Just as he did in 2010 and in 2013, Paul Epworth walked away with the top award last night as he was once again named MPG Producer of the Year. As recipient of the award at the Riverbank Plaza Hotel in London last night, he automatically received the 2015 BRIT Award for Best Producer, which this year has been designed by artist Tracey Emin.
Epworth, who has recorded with Adele, Sir Paul McCartney, Florence and the Machine and Coldplay, was presented with the gong by Mark Stewart of the Pop Group. (Epworth is working on a new Pop Group album at his studio in Crouch End, the first album the band have made in 35 years.) The 40-year-old told guests: ”A good producer is nothing without a great artist.”
Now established as an annual must-attend music industry event, the Music Producers Guild Awards 2015, in association with G-Technology, also honoured multimedia entrepreneur and former Eurythmic Dave Stewart (pictured) with the MPG’s Outstanding Contribution to UK Music Award, sponsored by PPL. In a sometimes rambling acceptance speech following his receiving of the award from Paul Epworth, Stewart noted that, “I never thought of myself as a record producer: I just stumbled around bumping into people.”
He later took to the stage to entertain guests with a live performance by a band assembled from artists he is, or has been, working with.
Introduced in 2009 to recognise the enormous contribution made by recording professionals to the success of the UK’s music industry, the MPG Awards regularly attracts a high turnout of music industry VIPs and celebrities. This year’s awards saw a total of 15 gongs presented (see full list of winners below). These included the MPG Award for Inspiration, won by Damon Albarn, and the MPG Award for Innovation, won by Giorgio Moroder. “We are delighted to honour both of these incredible talents with the two awards that are chosen by MPG,” says producer and MPG Awards Committee member, Tony Platt. Unfortunately, neither of the recipients could be present at the event.
Further highlights of the evening included Boy George’s appearance on stage to present a slightly overcome Mandy Parnell with Mastering Engineer of the Year for the second time; and producer Flood handing the UK Album of the Year award to Goldfrapp’s Will and Alison for Tales of Us.
James Rutledge received Re-Mixer of the Year from Jeremy Pritchard and Jonathan Higgs of (former MPG Award winners) Everything Everything and acknowledging the accolade with the words: “Thank you for giving me this prism through which I can refract my creative urges”.
Bond composer David Arnold received International Producer of the Year on behalf of Dan Auerbach. “It’s nice to pick up an award that wasn’t being won by Eddie fucking Redmayne,” Arnold said drily, ahead of reading a letter of thanks penned by Auerbach.
Finally: Royal Blood’s Ben Thatcher gave the Breakthrough Producer of the Year award to Tom Dalgety with the colourful: “I can’t believe this c*nt has won this award!”
THE AWARDS IN FULL
UK Producer of the Year, sponsored by The BRITS 2015: Paul Epworth
Outstanding Contribution to UK Music, sponsored by PPL: Dave Stewart
Recording Engineer of the Year, sponsored by RØDE: Mark Rankin
Mix Engineer of the Year, sponsored by Solid State Logic: Mark ‘Spike’ Stent
Mastering Engineer of the Year, sponsored by Apollo & Transco Blanx: Mandy Parnell
UK Album of the Year, sponsored by Universal Audio: Goldfrapp – Tales of Us
UK Single Song Release of the Year, sponsored by Shure: Sam Smith – Stay With Me
Re-mixer of the Year, sponsored by G-Technology: James Rutledge
Breakthrough Producer of the Year, sponsored by Musicguard Insurance: Tom Dalgety
Breakthrough Engineer of the Year, sponsored by Alchemea College: Robbie Nelson
International Producer of the Year, sponsored by Lewitt Audio & JHS: Dan Auerbach
Studio of the Year, sponsored by KMR Audio: RAK Studios
The A&R Award, sponsored by Prism Sound: Korda Marshall
The MPG Award for Innovation: Giorgio Moroder
The MPG Award for Inspiration: Damon Albarn