The Mercury Prize 2022, one of the UK music industry’s most hallowed awards, will be taking place this week after its cancellation due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Originally slated for September 8 2022, the awards will now be taking place on the October 18 2022.
Touted as “the music equivalent to the Booker Prize for literature and the Turner Prize for art” the Mercury Prize has become a stepping stone for artists gathering more mainstream attention, be it through the virtue of the album being nominated or winning the prize outright.
Indeed, it was Dizee Rascal’s win for his album Boy In Da Corner that helped propel the musician from a bubbling under UK grime artist into a household name, as it did in 2005 with Antony and The Johnsons’ win for I Am A Bird Now.
What is the Mercury Prize?
Creating a shortlist of twelve albums 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 are the London artists nominated for the Mercury Prize 2022?
Lambeth born Joy Crookes gained an interest in music after attending a jazz and blues workshop when she was 13 and took to YouTube to play covers of Laura Marling and various reggae tracks. A self taught multi-instrumentalist, her breakthrough came with an upload of Ray Charles’ Hit The Road Jack, that amassed over 600,000 views - one of which being her current manager.
Her nominated album, Skin, was released in 2021 and reached number five on the UK Album Charts, earning widespread acclaim for its “rich and varied” body of work - Clash journalist Hannah Browne described Skin as “a candid, soulful exploration of identity” and that Crookes was the new face of British Soul.
Hoxton grime artist Kojey Radical aka Kwadwo Amponsah is no stranger to awards shortlists, earning three nominations at the MOBO Awards. Radical isn’t really a stranger to the Mercury Prize either, having cut his teeth early in his career touring with 2014 winners Young Fathers.
His nominated album, Reasons To Smile, was released earlier this year (March 2022) after a series of well received extended plays and charted at 1 in the UK R&B Albums Chart, alongside peaking at 11 on the UK Album Charts.
Alongside his music, Radical has had a long standing relationship with sportswear brand Adidas, culminating in a short film about mental health and depression alongside director Max Luz and international fashion platform, SSense.
Islington rapper Little Simz aka Simbi Ajikawo addition to 2022’s shortlist marks 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.
Georgia South and Amy Love make up the alternative rock duo Nova Twins, who at times have had their music compared to the nu metal scene, as they combine grime and punk music with an emphasis on heavy bass. PRS for Music called them "a genre bending amalgamation of raw punk energy, illegal rave electronics and unapologetic grimey attitude.
The band won Best U.K. Breakthrough Band in the 2020 Heavy Music Awards, and their sophomore effort, Supernova, landed at the number one spot on the UK Rock and Metal Albums chart, the number two spot on the UK Independent Album chart and 27 on the official UK Album Chart.
The full list of Mercury Awards 2022 nominees:
- Fergus McCreadie: ‘Forest Floor’
- Gwenno: ‘Tresor’
- Harry Styles: ‘Harry’s House’
- Jessie Buckley & Bernard Butler: ‘For All Our Days That Tear the Heart’
- Joy Crookes: ‘Skin’
- Kojey Radical: ‘Reason to Smile’
- Little Simz: ‘Sometimes I Might be Introvert’
- Nova Twins: ‘Supernova’
- Sam Fender: ‘Seventeen Going Under’
- Self Esteem: ‘Prioritise Pleasure’
- Wet Leg: ‘Wet Leg’
- Yard Act: ‘The Overload’
When will the Mercury Award 2022 winner be announced?
The Mercury Award 2022 has been postponed out of respect following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. No official announcement has been made as to when the ceremony will take place at this stage.
Tickets to this year’s ceremony have sold out.
Where can I watch the Mercury Award 2022?
Due to the cancellation of the 2022 ceremony, a new broadcast date will be announced shortly after the new ceremony date is confirmed.
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