Little Simz Wins 2022 Mercury Prize

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Little Simz Wins 2022 Mercury Prize

London-born artist Little Simz has won the 2022 Mercury Prize, the U.K.’s album of the year award, for her 2021 breakout album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert. Her win was announced at the 2022 Mercury Prize with FREE NOW Awards Show at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, London, on Tuesday night, featuring host Lauren Laverne and guest presenter Jamz Supernova, who called Simz’s name.

“This accomplished and complex yet entirely accessible album is the work of someone striving constantly to push herself,” the judges’ panel said of Sometimes I Might Be Introvert. “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.”

Little Simz’s album—one of 2021’s best, if you ask us—tops a 2022 shortlist that also featured Fergus McCreadie’s Forest Floor, Gwenno’s Tresor, Harry Styles’ Harry’s House, Jessie Buckley & Bernard Butler’s For All Our Days That Tear the Heart, Joy Crookes’ Skin, Kojey Radical’s Reason to Smile, Nova Twins’ Supernova, Sam Fender’s Seventeen Going Under, Self Esteem’s Prioritise Pleasure, Wet Leg’s Wet Leg and Yard Act’s The Overload. Each of these artists performed a track from their shortlisted album at the awards show, with the exception of Styles, who’s currently touring in the States.

“Wow. I’m very, very overwhelmed. I’m very grateful,” Simz said in her acceptance speech. “Glory to God—God, thank you so much. To my family over here, my loved ones right here in the center. I wanna say a huge thank you to the Mercury and FREE NOW for this incredible, incredible prize. I wanna say a thank you to my brother and close collaborator Inflo. Flo is someone that 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 feeling all the emotions and really going through it, and he stuck by me.”

This isn’t the first honor Simz has received on the strength of her superlative fourth album: In February, she won Best New Artist at the 2022 BRIT Awards. It’s not her first Mercury Prize nomination, either: Her 2019 album Grey Area was shortlisted, as well, making her the only repeat nominee among 2022’s contenders. Last year’s winner was Arlo Parks, for her debut album Collapsed in Sunbeams.

It’s worth noting that, when last we heard from Simz, it was under unfortunate circumstances: The artist was forced to cancel her 2022 North American tour in April due to financial strain: “Being an independent artist, I pay for everything encompassing my live performances out of my own pocket and touring the US for a month would leave me in a huge deficit,” she explained. “As much as this pains me to not see you at this time, I’m just not able to put myself through that mental stress.” Let her Mercury win serve as a reminder that it’s crucial to support the artists whose work you admire.

Watch Little Simz accept her award and perform “How Did You Get Here?” at the Mercury Prize awards show below. You can stream/buy Sometimes I Might Be Introvert here.

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