Scottish Music Industry Association appoints Executive Director
The Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) announces the appointment of Jason Edwards as Executive Director, who commences post in January 2021.

As challenges for the music industry continue, Edwards (pictured) will lead the SMIA’s executive team and work with the SMIA’s Chair, Vice Chair and Company Board to further realise the value of the music industry in Scotland; championing, supporting and celebrating the artists, music and diverse network of professionals across the industry’s ecosystem.

Edinburgh-born Edwards returns to Scotland after a decade south of the border where he worked for seven years as an agent before joining DICE as Head of Music in 2018. As an agent with 13 Artists and Paradigm, Edwards represented a diverse roster of artists including George Ezra, Years & Years, Grimes, Maggie Rogers, Blood Orange and Alessia Cara. At DICE, Edwards led business development across the music industry within the UK, and worked closely with the company’s launches in France, Spain, Italy and Australia.

Dougal Perman, Chair of (SMIA), said:

“We are delighted to welcome Jason Edwards as Executive Director of the SMIA. We are excited about the vision, energy and enthusiasm he will bring to the company as we develop it to support the music industry in Scotland.”

Jason Edwards (SMIA), said:

“I’m thrilled to be joining the SMIA and to be investing my experience into the development of Scotland’s brilliantly diverse, world-class music organisations and talent.”

Edwards’ appointment follows the recent announcement of Sharon Mair becoming the SMIA’s Vice Chair. Robert Kilpatrick, who was previously the SMIA’s General Manager, also takes on the new role of Creative Projects and Communications Director.

Sharon Mair, Vice Chair, Scottish Music Industry Association, said:

“As newly appointed Vice Chair I am really keen to refocus, re-energise and reconnect to make sure the SMIA truly represents the ambitions and concerns of all in the music industry in Scotland. I am looking forward to working with Jason to make this happen.”

In a year of significant challenges worldwide, the SMIA has worked to support its membership of over 3,500 music professionals – as well as Scotland’s wider music industry – throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. As part of Creative Scotland’s Regular Funding Network, the SMIA exists to represent and develop Scotland’s music industry across all sub-sectors and genres.

2020 saw the delivery of the ninth Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award, with the project pivoting to a digital-first model across it’s 4-month campaign and two flagship events. A record-breaking 362 eligible albums were submitted, with the campaign culminating in ‘Re-Up’ by Nova being announced as the winner of both the coveted title and £20,000 prize on Thursday 29 October. At 24 years old, Nova is the youngest ever winner, with ‘Re-Up’ also being the first rap/grime album to win the prestigious award. The virtual SAY Award 2020 Ceremony was broadcast as a YouTube Premiere on Sunday 2 November; celebrating 2020’s Shortlist and featuring live showcase performances from four of Scotland’s most exciting emerging artists. The SAY Award enters its 10th year in 2021, and has now distributed over a quarter of a million pounds in prize money since it launched in 2012.

The SMIA has worked closely with the recently established Scottish Commercial Music Industry Taskforce (SCMIT) to gather information and provide evidence to Government and public agencies to ensure effective support of the music sector throughout recent months. Research projects looking at both the impact and opportunities posed for Scotland’s music industry by Brexit, as well as a feasibility study on the establishment of a Scottish Music Export Office, are due for publication by the SMIA in early 2021. The organisation is also working in partnership with the University of Glasgow on a 3.5 year PhD project centred around mapping and measuring the size, scale and value of Scotland’s music industry.

The SMIA aims to retain more musical intellectual property and conduct more business in the music supply chain in Scotland, including record labels, publishers, legal, finance, artist management, booking agencies and publicity. It aims to develop the wider music industry in Scotland by championing creativity, building infrastructure and evolving business models.