The A&R Awards 2021: The finalists revealed!

The UK music industry’s most enjoyable night out is on its way: On the evening of Tuesday, November 9, 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 Rooms in Holborn/Covent Garden, all tables on the show floor of this year’s event have already sold out. And that’s before we’ve announced a single finalist!

(We’re literally holding the last two balcony tables as you read this. Contact [email protected] if you wanna buy ’em.)

Talking of announcing finalists… today’s the day. But before then: a reminder of the categories in play.


2021’s UK-focused A&R Awards will once again see gongs handed out to those working in both independent and major sectors across record labels, publishing and management.

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

Categories once again include Songwriter Of The Year and Producer Of The Year, in addition to Song Of The Year, which celebrates some of the best hits majority-written by British (or UK-based) writers during the period.

In addition, our individual A&R awards – also counting A&R duos – are once again segmented by genre. (As ever, the nominees and winners of these categories have done great things within these genres, but are certainly not exclusively defined by them.)

For 2021, these categories are: Adult Contemporary; Alternative/Rock; Contemporary Black Music; Electronic/Dance; and Pop/R&B, plus the ever-popular A&R Administrator Award.

There’ll also be team awards, including two Publisher 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 Award).

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


Winners will be determined via the confidential votes of a select cast of global music business experts in the coming weeks.

In addition to our returning headline partner, Abbey Road Studios, supporters of this year’s A&R Awards 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 Price
  • TMS

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

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
  • 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)
  • Shivers – Performed by Ed Sheeran (Written by Ed Sheeran / Steve Mac / Kal Lavelle / Johnny McDaid)

A&R OF THE YEAR: ADULT CONTEMPORARY
  • Blair McDonald – AMLOR
  • Jamie Nelson – BMG
  • Julian Palmer – Columbia
  • Louis Bloom – Island
  • 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) – Supernature
  • Austin Daboh & Rich Castillo – Atlantic
  • Benny Scarrs & Jack Foster (& Dave) – Neighbourhood
  • Colin Batsa – EGA/Virgin Music/Capitol
  • Glyn Aikins & Riki Bleau – Since ’93
  • Joe Gossa – Black Butter
  • Sarah Lockhart – Sony Music Publishing
  • Shabs Jobanputra – Relentless
  • Sureeta Nayyar – Universal Music Publishing Group
  • Trenton Harrison-Lewis – Warner Music UK

A&R OF THE YEAR: ELECTRONIC/DANCE

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

A&R OF THE YEAR: ALTERNATIVE/ROCK
  • Amy Morgan – September Management
  • Jamie Oborne – Dirty Hit
  • Jeff Bell – Partisan
  • Nick Burgess – Parlophone
  • Phil Christie – Warner Records
  • Richard O’Donovan – Polydor
  • Tim Dellow & Toby L – Transgressive
  • Will Hunt – AWAL

A&R ADMINISTRATOR – Supported by Metropolis STUDIOS
  • Ashley Forbes – EMI Records
  • Amy Webber – Atlantic Records
  • Jazz Horrocks – BMG
  • James Bullock & Matt Prior – Sony Music Publishing
  • Paul Walmsley & Rebecca La Porta – Polydor
  • Sarah Vaughn – Sony Music UK

MANAGEMENT COMPANY (THE DAVID ENTHOVEN AWARD) – SUPPORTED BY CENTTRIP
  • 2K Management
  • Closer Artists
  • Grumpy Old Management
  • Milk & Honey UK
  • Modest!
  • Neighbourhood
  • September Management
  • Tap Management
  • Various Artists
  • UROK Management

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

PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR (2)

INDEPENDENT LABEL – Supported by PUSH Live

MAJOR LABEL – supported by Voly

Music Business Worldwide