Scottish Album of the Year was won by pianist Fergus McCreadie. The title was given to the 25-year-old jazz and folk musician for his album Forest Floor, which was also nominated for this year’s Mercury Prize.
The award has previously been won by acts like Mogwai and Young Fathers, but McCreadie is the first jazz musician to take home the trophy.
“I still feel quite lost and overwhelmed. I had absolutely no expectation whatsoever of it “He told the afternoon show on BBC Radio Scotland.
“Amazingly, it was such an honor to be considered. It had significant meaning for me personally as well as for the larger Scottish jazz scene.
“Receiving that acknowledgment is such a pleasure, and being a part of it is so wonderful. I’d like to think that I’m not the last jazz musician to bring it home.”
The judges commended his third studio album for its “folk-influenced feel,” “precisely placed notes,” and “rich harmonies.”
When it was released in April, it immediately debuted at the top of the Jazz & Blues Albums Chart in the UK.
McCreadie won £20,000 for receiving the honor in addition to his 2021 nomination for his second album, Cairn.
McCreadie, who was nominated with Harry Styles, Sam Fender, and the Mercury Prize winner Little Simz, had a performance at the ceremony earlier this week in London.
At the Jazz FM Awards on Thursday, he was also named Instrumentalist Of The Year.
McCreadie won the Scottish prize by defeating other nominated finalists such as singer-songwriters Kathryn Joseph and Hamish Hawk and up-and-coming indie pop group Walt Disco after the original longlist of 20 CDs was whittled down to only 10.
In “two or three weeks,” he claimed, when the first coronavirus lockdown began, he authored Forest Floor.
After spending his early years at Strathpeffer in the Highlands, he then moved to Dollar, Clackmannanshire, where he was staying with his parents.
Before returning to the city, he remarked, “I was roaming about the Ochil Hills a lot, really enjoying being back in nature.”
At least unconsciously, that region contributed to the inspiration for the record.
The bagpipes were McCreadie’s first musical instrument, and he has conceded that he was “not good at all” at them. At the age of 12, he discovered jazz, which “changed my life.”
He acknowledges that the £20,000 first prize will be “very useful, a significant career booster for sure” as part of the award.
I don’t think I’ve ever received anything close to £20,000 for something, he continued. “Jazz can do a lot for us since it doesn’t truly function at that level.
“I want to evenly divide it and then take my portion to invest in my career. Hopefully, it will assist us in recording the upcoming album and perhaps the one after that.”
Between several European appearances and a UK tour set for February and March, McCreadie has scheduled the recording of his upcoming album for January.