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Skepta's 'Konnichiwa' Wins Mercury Music Prize 2016, And He's Using His Prize Money To Give Back

His Mercury win was a huge step for the British grime scene.

16/09/2016 08:38

Skepta has revealed how he plans to use his Mercury Prize money to help the disadvantaged.

In Thursday (15 September) night’s ceremony, a panel of musicians and industry experts chose Sketpa’s ‘Konnichiwa’ as the album most worthy of the £25,000 prize, ahead of recent releases from Radiohead, Bat For Lashes and eventual runner-up David Bowie.

Explaining the panel’s decision to give the prize to the grime album, judge Jarvis Cocker told the audience at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith: “We, as a jury, decided that if Bowie was looking down on the Hammersmith Apollo tonight, he would want the 2016 Hyundai Mercury Music Prize to go to Skepta.”

Tim P. Whitby via Getty Images
Skepta
Tim P. Whitby via Getty Images
Skepta delivers his victory speech

Skepta released his fourth studio album, ‘Konnichiwa’, back in May, including collaborations with big names from the grime world including Wiley, Young Lord and Jme, as well as Pharrell Williams, who features on ‘Numbers’.

The critically-acclaimed album deals with important themes like police brutality, racism and the state of British politics in 2016.

Bowie’s final offering, ‘Blackstar’, which was released just weeks before his death in January, took second place on the night, which also featured a performance of the song ‘Lazarus’ by Michael C Hall in his honour.

Tim P. Whitby via Getty Images
Michael C Hall

Other nominees on this year’s shortlist included The 1975’s ‘I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It’, Laura Mvula’s ‘The Dreaming’ and fellow grime star Kano’s ‘Made In The Manor’.

Skepta Wins The Mercury Prize 2016
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