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James Ford named UK Producer Of The Year at MPG Awards

By | Published on Friday 1 March 2019

Damon Albarn & James Ford

The annual Music Producers Guild Awards took place at Grosvenor House in London last night. Top prize of the bash – UK Producer Of The Year – went to James Ford, recognising his work on Arctic Monkeys’ ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’, Gorillaz’s ‘The Now Now’ and Everything Everything’s ‘A Fever Dream’, the latter of which also won UK Album Of The Year.

The MPG’s Producer Of The Year prize used to double up as a BRIT Award, but that partnership has now ended. The BRITs handed its big producer prize to Calvin Harris, so that they’d have someone sufficiently famous to warrant an appearance on the show’s big TV broadcast. In the words of host Jack Whitehall, it was “an award we normally bury in a commercial break … but this year the winner’s famous!” So, good to know everyone’s hard work behind the scenes is so highly valued by the wider music industry.

Of course, these days you can make a perfectly good album on an iPhone in your bedroom. Or so I’m repeatedly told by relatives every Christmas. Of the various artist awards presented last night, Jon Hopkins correctly took home the Self-Producing Artist Of The Year award. I’m not sure he even has an iPhone, to be honest. And, now you mention it, I’ve never been in his bedroom. I want to put a stop to those rumours right now.

Among the other big prizes handed out, Rockfield Studios co-founder Kingsley Ward and his family received a Special Recognition Award. Set up in 1965, Rockfield was the world’s first residential studio, providing bands with the opportunity to go out into the middle of nowhere – Monmouthshire, in this case – and just get on with it.

Here’s the full list of winners:

UK Producer Of The Year: James Ford
International Producer Of The Year: Greg Kurstin
Breakthrough Producer Of the Year: Dilip Harris
Self-Producing Artist Of The Year: Jon Hopkins

Recording Engineer Of The Year: Matt Wiggins
Mix Engineer Of The Year: David Wrench
Mastering Engineer Of The Year: Mandy Parnell
Breakthrough Engineer Of The Year: Dani Bennett Spragg
Remixer Of The Year: Shura

UK Album Of The Year: Everything Everything – A Fever Dream
UK Single Song Release Of The Year: Anna Calvi – Don’t Beat The Girl Out Of My Boy

The A&R Award: Gilles Peterson
Studio Of The Year: Strongroom
Inspiration Award: Skepta
Outstanding Contribution To UK Music: Hugh Padgham
Special Recognition Award: The Ward Family and Rockfield Studios