The nominations for the 2020 Mercury Prize have been revealed – with the likes of Michael Kiwanuka, Sports Team, Dua Lipa and Stormzy among the acts vying for the prestigious £25,000 prize, which is considered the most coveted in British and Irish music.
Michael Kiwanuka has been nominated for his critically-acclaimed third album, KIWANUKA. Sports Team, meanwhile, are the only act shortlisted for a debut album, with Deep Down Happy.
Sports Team said, “[Deep Down Happy] sounds scrappy and flawed and you hear the dynamics between all of us in it. I think that’s what people want from a debut album… how much spirit we can pour into it. It’s a culmination of 150 tour dates last year, and for it to lead to this is unbelievable. [Mercury] is more than we could have ever have expected.”
Du Lipa has been nominated for her acclaimed second album ‘Future Nostalgia’, while Charli XCX will compete with ‘How I’m Feeling Now’ – her fourth album which was recorded entirely during lockdown at her Los Angeles home studio. Stormzy’s nomination for ‘Heavy Is The Head’, his second album, also marks his first ever Mercury Prize nod.
The 2020 Hyundai Mercury Prize judges are: Anna Calvi – Musician & Songwriter; Annie Mac – Broadcaster & DJ; Danielle Perry – Broadcaster & Writer; Gaz Coombes – Musician & Songwriter; Gemma Cairney – Broadcaster & DJ; Jamie Cullum – Musician & Broadcaster; Jeff Smith – Head of Music, 6 Music & Radio 2; Jorja Smith – Musician & Songwriter; Mike Walsh – Music Consultant – Kendal Calling/bluedot Festivals, War Child; Phil Alexander – Creative Director, Kerrang!/Contributing Editor, Mojo; Tshepo Mokoena – Editorial Director, VICE.com; Will Hodgkinson – Chief Rock & Pop Critic, The Times. The Chair of the judging panel is Jeff Smith.
The Mercury Prize 2020 Nominees are as follows:
Anna Meredith – FIBS
Charli XCX – How I’m Feeling Now
Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
Georgia – Seeking Thrills
Kano – Hoodies All Summer
Lanterns On The Lake – Spook The Herd
Laura Marling – Song for Our Daughter
Michael Kiwanuka – KIWANUKA
Moses Boyd – Dark Matter
Porridge Radio – Every Bad
Sports Team – Deep Down Happy
Stormzy – Heavy Is The Head.