Artist News Awards

Skepta wins Mercury Prize

By and | Published on Friday 16 September 2016

Well, let’s all breath a sigh of relief that they didn’t give it to Bowie, eh? What a waste of everyone’s time that would have been. I mean, he didn’t even show up to collect his BRIT Award back in 2014, and that was before he had the excuse of being dead. Don’t give any more awards to Bowie I say. Skepta though? A great choice. Well done everyone. You did good.

Yeah, so, Skepta won this year’s Mercury Prize for his latest album ‘Konnichiwa’, picking up a cheque for £20,000 and the promotional blip that the award brings. “This is such a great record”, said the judges in unison. “Confident, funny, clever, scary, personal and political. Skepta makes music for our times”.

Indeed he does. And Skepta can also surely take a sizable chunk of the credit for grime’s current resurgence, which in itself is worthy of something, though this award is meant to be all about the record itself remember, so that’s not what this prize is for. Someone else has to give him a prize for that.

Accepting the Mercury, Skepta said: “I’m just so thankful. I’ve been trying to do this music stuff and work it out for so long. I was like ‘let’s do it for ourselves’. All these songs, we’ve travelled the world – no record label, nothing. We just did this for us but the love is very appreciated. We all won today. Konnichiwa!”

Oh yeah, the whole DIY ethos reinventing how an artist business can work, that needs an award too. But this award is meant to be all about the record itself remember, so that’s not what this prize is for. Someone else has to give him a prize for that. Will someone else give him a prize for that?

Though thinking about it, stopping giving prizes to Skepta will you? What about poor old Bowie? And why aren’t any white middle class indie pop boys winning Mercury Prizes, that’s what I want to know. I expect a complete rethink of the Mercury judging panel forthwith.



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