The award ceremony takes place on Thursday 19 September 2019 at London's Hammersmith Apollo.
Tonight marks the 28th annual Mercury Prize in which one of twelve British nominees will walk away with the accolade of best album.
We asked Royal Blood‘s Mike Kerr who his money is on. “Whoever you think will win the Mercury isn’t going to win it.” he said.
“I’m rooting for Little Simz. That album is just ridiculously good. The second I heard tracks like ‘Boss’, I just get this feeling and straight away and I know if I’m going to be listening to a song forever. I like the mix of sounds, it sounds like casino robbing music. It has this real feeling of double-bass and jazz drums on a hip hop record with jazz flute over it. And then her vocal… it’s just a mad mixture of sounds that sounds instantly like a classic to me.”
NME called Simz’ record, ‘Grey Area‘ “fiercely confident and unapologetically forthright” in a five star review earlier this year.
Alongside Little Simz, the other contenders for the prize are Slowthai, Black Midi, Dave, Fontaine’s DC and Seed Ensemble – all with debut albums – alongside the more established Foals, The 1975, Nao, Anna Calvi, IDLES and Cate Le Bon.
Joint favourites to win, according to William Hill at the time of writing, are Bristol punks IDLES with second album, ‘Joy Is An Act Of Resistance’ and London rapper ‘Dave’ with the critically acclaimed, ‘Psychodrama’, both with odds of 4/1.
Kerr’s prediction may come true yet , as Little Simz is third favourite, with odds of 6/1, followed closely by Dublin’s Fontaine’s DC at 8/1.
Stay tuned to NME.com this evening for coverage of the ceremony.