The Mercury music prize is an annual tradition, institution and celebration of incredible music. The award itself can only be won by producing an album that far surpasses the thousands and thousands of other records that have been released that year and when you think that the greatest critics can point you and your album out as being the best that year, it serves as an incredible honour, a life changing moment of establishment and acknowledgment and can set an artist on the track to greatness. Some of the biggest names of all time have won the prize by delivering an outstanding piece of artistry, that stuns the critics and shakes the foundations of the music world, affording it the recognition of being the best in the world, or as we call it, the Mercury music prize.
This year, as sponsored by Hyundai, the Mercury music prize had great contention from global phenomenon’s, household names and incredibly, unfathomably, successful songwriters and musicians. The likes of Ed Sheeran and his latest album ‘Divide’ was an obvious contender, as was Stormzy’s ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’ has taken the UK by storm (no pun intended) over the past year, and everyone’s favourite grime mega star could have easily won it all. Previous winners Alt-J were shortlisted for their third LP ‘Relaxer’ and were looking to have a repeat of 2012 when their debut ‘An Awesome Wave’ rightfully took the prize, and with impressive newcomers like Blossoms and Glass Animals amongst the mix, it was anybody’s guess who’d come out as the winner.
Another shortlisted contender was the astronomically talented Sampha, a south London singer songwriter who has steadily been winning over fans and breaking hearts with his wonderfully soulful and personal presentations, most notably the spellbinding ‘(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano’ and in an incredibly deserving turn of events that Sampha was nominated the winner of the Mercury music prize 2017. His sound is unique and somewhat experimental but his vocal ability and song writing prowess are the key elements in his immediate success. His album ‘Process’ was released back in February of this year and already it’s not only garnered commercial success, extremely positive critical review but now sits along side some of the most celebrated musical works of art, and in an exclusive club reserved only for the best. Congratulations Sampha.
Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)