Lily Allen has spoken about the state of music and politics at the Mercury Prize, ahead of the ceremony later this evening (September 20). Watch our video interview with Allen above.
Speaking to NME, Allen said she would most “like to lose” to Nadine Shah because her album addresses political themes that many artists aren’t.
Allen said: “I think that there is a bit of a cultural cold war thing going on at the moment…capitalism is [the] main enemy. It should be arts and culture and it feels like politics has never been in such a drastic state as it is in this country and America, lots of the Western world hasn’t been as bad as it is now for a long time.”
Allen added: “I don’t know where The Clash is and I don’t know where The Sex Pistols are…but [Shah] is doing it.”
Saying she didn’t “feel lucky at all” and that she “definitely [isn’t] going to win,” Allen said she was “nervous” about the performance. You can watch Allen’s comments in full here:
When asked what she would do with the £25,000 prize money if she did win, Allen said she would use the money to support female artists in the industry.
“I feel more like the music industry could do with a women-fronted collective, a union…I would be really happy to put that money towards starting something like that.”
Today also marks the release of Allen’s tell-all memoir, ‘My Thoughts Exactly.’ When asked about the most challenging aspect of the book to deal with upon release, Allen said it was speaking about the alleged sexual assault she experienced.
Allen told NME: “The sexual assault saga which is difficult to talk about at the best of times but it felt like it was something that I needed to say and its there for a reason.”
Allen recently claimed in an interview with Guardian Weekend that even after the #MeToo movement, sexual abuse remains rife in the music industry as people are too scared to speak out.
The singer, who has alluded to the assault before, went on to detail her own experience of abuse from a record executive. Allen says she wanted to name the exec in her book but was advised not to for legal reasons.
Speaking about the award earlier today, Allen said she hoped winning the award would help her shed her “caricature image.”
“There is a caricature version of myself which is portrayed in the mainstream press, and the artist part of me gets lost a lot of the time,” she told Sky News. “Already being nominated has helped with that immensely, but to win would just be amazing.”
The singer, whose latest album ‘No Shame’ was released earlier this year, has previously opened up about sleeping with female escorts in the wake of the break down of her marriage and suffering from post-natal depression.
Lily Allen on tour
Allen’s upcoming UK and Ireland tour dates are below. Tickets are available here.
Tuesday December 11 2018 – DUBLIN Olympia Theatre
Thursday December 13 2018 – GLASGOW Barrowland
Friday December 14 2018 – BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute
Sunday December 16 2018 – MANCHESTER Albert Hall
Monday December 17 2018 – LONDON Roundhouse