I called it a few months ago and was right. UK singer-songwriter Speech Debelle has walked away with the Mercury Music Prize.Â The 26-year-old South Londoner has beaten the like of La Roux and Kasabian to walk away with the $40,000 prize. So happy for her!
There’s only one winner at the Mercury’s, it’s not based on album sales or popularity. It’s based on industry professionals looking at writing talent and the ability to put together an albumâ€”a well-respected prize. Speech Debelle’s album only came out in June, and hasn’t even featured in the UK Top 40 chart yet, but after this win it’s bound to.
The thing is that Speech Debelle has done it her own way. She’s not running with the current favourite 80s flavour, she’s not a stage-school alumni like Amy Winehouse or Adele… she’s a young girl who loves music-so she made music.Â She raps and sings and takes her influences from rap, hip-hop, jazz, and soul. And her mission was to make music that sounded unique. And that’s what she’s achieved.
The last female winner of the prize was Miss Dynamite in 2002, so it’s been a while. And the lastÂ rapper to walk away with the trophy and move onto bigger and better things was Dizzee Rascal back in 2003. So this could do huge things for Speech Debelle, if she steers her career in the right direction.
Anyway, big props to her. As a fellow South Londoner I’m very proud, and she was up against some huge hitters who are already doing amazing things globally. So it truly is amazing.
Here is a video from her album, Speech Therapy:
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