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I am very honoured to have been invited onto the jury this year to help judge the Best Album award for the 2020 Northern Ireland Music Prize. I join a brilliant list of music industry professionals all with a passion for music.

Sadly the awards will be online this year and not at the Ulster Hall in Belfast. I will really miss the live event this year, it is always a fantastic evening of music-making that celebrates the amazing talent coming out of Northern Ireland.



This year’s shortlist features 12 albums released over the course of the last 12 months.


Arborist –  A Northern View

Arvo Party – Love Above All

Careerist – Weird Hill

Ciaran Lavery – Plz Stay, bb

Joel Harkin – Never Happy

Junk Drawer – Ready For The House

Kitt Philippa – Human

Malojian – Humm

Our Krypton Son – Modern Ruins

Phil Kieran – Life Cycling

The Darkling Air – Ancestor

The Lost Brothers – After The Fire After The rain



Last year’s winner of the Best Album award was Ryan Vial and Elma Orkestra for their Borders album.


The other judges this year for the Best Album award are:


Corbyn Asbury, Label Relations Manager, YouTube

Steve Farris, Music Consultant

Olaf Furniss, Director Wide Events and Journalist

Nikki MacRae, Programme Outreach Officer, Help Musicians Northern Ireland

Ciara McEvoy, Member Specialist, PPL

Roisin McNickle, Producer, BBC Radio Ulster, Across The Line Introducing

Ross Parkhill, Festival Director

Caroline Sewell, Regional Organiser, Musicians Union

Sheridan Tongue, Producer, Composer, Songwriter, Performer

Jenny Wren, Festival Music Promoter, Body & Soul. Music Consultant.

Jo Wright, Music Officer, Arts Council Northern Ireland. Artist Manager.


The awards include Best Album supported by PPL, Best Single supported by Help Musicians, the Oh Yeah Contender Award in association with ATL Introducing and Best Live Act. The winners of the three categories will be awarded a cash prize of £1000, and £3000 will go to the winner of Best Album.

The awards will be online this year at 8pm on Thursday 12th November due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All details on the NI Music Prize website here.