- 17 Nov 20
Organised by the Oh Yeah Music Centre and produced by MEP (Mike Edgar Production), the awards were streamed live on YouTube.
Despite Covid-19, the NI Music Prize – supported by Arts Council Northern Ireland, PPL, YouTube Music, Help Musicians and Belfast City Council – went ahead last week. While it had to be done online, it was an incredible evening of positivity, high quality music and emotional speeches.
There were performances from Arborist, Careerist, Joshua Burnside, Kitt Philippa, Phil Kieran and Sasha Samara, and the evening also featured exclusive footage of Snow Patrol from last year's sold out Ulster Hall show, as well as music from Jordan Adetunji.
The Oh Yeah Legend Award was dedicated to the late Bap Kennedy. Ralph McLean paid a heartfelt tribute and the presentation was made to Bap’s wife Brenda, who spoke beautifully about his legacy. There was a special screening of the Bap Kennedy Trio (with Brenda Kennedy & Gordy McAllister) performing a sublime version of his song ‘Howl On’, recorded live in 2012 at the Music Star, Norderstedt in Germany.
Three of the NI Music Prize awards were decided through public vote, with each winning act receiving a cash prize of £1,000. All winners were announced live and interviewed via Zoom. Sasha Samara picked up the Oh Yeah Contender Award in association with BBC ATL Introducing. New Pagans won best Live Act, which was announced by Nathan Connolly of Snow Patrol. Arborist won Best Single, which is supported by Help Musicians, for the song ‘Here Comes The Devil’.
The big award of the night with a prize of £3,000 was for Best Album, supported by PPL. The prize was awarded to Kitt Philippa, winning for their stunning debut record Human, which Hot Press called an album of the year contender, at the time.
Peter Leathem, Chief Executive Officer of PPL commented on the awards saying, “Music is an important contributor to Northern Ireland’s culture, economy and community. Each year the Northern Ireland Music Prize celebrates the best of the country’s music and creates a platform to showcase its diverse range of talent. Congratulations to Kitt Philippa and all those recognised by this year’s Prize for making music of exceptional quality."