Recognised as a pinnacle of creative musical achievement since they were first presented in 1956, Ivor Novello Awards are particularly important to the music community as they represent peer recognition.
This year’s list of 33 nominations celebrates 70 individual music creators, including Harry Styles, Lianne La Havas, Lewis Capaldi, Dave, AJ Tracey and Laura Marling – with an incredible 50 (70%) of the nominees receiving their first Ivor Novello accolade.
There are eight award categories recognising music released in the UK in 2020 written by British or Irish songwriters and screen composers. This year the Ivors Academy increased the number of works nominated across most categories to further celebrate the work of exceptionally talented music creators.
In the Best Album category, Lianne La Havas, and her co-writer Matthew Hales, are nominated for a second time for her self-titled ‘Lianne La Havas’, nine years after her debut album also received Ivor Novello recognition. Irish rockers Fontaines D.C., for ‘A Hero’s Death’, Laura Marling, for ‘Song for Our Daughter’, and Tom Misch, Yussef Dayes and Rocco Palladino for ‘What Kinda Music’, all receive their first ever nominations. Finally, Pa Salieu’s ‘Send Them to Coventry’ is also nominated, following Pa being crowned winner of BBC Sound of 2021.
In Best Contemporary Song, Dave and Fraser T Smith are nominated for an impressive third time in the category for ‘Children of the Internet’. Ashnikko’s transcending audio-digital collaboration with TikTok and Dr Dre, ‘Daisy’ – written by Ashnikko and Slinger – and For Those I Love’s ‘Top Scheme’ are also nominated. A second nomination for Pa Salieu with ‘Energy’ – co-written with Kwes Darko, Felix Joseph, Mahalia and Alastair O’Donnell, also marks Mahalia’s first ever nomination. Rising Star Award with Apple Music nominee, Rachel Chinouriri, receives further recognition for ‘Give Me A Reason’ – co-written with Tom Henry.
The Best Original Film Score category includes first-time nominees Adam Janota Bzowski for the music to psychological horror film ‘Saint Maud’, as well as Blanck Mass for BAFTA nominated ‘Calm with Horses’. They are joined by previous Ivor Novello nominee, Anne Nikitin for the ‘Four Kids and It’ film score.
The film scores for animation ‘Two by Two: Overboard!’ by Craig Stuart Garfinkle and Eimear Noone and the trending Netflix-hit ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’, based on the trial of a group of anti–Vietnam War protesters in Chicago in 1968 – composed by Daniel Pemberton – are also nominated within the category.
Best Original Video Game Score includes Ilan Eshkeri and Shigeru Umebayashi’s ‘Ghost of Tsushima’ for PlayStation, the score for adventure game ‘Little Orpheus’ by Jessica Curry and Jim Fowler, and the intricately hand-painted ‘Ori and the Will of the Wisps’ score – composed by Gareth Coker.
Featuring a breadth of powerful themes, Best Song Musically and Lyrically sees Arlo Parks and co-writer Gianluca Buccellati pick up their first nomination for ‘Black Dog’ – which focuses on mental health. Also receiving a nomination, Headie One and Fred again..’s ‘GANG’ reframes the song’s namesake, moving away from negative connotations associated with the word, to emphasise loyalty and brotherhood.
Marina receives recognition for lead single ‘Man’s World’ from her fifth studio album, which touches upon misogyny and was made by an all-female team. ‘God’s Own Children’ by Barney Lister and Obongjayar and ‘Stop This Flame’ written by Celeste and Jamie Hartman emotively draw upon the topics of strength and resilience to also earn them nominations for The Ivors 2021.
The Best Television Soundtrack includes a quartet of book-to-screen adaptations from the BBC; with ‘Us’ composed by Oli Julian, cult-classic ‘Noughts + Crosses’ composed by Matthew Herbert and ‘Dracula’ by James Bond composer and previous Ivor Novello Award winner David Arnold, with Michael Price, as well as ‘A Suitable Boy’ by Alex Heffes and Anoushka Shankar, all receiving nominations. Completing the nominations for this category is American science fiction thriller ‘Devs’ composed by Geoff Barrow, Ben Salisbury and The Insects.
This year’s nominations for PRS for Music Most Performed Work celebrate a collection of songwriters for five smash-hit songs from the last year. Harry Styles and Kid Harpoon lead the category with two nominations for ‘Watermelon Sugar’ – co-written with Tyler Johnson and Mitchell Rowland and ‘Adore You’ – co-written with Amy Allen and Tyler Johnson.
Also nominated, after having previously climbed to the top of the charts, are two entries from Lewis Capaldi: ‘Someone You Loved’ – written by Capaldi and Tom Barnes, Pete Kelleher, Ben Kohn and Sam Roman and ‘Before You Go’ – written by Capaldi, Tom Barnes, Pete Kelleher, Ben Kohn and Phil Plested. Finally, songwriters Jonathan Courtidis, Dan Dare and Robert Harvey receive a nomination for co-writing ‘Head & Heart’, the number one record from Joel Corry and MNEK.
For the first time there are five nominees for Songwriter of the Year. The award recognises a songwriter or songwriting partnership who wrote an outstanding body of successful songs commercially released in 2020 and this year includes AJ Tracey, who saw top-five success in the UK charts with three of his releases last year, and Kamille who co-wrote songs released by Little Mix, Mabel, Dua Lipa, Clean Bandit, Headie One and Tiesto.
Celeste is joined by her co-writer Jamie Hartman as they go head-to-head with multi-nominated Kid Harpoon and Harry Styles, following Harry’s second solo album going platinum in the UK and double platinum in the US. MNEK is also recognised in the category for co-writing chart-toppers for Little Mix, KSI, Sigala, Paloma Faith, Steps and Dua Lipa in 2020.
Each category is judged by individual panels of Academy-invited songwriters and composers, except the PRS for Music Most Performed Work and Songwriter of the Year.
The PRS for Music Most Performed Work winner is based on 2020 performance data from PRS for Music, whilst the Songwriter of the Year nominees have been chosen by The Ivors Awards Committee, the winner of which will be decided by an Academy member vote for the first time.
Shaznay Lewis, Ivor Novello Award winner and Chair of The Ivors Awards Committee at The Ivors Academy, said:
“Over the last year we’ve felt the power of songwriting and the stories told through music. The Ivors are so important because they celebrate where all the music begins – with songwriters and composers. The judges have chosen a selection of exceptional music that moves, unites and inspires us. Congratulations to all our nominees, and I’m really delighted that the majority are recognised with an Ivor nomination for the first time.”
The Ivors 2021 Nominations are:
A Hero’s Death – Written by Grian Chatten, Thomas Coll, Conor Curley, Conor Deegan and Carlos O’Connell
Performed by Fontaines D.C. Published in the UK by Domino Publishing Company
Lianne La Havas – Written by Matthew Hales and Lianne La Havas
Performed by Lianne La Havas. Published in the UK by Universal Music Publishing and Warner Chappell Music
Send Them to Coventry – Written by Felix Joseph, Alastair O’Donnell and Pa Salieu
Performed by Pa Salieu. Published in the UK by Universal Music Publishing, Neo Songs-BMG UK and Sony Music Publishing
Song for Our Daughter – Written by Laura Marling
Performed by Laura Marling. Published in the UK by Kobalt Music Publishing
What Kinda Music – Written by Yussef Dayes, Tom Misch and Rocco Palladino
Performed by Tom Misch + Yussef Dayes. Published in the UK by YD Music-Kobalt Music Publishing and Universal Music Publishing
Best Contemporary Song
Children Of The Internet – Written by Dave and Fraser T Smith
Performed by Future Utopia feat. Dave & Es Devlin. Published in the UK by Warner Chappell Music and Kobalt Music Publishing
Daisy – Written by Ashnikko and Slinger
Performed by Ashnikko. Published in the UK by Warner Chappell Music and Copyright Control
Energy – Written by Kwes Darko, Felix Joseph, Mahalia, Alastair O’Donnell and Pa Salieu
Performed by Pa Salieu feat. Mahalia. Published in the UK by Young Songs-Sony Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing, Kobalt Music Publishing, Neo Songs-BMG UK and Sony Music Publishing
Give Me A Reason – Written by Rachel Chinouriri and Tom Henry
Performed by Rachel Chinouriri. Published in the UK by Reservoir Reverb Music
Top Scheme – Written by For Those I Love
Performed by For Those I Love. Published in the UK by September Music Publishing-Universal Music Publishing
Best Original Film Score
Calm with Horses – Composed by Blanck Mass
Published in the UK by BMG UK
Four Kids and It – Composed by Anne Nikitin
Published in the UK by FKAI Productions
Saint Maud – Composed by Adam Janota Bzowski
Published in the UK by Universal Music Publishing
The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Composed by Daniel Pemberton
Published in the UK by KMR Music Royalties II SCSP
Two By Two: Overboard! Composed by Craig Stuart Garfinkle and Eimear Noone
Published in the UK by Accorder Music
Best Original Video Game Score
Ghost of Tsushima – Composed by Ilan Eshkeri and Shigeru Umebayashi
Little Orpheus – Composed by Jessica Curry and Jim Fowler
Ori and the Will of the Wisps – Composed by Gareth Coker
Best Song Musically and Lyrically
Black Dog – Written by Gianluca Buccellati and Arlo Parks
Performed by Arlo Parks. Published in the UK by One Two Many Songs-Sony Music Publishing and Young Songs-Sony Music Publishing
GANG – Written by Fred again.. and Headie One
Performed by Headie One & Fred again… Published in the UK by Universal Music Publishing
God’s Own Children – Written by Barney Lister and Obongjayar
Performed by Obongjayar. Published in the UK by Universal Music Publishing and Beggars Music
Man’s World – Written by Marina
Performed by Marina. Published in the UK by Warner Chappell Music
Stop This Flame – Written by Celeste and Jamie Hartman
Performed by Celeste. Published in the UK by Warner Chappell Music and Reservoir Reverb Music
Best Television Soundtrack
A Suitable Boy – Composed by Alex Heffes and Anoushka Shankar
Published in the UK by Bright Notion Music-Decca Publishing, Anourag Music Publishing, Lookout Point-BBC Studios Distribution
Devs – Composed by Geoff Barrow, Ben Salisbury and The Insects
Published in the UK by Sony Music Publishing
Dracula – Composed by David Arnold and Michael Price
Published in the UK by Bucks Music Group and Sony Music Publishing
Noughts + Crosses – Composed by Matthew Herbert
Published in the UK by Bucks Music Group and Sony Music Publishing
Us – Composed by Oli Julian
Published in the UK by Concord FTV
PRS For Music Most Performed Work
Adore You – Written by Amy Allen, Tyler Johnson, Kid Harpoon and Harry Styles
Performed by Harry Styles. Published in the UK by Artist Publishing Group West-Kobalt Music Publishing, Concord Music Publishing and Universal Music Publishing
Before You Go – Written by Tom Barnes, Lewis Capaldi, Pete Kelleher, Ben Kohn and Phil Plested
Performed by Lewis Capaldi. Published in the UK by BMG UK and Hotel Cabana-Sony Music Publishing
Head & Heart – Written by Jonathan Courtidis, Dan Dare and Robert Harvey
Performed by Joel Corry feat. MNEK. Published in the UK by Sony Music Publishing and Minds On Fire
Someone You Loved – Written by Tom Barnes, Lewis Capaldi, Pete Kelleher, Ben Kohn and Sam Roman
Performed by Lewis Capaldi. Published in the UK by BMG UK and Sony Music Publishing
Watermelon Sugar – Written by Tyler Johnson, Kid Harpoon, Mitchell Rowland and Harry Styles
Performed by Harry Styles. Published in the UK by Concord Music Publishing and Universal Music Publishing
Songwriter of the Year
Celeste and Jamie Hartman
Kid Harpoon and Harry Styles
All winners will receive a dedicated Ivor Novello Award and join a roll call of songwriting greats that includes Adele, Stormzy, Annie Lennox, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Joan Armatrading.
Meet This Year’s Rising Star nominees, their mentors and listen to dedicated Ivors playlists and more, only on Apple Music.
The 66th presentation of Ivor Novello Awards at The Ivors with Apple Music will be held at Grosvenor House, London on Tuesday 21st September. Book your tickets.