Mercury Prize 2022: singer and Top Boy actress Little Simz wins Mercury Prize in London ceremony

Musician and Top Boy actress Little Simz wins the Mercury Prize 2022 for her second album, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert

London artist Little Simz aka Simbi Ajikawo has won the 2022 Mercury Prize for her album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert at the rescheduled event on Tuesday evening. The performer picked up the trophy and £25,000 alongside renewed interest in her critically acclaimed second album.

Having moved to Tuesday evening due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the ceremony  featured live performances from 11 of the 2022 shortlisted Albums of the Year: Fergus McCreadie, Gwenno, Jessie Buckley & Bernard Butler, Joy Crookes, Kojey Radical, Nova Twins, Sam Fender, Self Esteem, Wet Leg, and Yard Act.

A filmed live performance was shown to celebrate Harry Styles’ album, as he is currently on a major US tour, and Little Simz herself performed a single from her award winning album after being announced as the winner.

Speaking about their choice of winner, the judging panel said they were “so impressed by Sometimes I Might Be Introvert by Little Simz that everyone could get behind it. This accomplished and complex yet entirely accessible album is the work of someone striving constantly to push herself.

“It deals with themes both personal and political while putting them against music that is as sophisticated as it is varied. The Mercury Prize is all about shining a light on albums of lasting value and real artistry. Sometimes I Might Be Introvert has both.”

Who is Little Simz?

Little Simz performs during The BRIT Awards 2022
Little Simz performs during The BRIT Awards 2022
Little Simz performs during The BRIT Awards 2022

Islington rapper Little Simz inclusion in the 2022 shortlist marked the second time the artist has been up for the Mercury Prize; in 2019 her album Grey Area was nominated for the award and ended up picking the Best Album prize at both the Ivor Novello Awards and the NME Awards.

A BRIT award winner earlier this year for Best New Artists, her nominated album Sometimes I Might Be Introverted was also nominated for the BRIT for Best British Album of the year and earned the Libera Award for Best Hip-Hop/Rap Record - an award presented by the American Association of Independents.

Little Simz has also made appearances on screen as one of the lead characters in Netflix’s series Top Boy as Shelley and a cameo as herself in the 2021 film Venom: Let There Be Carnage.

What is the Mercury Prize?

The Mercury Prize is one of three high-profile music awards to celebrate achievements in the UK music industry, alongside the BRIT Awards and the Ivor Novello Awards.

Creating a shortlist of 12albums throughout the UK and Ireland, the Mercury Prize strives to recognize “artistic achievement across a range of contemporary music genres”, as it has no categories dividing the music genres up.

All 12 artists receive a specially commissioned ‘Album of the Year’ trophy, as the overall winner also receives a winner trophy and a cash prize of £25,000.

An independent panel of judges selects the shortlist and listens to the albums that have been entered over many months. They then meet to decide on the 12 ‘Albums of the Year’.

The judges’ decisions are based solely on the quality of the music on the albums rather than album sales or chart positions.

Who has previously won the Mercury Award?

  • 2021: Arlo Parks - Collapsed In Sunbeams
  • 2020: Michael Kiwanuka - KIWANUKA
  • 2019: Dave - Psychodrama
  • 2018: Wolf Alice - Visions Of A Life
  • 2017: Sampha - Process
  • 2016: Skepta - Konnichiwa
  • 2015: Benjamin Clementine - At Least For Now
  • 2014: Young Fathers - Dead
  • 2013: James Blake - Overgrown
  • 2012: Alt-J - An Awesome Wave
  • 2011: PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
  • 2010: The xx - xx
  • 2009: Speech Debelle - Speech Therapy
  • 2008: Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid
  • 2007: Klaxons - Myths of the Near Future
  • 2006: Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
  • 2005: Antony and the Johnsons - I Am a Bird Now
  • 2004: Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
  • 2003: Dizzee Rascal - Boy in Da Corner
  • 2002: Ms. Dynamite - A Little Deeper
  • 2001: PJ Harvey - Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
  • 2000: Badly Drawn Boy - The Hour of the Bewilderbeast
  • 1999: Talvin Singh - OK
  • 1998: Gomez - Bring It On
  • 1997: Roni Size/Reprazent - New Forms
  • 1996: Pulp - Different Class
  • 1995: Portishead - Dummy
  • 1994: M People - Elegant Slumming
  • 1993: Suede - Suede
  • 1992: Primal Scream - Screamadelica