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BBC Radio Scotland has secured the services of big names from the music industry to play a leading role in the search for the country’s newest star.

A panel of five judges – Fran Healy, Horse McDonald and Karine Polwart together with promoter Geoff Ellis and music industry executive Dee Bahl – will have the final say on who wins the station’s Singer/Songwriter of the Year Award 2019.

The winner of the inaugural award will be announced on BBC Music Day on 26th September at a special event hosted by Ricky Ross, acclaimed singer/songwriter of Deacon Blue, and host of BBC Radio Scotland’s Another Country.

BBC Radio Scotland Executive Producer, Sharon Mair, says: “We are absolutely delighted to have an amazing panel of judges and talent from across the music industry involved in this project. It has been a joy to bring them all together – good luck to everyone that is entering.”

The prize for the winner includes a recording session with BBC Scotland in Glasgow, an opportunity to play the King Tut’s stage at the TRNSMT Festival and a promotional video.

Entrants, who must be over 17, are now submitting short videos, featuring an original composition and a cover version of a favourite song, to meet a deadline of 5pm on Friday 31 May 2019.

The entries will be shortlisted by the judges to ten and they will then go to public vote in early September. The top four from the public vote will perform at a live final where the judges will select the recipient of the BBC Radio Scotland Singer/Songwriter of the Year Award.

Ahead of the event, the final four contestants will be mentored by songwriter and producer, Davie Scott, lead vocalist with The Pearlfishers, and a leading light in the University of West Scotland’s Masters in Songwriting course.

The judges are looking forward to working together and playing their part in this pioneering venture to discover exciting new talent.

Fran Healy, singer/songwriter with Travis, says: “I’m looking forward to being a judge on the BBC Radio Scotland Singer Songwriter Award. Hoping to find the next Robert or Roberta Burns. Expectations are high.”

Horse McDonald says: “What a wonderful opportunity! This is something for songwriters from every walk of life to work towards – and for the ultimate winner, an exciting platform for their future. I am excited to be on this brilliant panel – it’s going to be quite a journey of discovery.”

Karine Polwart says: “It’s always exciting to discover new voices making music and writing songs in Scotland. We have such a vibrant scene here across so many genres. I know from my own career how much difference it makes to find support on the radio. I hope this award brings luck and opportunity and new ears to the winner.”

Geoff Ellis, CEO of DF Concerts & Events, says: “Without songwriters, there would be no music industry. Everything that the industry is built upon originates from a good songwriter, and they are who we have to thank for the thriving music scene here in Scotland. I’m both honoured and delighted to be a part of the panel to acknowledge and celebrate all of these fantastically gifted individuals.”

Dee Bahl, music executive whose label was responsible for the first releases for the bands Biffy Clyro and Aerogramme, says: “Having worked with so many talented people over many years I am excited to be involved in a project encouraging emerging talent across Scotland.”

Details of how to enter the BBC Radio Scotland Singer/Songwriter of the Year Award can be found here: