Skepta takes the award in a competitive year.
Skepta has won the 2016 Mercury Prize for his album Konnichiwa. The competition for the award this year included major releases such as David Bowie’s final album Blackstar, ANOHNI’s Hopelessness and Radiohead‘s A Moon Shaped Pool. Other nominees included Laura Mvula’s The Dreaming Room, soul singer Michael Kiwanuka’s Love & Hate, Bat For Lashes’ The Bride and rapper Kano’s Made In The Manor.
“I’ve been trying to do this music stuff and work it out for so long, but it was the moment where like, yo, let’s do this for ourselves, for our family,” he said upon receiving the award. “We travelled the world, no record label, nothing. We just did this for us, but the love is very appreciated”.
After his speech Skepta moved into a performance of ‘Man’, though not before giving a shoutout to David Bowie and Amy Winehouse.
Skepta is the first grime MC to win since Dizzee Rascal’s Boy In Da Corner took the prize in 2003. Konnichiwa‘s release was famously delayed with the first single ‘That’s Not Me’ being named our 2014 song of the year.
The win follows last year’s underdog victory by British-French pianist Benjamin Clementine.
Listen to ‘That’s Not Me’ and read the full list of nominees below.
Skepta – Konnichiwa
ANOHNI – Hopelessness
Bat for Lashes – The Bride
David Bowie – Blackstar
Jamie Woon – Making Time
Kano – Made in the Manor
Laura Mvula – The Dreaming Room
Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate
Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
Savages – Adore Life
The 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It
The Comet Is Coming – Channel the Spirits