Another year, another Mercury Prize, another strong line-up of twelve albums which have been released over the past year. The line-up always covers every aspect of music, from indie to pop, but recently we have seen an influx of rap and grime albums within the nominations.
We’re all aware that Skepta won the award last year with Konnichiwa, an amazing moment for Grime. The win definitely came with some benefits as, the majority of his performances following the prize win, including his headline show at the Alexandra Palace and his set at Wireless 2017 have all been planned by the same production company that handles the Mercury Prize.
This years panelists included Radio 1 presenter Clara Amfo, signer Ella Eyre, and artists Leanne La Havas along with nine others who review around 220 albums each year. Although it’s argued that the line-up fails to show full diversity, as it holds a majority of indie and alternative rock artists such as Blossoms, The XX and Alt-J. The pre-event took place earlier on today and was hosted by Radio 1 presenter, Huw Stephens who quickly announced the albums in time for interviews to take place with artists such as Ella Eyre, Leanne La Havas and Loyle Carner, but sadly Stormzy and J Hus were nowhere to be seen on the red carpet.
This year, doing it for grime, is the well deserved, chart-topping album, Gang Signs and Prayer from Stormzy. This album holds a special moment in the history of grime, as it topped the album charts earlier on in the year. Stormzy since took to Twitter and other social media platforms to thank God and all of his supporters who have made it possible. A masterpiece which captures the violence of South London whilst Stormzy also expresses his love for God, his faith and everyone around him.
Rapper, J Hus’ debut album, Common Sense is also amongst the twelve albums nominated. The album captures several genre’s, showing the levels of creativity, versatility and originality behind the East London rapper’s music.
The remaining ten albums of the line-up includes: Alt-J – Relaxer, Blossoms-Blossoms, Dinosaur – Together As One, Ed Sheeran – Divide, Glass Animals – Divide, Kate Tempest – Let Them Eat Chaos, Loyle Carner – Yesterday’s Gone, Sampha – Process, The Big Moon – Love In The 4th Dimension, and The XX – I See You.
The winner will be announced on 14th September.