Little Simz has won the 2022 Mercury Prize.
The 28-year-old musician’s album ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’ saw off competition from the likes of Sam Fender, Harry Styles and Wet Leg to be named the winner at this year’s ceremony, which took place at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith, London on Tuesday (18.10.22) evening and was hosted by Lauren Laverne.
Simz was announced as the winner by Jamz Supernova and was given a trophy and a cheque for £25,000 before closing out the evening’s celebrations.
She was initially speechless when she took to the stage but then said: “Wow. I’m very very overwhelmed, I’m very grateful.
“Glory to God – God thank you so much; to my family over here, my loved ones right here.
“I wanna say a huge thank you to the Mercury for this incredible, incredible prize. I wanna say a thank you to my brother and close collaborator Inflo – Flo [has] known me since I was so young, he’s stuck by me, we created this album together.
“There was times in the studio I didn’t know if I was gonna finish this record, I was going through all the emotions … he stuck by me.”
She then praised the other nominees.
She added: “All of you guys are incredible, we all made incredible albums, we all change people’s lives with our music and that’s the most important thing, so this is for us really, you know what I’m saying?”
The record was chosen for being “accomplished and complex yet entirely accessible”.
The judging panel said: “In a year that has, to put it mildly, presented rather a lot of challenges, British and Irish music has thrived more than ever. That made it extremely hard for the judges to choose an overall winner from the 12 ‘Albums of the Year’ on the 2022 Mercury Prize with FREE NOW shortlist, simply because all of them had so much to offer.
“When it came down to it, the judges 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.’”
Of the 12 shortlisted artists, 11 of them – including Fergus McCreadie, Gwenno, Jessie Buckley and Bernard Butler, Joy Crookes, Kojey Radical,Nova Twins, Self Esteem, and Yard Act – performed live at the ceremony, while a filmed performance was shown to celebrate Harry’s nomination as he is currently in the US on tour.
The ceremony was originally due to take place on 8 September but was postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth.
The 2022 Mercury Prize with FREE NOW ‘Albums of the Year’ are:
Fergus McCreadie ‘Forest Floor’
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’