THE DJ, rapper, and grime artist Nova has won the 2020 Scottish Album of the Year award with her debut release RE-UP.

The 24-year-old Edinburgh based musician – also known as Shaheeda Sinckler or Nova Scotia The Truth – beat off competition from 362 others to become the youngest winner of the £20,000 prize.

Nova – who had to accept the trophy remotely as she’s isolating following a positive test for Covid-19 – said she’d “worked her butt off” to make the album.

She said: “It hasn’t always been easy – there have been a lot of late nights, night buses and moments of uncertainty, to name a few challenges, but winning this award has solidified my belief that hard work and determination bring results. So don’t call me lucky because I worked my butt off to move forward – and you can too.

“There is so much possibility in the air and I feel so free, nurturing old bonds and making new ones is what I can see on the horizon. I’ve already begun working on my next project and I cannot wait to see how that is received. I’m sending much love and blessings to everyone who made this possible.”

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John Williamson, who chaired the judging panel, said the album – which is just 18 minutes long – was “brilliant, idiosyncratic and poetic”.

“Its brevity even challenges what we consider an album in the first place,” he added.

Robert Kilpatrick, the general manager of the Scottish Music Industry Association, which runs the SAY award, said Nova’s win sent “a powerful message of hope and ambition to Scotland’s music scene at a time it’s never been needed more.”

He added: “Scotland’s music industry is facing catastrophic challenges, and the live sector in particular 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, jobs are being lost, and with those losses, skill-sets are leaving the industry too.”