The Ivor Novello awards nominations were just announced late last week. One of British music’s most prestigious awards, the Ivors are awarded for excellence in music writing. The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) have been presenting the awards since 1955, and past recipients include some of the most famous and infamous names in musical history.


Bryan Adams, Adam Ant, The Beatles and David Bowie have all received the accolade in the last 60 years. While the nominees may not have quite reached “Bigger than Jesus” levels yet, it’s fair to say that they’ve all left their mark on the British and global music scenes. London Grammar, John Newman and Palma Violets are all in the running for ‘Best Song Musically and Lyrically’. Everything Everything, Disclosure and James Blake all have their hats in the ring for ‘Best Contemporary Song’. Emili Sandé, Passenger and Olly Murs all have a chance at walking away with ‘PRS for Music Most Performed’. The highly-coveted ‘Album Award’ is a toss-up between Artic Monkeys, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Laura Mvula.

Music is an incredible gift to the world. Musical progression so often mirrors the march of civilisation – it’s one of the things that separate man from monkey. I’ve frequently found that lyrics and lyricism are every bit as important as the sound. However, whenever a new record is released, the majority of the conversation centres on the tune instead of the content. I confess that I was unaware of the Ivor Novello awards until a friend pointed them out to me, and I’m so glad that a platform exists to provide songwriting with the recognition it so richly deserves.


The awards ceremony itself will be held in just under a month, on the 22nd of May. Voting is restricted to members of BASCA, so there’s not much you can do except wait and see (unless you’re one of Britain’s leading songwriters). However, I’d encourage you to listen to as many of the acts as possible. Regardless of who walks away with the prizes on the night, all of the songwriters are part of an incredible tradition of songwriting excellence.

That being said, I am definitely rooting for London Grammar, because Strong is an incredible tune!