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.