The singer's 'Process' debut won last week's award
The Hyundai Mercury Prize Awards Show were held at Eventim Apollo, London on September 14. The award celebrates the best of British and Irish music, honouring the best album released in the past 12 months – as chosen by a panel of experts, tastemakers and fellow musicians.
South London musician Sampha saw off competition from a shortlist that included Alt-J, Blossoms, Dinosaur, Ed Sheeran, Glass Animals, J Hus, Kate Tempest, Loyle Carner, Stormzy, The Big Moon and The xx to pick up the £25,000 prize.
In addition, the award has seen ‘Process’ leap 145 places in the UK Albums chart, coming in at number 7. Meanwhile, Foo Fighters’ new album ‘Concrete & Gold’ takes the top spot.
Accepting the award last week, Sampha said that he felt like he was “dreaming” and went on to thank his parents. “I’d like to dedicate this award to my parents,” he said. “They came over from Sierra Leone and just wanted to give us the best life possible.”
It was the longest deliberation by any panel in Mercury history. New judges on the panel this year included Marcus Mumford from Mumford and Sons, Lianne La Havas, Ella Eyre, and DJ and broadcaster MistaJam. Jamie Cullum and Jessie Ware also featured on the panel alongside broadcaster Clara Amfo and Jeff Smith, Head of Music at BBC 6 Music and Radio 2.