Michael Kiwanuka Wins The 2020 Mercury Prize
25 September 2020 Entertainment
Reports say,singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka has won the 2020 Mercury Prize for his soul-searching third record, Kiwanuka.A lush, immersive album of politicised soul, it sees the star exploring themes of self-doubt, faith and civil rights.
Released last November, Kiwanuka beat best-sellers like Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia and Stormzy’s Heavy Is The Head to win the £25,000 prize.”It’s blown my mind,” said the singer. “Music is all I’ve ever wanted to do, so I’m over the moon.”
Kiwanuka won on his third attempt, having been nominated for each of his previous albums: 2012’s Home Again and 2016’s Love & Hate.He said”I was kind of resigned to the fact [that] if I don’t win one this year, probably I’ll never win one,”
Kiwanuka’s victory was revealed by Radio 1’s Annie Mac on The One Show, after Covid-19 restrictions made the traditional award ceremony impossible. The DJ, who was on the judging panel alongside the likes of Jamie Cullum and Jorja Smith, said it had been a “unanimous” decision.
“I don’t think any of the judges walked away unhappy,” she said. “Everyone felt the same thing about this album, which is that it thoroughly deserved to win the prize.”
Kiwanuka, whose Ugandan parents escaped Idi Amin’s regime to settle in Muswell Hill, London, is a former session musician who dropped out of the Royal Academy of Music to become a solo artist.
He first came to attention after supporting Adele on her 2011 tour and winning the BBC’s Sound of 2012. He released his debut album, Home Again, later that year.