Artist News Awards

Sampha wins 2017 Mercury Prize

By | Published on Friday 15 September 2017


Sampha only went and won the bloody Mercury Prize last night. The judges totally ignored the fact that I’ve been confidently predicting that Loyle Carner would win ever since the nominations came out. Or perhaps they did it to spite me. Either way, congratulations Sampha.

Best known as a guest artist on tracks by Beyonce, 2016 Mercury winner Stormzy, and 2017 Mercury rival Ed Sheeran, Sampha released his debut album, ‘Process’, in February. The LP was written following the death of his mother from cancer, and throughout the record its songs see him processing his grief. At the ceremony, he performed the song, ‘(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano’, about the instrument his mother taught him to play on in his childhood home.

“At the time it was quite important for me to write music”, Sampha told the BBC of writing the record. “It helped me through everything. So it’s this weird kind of document. But it’s nice, I guess, because I’ll have it for the rest of my life”.

Eleven of the twelve nominees performed live at the event – Ed Sheeran phoning in some excuse about being on tour in another part of the world. Of them all, Kate Tempest stood out, turning in an incredibly powerful performance of ‘Don’t Fall In’. It really was quite something.