Re-Up puts Edinburgh rapper Nova in history books, becoming the youngest ever winner of the Scottish Album of the Year Award.
24-year-old rapper and producer Shaheeda Sinckler, stage name Nova, impressed at the awards held at Summerhall arts complex, Edinburgh. Winning the award for her six-track album titled Re-Up, Nova beat off artists like Young Fathers and Anna Meredith. The 2020 Scottish Album of the Year Awards came with a trophy and a £20,000 prize. The judging panel included broadcasters Edith Bowman, Jack Saunders and playwright Kieran Hurley. They described Nova’s album as brilliant, idiosyncratic and poetic.”
As a result of a positive Covid-19 test prevented her from picking up the prestigious award in person. Instead, Nova accepted via video link. At home and self-isolating, Nova reflected on winning the award and her future. “It is such an incredible feeling to have won the 2020 award just a couple of weeks shy of my 25th birthday. It is so affirming – any doubts that I might have had previously are now out of the window. I’m seriously so excited for the future.”
For the Leith-based Hip Hop artist, identity certainly plays a big part in her expression as an artist. Moving from London to Edinburgh as a child, Nova kept her English accent. “For some people, the accent’s just really important,” she says. “They didn’t see me as a Scottish artist, and I felt a bit confused initially. But now I feel solidified – or more solidified at least – in my Scottish identity.”
Re-Up depicts a visual through the eyes of a young adult in Scotland. The content resonates with many, from after party culture and clubbing to crime and the socio-economic struggles. Robert Kilpatrick, general manager of the Scottish Music Industry Association agreed that the album hits home for many artists. He said: “It’s fitting that Re-Up explores tales of a young artist in modern-day Scotland struggling to keep financially afloat. The live sector is in urgent need of financial support, especially with the furlough scheme closing at the end of this month. Artists are struggling to sustain themselves. Music businesses are closing, the loss of jobs, and with those losses, skill sets are leaving the industry, too.”
Listen to Nova’s album Re-Up here