Paul Epworth (pictured, right) was victorious once again at the MPG Awards on 7 February, as he took home the top award for MPG Producer of the Year for the second time in three years. Sir George Martin (left) was also recognised on the night for his Outstanding Contribution to UK Music.
The Producer of the Year accolade means Epworth – celebrated at the Golden Globes in January for his work on Adele’s Skyfall single, but last night rewarded for his contribution to Florence + The Machine’s Ceremonials album – also collects the BRIT Award for Best Producer.
Epworth’s production prowess was first recognised in 2009, when he claimed both awards for his work on Florence’s Lungs album.
Taking the stage at the Café de Paris in London, Epworth said he had not expected to receive the award, noting that nominee Jake Gosling (Ed Sheeran, Paloma Faith, One Direction) had “set the bar really high”.
“I love what the MPG stands for,” he remarked. “To receive this award from my elders and my peers… I’m really humbled.”
Music industry VIPs and celebrities packed out the central London venue for the 2013 Music Producers Guild Awards, a must-attend annual event that recognises the creativity, skill and talents of music recording professionals. 6Music presenter Lauren Laverne – hosting the event for the first time – revealed during the evening that when Epworth was a sound engineer for her band Kenickie in the ‘90s, they referred to him as ‘Gorgeous Paul’.
This year, the number of award categories had grown to 18, including Studio of the Year – sponsored by PSNEurope – which saw Snap! Studios as victor. Receiving his gold-painted Shure SB55 microphone trophy, Mark Thompson, owner of Snap!, quipped: “Only a lunatic would open a studio in these times. Welcome to the asylum!”
Mark Ronson was on hand to present Al O’Connell with Recording Engineer of the Year (“The best drum sound in the business”, gushed Ronson); Chanteuse Martina Topley-Bird received the International Producer of the Year trophy on behalf of Danger Mouse (Brian Burton to his mum), while Madness producer Clive Langer made a fleeting appearance to congratulate Charlie Andrew on his Breakthrough Producer of the Year win.
Fran Nevrkla, chairman of platinum sponsor PPL, presented Sir George Martin with the Outstanding Contribution to UK Music award. “I’m so thrilled by this,” said Sir George, “because I never thought I’d get any more awards. I didn’t even think you gave awards to 80-year-olds… and I’ve been out of work for a few years.”
Mastering engineer and MPG Awards winner Mandy Parnell collected the newly instated MPG Innovation Award on behalf of Bjork, who sent a video ‘thank-you’ message, while former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman made a rare appearance to present Glyn Johns with the Inspiration Award, also new for 2013.
Johns – father of Ethan Johns, named as last year’s MPG/BRIT Producer of the Year – fought back the tears as he said: “It’s a privilege to be presented with this award.”
The full list of Music Producers Guild 2013 Award winners includes:
UK Producer of the Year, sponsored by The BRIT Awards 2013:
Recording Engineer of the Year, sponsored by RØDE
Mix Engineer of the Year, sponsored by SolidState Logic:
Mastering Engineer of the Year, sponsored by Radial:
Live Production of the Year, sponsored by Shure:
Bon Iver at AIR Studios
UK Album of the Year, sponsored by Sontronics:
Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials
UK Single Song Release of the Year, sponsored by sE Electronics:
The Maccabees – Pelican
Remixer of the Year, sponsored by Akai Professional:
Breakthrough Producer of the Year, in association with Sound on Sound, sponsored by Focusrite:
Breakthrough Engineer of the Year, sponsored by Genelec:
International Producer of the Year, sponsored by British Grove Studios:
International Recording Engineer of the Year, sponsored by KMR Audio:
Studio of the Year, sponsored by Pro Sound News Europe:
The A&R Award, sponsored by Thermionic Culture:
The Unsung Hero Award, sponsored by Audient:
Rebecca la Porta & Paul Walmsley
The MPG Innovation Award, presented by the Music Producers Guild
The MPG Inspiration Award, sponsored by Prism Sound:
The Outstanding Contribution to UK Music, sponsored by PPL:
Sir George Martin CBE