees.”

Held in the magnificent Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh for the very first time, an audience of artists, esteemed industry figureheads and engaged music fans from all over the UK gathered at the glittering final award ceremony in a stunning celebration of Scotland’s flourishing music scene. Presented by co-hosts Vic Galloway and Nicola Meighan, the night ended in style with the announcement that Auntie Flo was the winner of the prestigious award, as well as the lucrative £20,000 prize.

While Auntie Flo claimed the coveted prize, the remaining nine Shortlisted albums each won a significant £1,000. This year’s Shortlist was comprised of ten albums; nine were chosen by The SAY Award Judging Panel, while Mastersystem’s ‘Dance Music’ was chosen by music fans via this year’s online public vote.

Now in its eighth year, previous winners of The SAY Award include Young Fathers ‘Cocoa Sugar’ (2018), Sacred Paws ‘Strike A Match’ (2017), Anna Meredith ‘Varmints’ (2016), Kathryn Joseph ‘Bones You Have Thrown Me And Blood I’ve Spilled’ (2015), Young Fathers ‘Tape Two’ (2014), RM Hubbert ‘Thirteen Lost & Found’ (2013) and the inaugural winner Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat ‘Everything’s Getting Older’ (2012).

Follow The SAY Award’s 2019 journey on Twitter @SAYaward, Instagram @sayaward and Facebook @SAYaward

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