With just one week to go until the SAY Awards 2020, we chat to one of this year’s panel members – Best Kept Secret Festival Director Mauritz Westerik, about the awards, the scene and the industry….
What inspired you to get involved with SAY Awards?
BEST KEPT SECRET has been always very open and interested in Scottish music, we consider ourselves as true followers and are looking forward to new Scottish music. We booked Scottish live acts like Honeyblood, Belle & Sebastian, SOPHIA, Primal Scream, Mogwai, Franz Ferdinand.
You’re a man of many talents: Festival Director, Musician and Writer. How does this varied experience in the industry help you to co-judge the longlist and the winner?
It’s been a journey so far, musically, it always triggered and interested me. I started professionally at 21 when I ‘embraced’ my first record deal, it was amazing to record albums, playing live shows in venues and festivals and to travel with your band because of the music. I did a lot label work on the a&r side and marketing/promotion related too. Al these assets made even more creative and open minded, it feels natural to me to listen, talk and motivate others why this music could lead to new chapters.
What was your first memory or favourite memory of the music scene in Scotland?
Around 2006 we performed live in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, such an honour to visit your beautiful country and countryside. It felt all magical to me, it was great to meet other bands and people back in the days. It felt like a whole new atmosphere to me.
What was the first album you ever listened to?
Blonde on Blonde – Bob Dylan because of my dad and uncles, still thankful.
How do you usually discover new music?
In record stores and looking at the covers, or stories from others in and around the shop. But I have to say that artwork means a lot to me, it’s my perfect entrance to dive into new music. Furthermore I’ve never listened to so much new music online as ever before.
If you could give one message to the public about how to support the music industry at the moment, what would it be?
I think we all long for live music, in venues and at festivals, we should really help each other to keep this alive for a better future in a better time. It’s so important that we collectively share our love and passion and ourselves as persons in the same place at the same time, it gives us hope, love and understanding and true energy. As we need band and new music, they need us to stage to it, so we need each other and let us make this happen again.
How to attend the SAY Awards 2020
With this year’s SAY Award campaign going digital for the first time ever due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, fans around the world now have the chance to be front-row at the traditionally industry-only exclusive award ceremony, broadcasting as a YouTube Premiere from 7pm on Thursday 29th October.
The Longlist has now been whittled down to a Shortlist of just 10 albums, with the final winner chosen by the esteemed Judging Panel which features the likes of Edith Bowman, Fay Milton, Jack Saunders, Jess Brough, Wezi Mhura as well as Mauritz Westerik.
The SAY Award Shortlist for 2020 is as follows:
- Blanck Mass Animated Violence Mild
- Bossy Love Me + U
- Callum Easter Here Or Nowhere
- Cloth Cloth
- Comfort Not Passing
- Declan Welsh & The Decadent West Cheaply Bought, Expensively Sold
- Erland Cooper Sule Skerry
- The Ninth Wave Infancy
- NOVA RE-UP
- SHHE SHHE