Every year, the Mercury Prize is given to the album released by a British or Irish act in the past 12 months that is deemed the best by an independent panel.
In 2023, nominees included Fred Again, Loyle Carner, J Hus, Jessie Ware and Raye, as well as former winners Arctic Monkeys and Young Fathers.
However, they were all pipped to the top prize by Ezra Collective’s second album Where I’m Meant To Be, hailed by the panel as an “uplifting and timely record that represents the very best of where we are now in 2023”.
This marks the first time in the Mercury Prize’s 30-year history that it’s been won by a jazz act.
Femi Koleoso, Ezra Collective’s drummer and bandleader, said on stage on Thursday: “We met in a youth club. This moment we’re celebrating right here is testimony to good, special people putting time and effort into [helping] young people to play music.”
“Let’s continue to support that,” he added.
Also among this year’s 12 Mercury Prize nominees were electronic duo Jockstrap, Irish folk band Lankum, singer-songwriter Olivia Dean and the rapper, singer and music producer Shygirl.
Last year, the award was won by Little Simz for her album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert.