The music industry once a year view of what is the best album, decided by luminaries from the field of arts and culture, decided to go solo this year and present it to Skepta for his album – Konnichiwa.
Skepta, whose real name is Joseph Junior Adenuga and hails from Tottenham, took the cheque for £25,000 for an album with real life narratives about police and politics.
After being sprayed by lots of alcohol at his table after the announcement, he made it to the podium accompanied by a plethora of production crew and his family, and announced “I’m just so thankful. I’ve been trying to do this music stuff and work it out for so long,” who has left record labels and like many grime and rap artists do it themselves.
In a similar trait to Dizzee Rascal’s 2003 album success which was built on foundations of being helped by his school music teacher and facilities, Skepta feels he will use the money to help the kids out.
Speaking to the BBC he said “”Something positive, something to help other people feel as happy and as free as me,” he said. “We’re doing a project right now, actually, building a studio in my old estate to help the young kids do music.”
The build up to the event see, a host of great albums produced over the year, celebrated by live performances, including early favourites Radiohead and David Bowie, who passed away earlier this year, shortly after the release of his album. Both were in the running alongside The 1975.
But, in a fitting tribute to David Bowie, Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker said “In the end, the winner came down to a contest between two black stars. And 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.”