Grime artist Skepta has defied the odds and won the 2016 Mercury Prize for his album ‘Konnichiwa’. The 33 year old held off fierce competition from bookies favourites David Bowie and Radiohead, and stated that he hoped his win would have a positive effect on the youth watching at home.
2016 has been a huge year for Skepta, and this win will forever cement his status as a Grime legend. Grime is still very much in its infancy when compared to a lot of other popular music genres. Thanks to artists such as Dizzie Rascal and Lethal Bizzle Grime music boomed in the mid 2000s. The genre has experienced somewhat of a lull in recent years, but with ‘Konnichiwa’ listeners were once again reminded of the fierce raw sound that had lead to the genres original popularity. Whats more is that ‘Konnichiwa’ gave a new voice to the working class youth of Britain.
The album peaked at number 2 in the UK charts, narrowly being edged out by fellow nominees Radiohead. It has since sold over 60,000 units.
This years Mercury Awards was a memorable one. Michael C Hall gave a haunting performance of ‘Lazarus’ representing David Bowie. There were also some fantastic performances from Bat For Lashes, The 1975, Anohni and Skepta himself. There was also a special video performance by Radiohead, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.
When asked what the youth of the country will make of Skepta’s win, the rapper stated: “I want them to be themselves.”
“When old people are telling them to be quiet, and old people are telling them they’re not right, and people who just don’t understand kids are just saying stuff to them [to suit] their own boxed-in lives, I want the kids to be like, ‘No. Do you know what, Skepta showed me that I just need to do and say how I feel. Because you only get one chance to say how you feel, you know.”