- 18 Nov 21
Previous winners have included the likes of Soak, Ciaran Lavery and Joshua Burnside, as well as lifetime achievement awards for the likes of Snow Patrol, Ash, Stiff Little Fingers and more. Saint Sister's second album 'Where I Should End' won the big prize, along with Dea Matrona for recent single 'Stamp On It'.
Northern duo Morgan MacIntyre and Gemma Doherty, aka Saint Sister have won Best Album for Where I Should End at this year's NI Music Prize Awards, which were held in Belfast's Ulster Hall last night.
— NI Music Prize (@NIMusicPrize) November 17, 2021
“This album is a lot more direct,” Morgan told Hot Press back in June. “But there’s also a lot more lightness and levity in it. It’s not that I didn’t want to have those moments before, but I was never drawn to them. I used to equate darkness and metaphors with clever writing, as if melancholy is some higher form of art.
“After growing up as a teenage girl, where pop music isn’t exactly revered, I had to learn that writing directly from the heart is the most engaging way. A lot of the time, the most beautiful lines are scrubbed off the floor of a nightclub.”
Recorded with sound engineer Rian Trench in Co. Wicklow’s Meadow Studio, Where I Should End was self-produced by Saint Sister.
The NI Music Prize awards were held online last year due to the pandemic. The occasion celebrates the best and newest local talent. Organised by the Oh Yeah Music Centre, as part of the Sound of Belfast Festival, the 2021 ceremony was presented by Gemma Bradley and David O’Reilly.
Special appearances from Ash, Ryan McMullan and last year’s BBC ATL Introducing Contender Award-winner Sasha Samara featured on the brilliant night, with performances from shortlisted artists including New Pagans, Amy Montgomery, Dani Larkin and Trú.
Belfast rockers Dea Matrona won Best Single on the night, which was decided by a public vote for their riotous song 'Stamp On It'. The outfit, who supported Van Morrison at two major gigs last weekend, also won the ATL Introducing Contender award.
Ahhhhh last night while we were onstage in London we won two awards in the @NIMusicPrize !Thank you so much to everyone who voted for us, it means an awful lot and we are so grateful for all of your support. Sláinte! 🏆🏆 pic.twitter.com/rh8rpYrv58
— Dea Matrona (@DeaMatronaBand) November 18, 2021
Having not wasted any time during lockdown, the trio of Mollie and Mamie McGinn and lifelong friend, Orlaith Forsythe, tucked themselves away in their home studio to produce the single. 'Stamp On It' was mastered alongside Jon Astley (The Who, Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney).
Best Album winners Saint Sister scooped £3,000, while the other two categories have awards of £1,000 each. Mark Edgar won the Outstanding Achievement award last night, deservedly.
This year’s NI Music Prize will celebrate the work of music charity Help Musicians for supporting musicians throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Since March 2020, the charity has provided monthly financial hardship funding for close to 800 local artists affected by the live music ban.
“It has been a long and challenging twelve months for musicians,” Charlotte Dryden said of this year's event. “That is why this year is such an important coming together, not just to celebrate the great wealth of talent that has produced world-class records throughout the pandemic, but also to thank and let the music community take a moment to reflect, start to rebuild and look to the future.”
Listen to Where I Should End below and revisit our June 2021 interview with Saint Sister on the sophomore LP here.