Music business

The 2021 A&R Awards: the finalists revealed!

Britain’s music industry’s finest night is on its way: on the evening of Tuesday 9 November, the A&R Awards 2021 in association with Abbey Road Studios – presented by MBW – will take place in central London.

Held at the De Vere Grand Connaught venues in Holborn/Covent Garden, all lounge tables for this year’s event are already sold out. And that’s before we announced a single finalist!

(We are literally holding the last two balcony tables as you read this. [email protected] if you want to buy them.)

Speaking of announcing the finalists…it’s today. But before that: a reminder of the categories in play.


The UK-focused A&R Awards 2021 will again see gongs given to those working in the independent and major sectors of record labels, publishing and management.

Due to the absence of an A&R Awards event in 2020 (because of you-know-what), this year’s finalists have been selected – and will be judged – on 23 months of work and a bit of activity. of the British music industry (from October 2019 to September 2021).

The categories again include Songwriter of the Year and Producer of the Yearin addition to song of the yearwhich celebrates some of the best hits predominantly written by British (or UK-based) writers during the period.

Additionally, our individual A&R awards – also including A&R duos – are again segmented by gender. (As always, the nominees and winners of these categories have done great things in these genres, but are certainly not exclusively defined by them.)

For 2021, these categories are: Contemporary Adult; Alternative rock; contemporary black music; Electronic/Dance; and Pop/R&B, plus the ever popular A&R Administrator Award.

There will also be team rewards, including two Editor of the Year gongs (for UK pubs above and below a certain size threshold), Major label of the year, Independent Label of the Year and Management company of the year (aka the David Enthoven Prize).

All this, and special moments too – including our prestigious A&R Icon price, plus the coveted Sir George Martin Award.


The winners will be determined via confidential voting by a selection of global music industry experts in the coming weeks.

In addition to our main returning partner, Abbey Road Studiosthis year’s A&R Awards supporters include Centtrip, Concord Music Publishing, Downtown, Hipgnosis Songs Fund, Metropolis Studios, Milk & Honey, PUSH Live, Spotify, Vevo, Voly and youtube music.

So without further ado… here are this year’s finalists:


PRODUCER OF THE YEAR – SUPPORTED BY ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS
  • Camille Purcell
  • Fraser T Smith
  • Fred Gibson (FRED AGAIN)
  • Jonathan Kweku Awotwe-Mensah (JAE5)
  • Thomas Hull (Kid Harpoon)
  • Tre Jean-Marie
  • Uzoechi Emenike (MNEK)
  • Steve Mac
  • Stuart Prize
  • SMT

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR – SUPPORTED BY CENTRE-VILLE
  • Camille Purcell
  • Caroline Ailin
  • Fraser T Smith
  • Fred Gibson (FRED AGAIN)
  • Thomas Hull (Kid Harpoon)
  • Jamie Hartman
  • Uzoechi Emenike (MNEK)
  • Simon Aldred
  • Steve Mac
  • SMT

SONG OF THE YEAR – SUPPORTED BY Hipgnosis Songs Fund
  • A little love – Performed by Celeste (written by Jamie Hartman and Celeste Epiphany Waite)
  • Bad habits – Performed by Ed Sheeran (written by Ed Sheeran / Fred Gibson / Johnny McDaid)
  • Body – Performed and written by Tion Wayne & Russ Millions (featuring Gotcha)
  • Don’t start now – Performed by Dua Lipa (written by Dua Lipa / Caroline Ailin / Emily Warren / Ian Kirkpatrick)
  • head heart – Performed by Joel Corry & MNEK (written by: Joel Corry / Neave Applebaum / Daniel Dare / John “Yeah Boy” Courtidis / Lewis Thompson / Rob Harvey / Uzoechi Emenike / Leo Kalyan)
  • heat waves – Performed by Glass Animals (Written by Dave Bayley)
  • Thrill – Performed by Ed Sheeran (written by Ed Sheeran / Steve Mac / Kal Lavelle / Johnny McDaid)

A&R OF THE YEAR: ADULT CONTEMPORARY
  • Blair McDonald– AMLO
  • Jamie Nelson– GMB
  • Julian Palmer – Colombia
  • Louis Bloom- Isle
  • Paul Samuels – Atlantic
  • Tom Lewis– Decca

A&R OF THE YEAR: Contemporary Black Music – supported by Spotify
  • Adele White – Island / Ego
  • Amber Davis – Warner Chappell
  • Andy Musgrave (& AJ Tracey) – Supernatural
  • Austin Daboh and Rich Castillo- Atlantic
  • Benny Scarrs and Jack Foster (and Dave) – District
  • Colin Batsa – EGA/Virgin Music/Capitol
  • Glyn Aikins & Riki Bleau – Since ’93
  • Joe Gossa– Black Butter
  • Sarah Lockhart – Sony Music Edition
  • Shabs Jobanputra- Tirelessly
  • Sureeta Nayyar – Universal Music Publishing Group
  • Trenton Harrison-Lewis– Warner Music United Kingdom

A&R OF THE YEAR: ELECTRONIC/DANCE

A&R OF THE YEAR: POP/R&B
  • Alastair Kinross and Chris Briggs– Madness / Sony Music
  • Ben Mortimer – Polydor
  • Briony Turner– Atlantic
  • Ed Howard- Atlantic
  • David Dollimore and Joe Iddison- RCA
  • Joe Kentish –Warner Records
  • Mike McCormack– Universal Music Publishing Group
  • Jo Charrington and Nick Raphael – Capitol
  • Lisa Cullington– GMB
  • Paul Smith- Warner Chappell

A&R OF THE YEAR: ALTERNATIVE/ROCK

A&R ADMINISTRATOR – Supported by Metropolis STUDIOS
  • Ashley Forbes– EMI recordings
  • Jazz Horrock – GMB
  • James Bullock and Matt Prior – Sony Music Edition
  • Paul Walmsley and Rebecca La Porta – Polydor
  • Sarah Vaughan– Sony Music United Kingdom

MANAGEMENT COMPANY (THE DAVID ENTHOVEN AWARD) – SUPPORTED BY CENTTRIP
  • 2K management
  • Closer Artists
  • Grumpy old management
  • Milk & Honey United Kingdom
  • Modest!
  • District
  • September management
  • Tap Management
  • various artists
  • UROK Management

PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR (1) – Supported by Milk & Honey

PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR (2)

INDEPENDENT LABEL – Backed by PUSH Live

MAJOR LABEL – supported by Voly

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