British-Nigerian grime artist, Skepta (Joseph Junior Adenuga) beat the likes of David Bowie, Radiohead and The 1975 to win the coveted Mercury Prize. He won the £25,000 award for self-released album Konnichiwa, which covers topics including police harassment and his anger at British politics.
Described by the NME as a “landmark in British street music”, the record went to number two earlier this year.
“I’m just so thankful. I’ve been trying to do this music stuff and work it out for so long,” Skepta said of his win.
The Mercury Prize, formerly called the Mercury Music Prize, is an annual music prize awarded for the best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Skepta was born Joseph Junior Adenuga 33 years ago in Tottenham, London, and started making music in the early 2000s.
He rode the first wave of grime to a contract with Universal Records, but his sound was watered down and they soon parted ways.
Konnichiwa was the result of a major shift in the star’s life.
EMOTIONS AT MAX LEVELS @Skepta #MercuryPrize ??? pic.twitter.com/E5lRnfzXr8
— UK Grime (@UKGrime) September 15, 2016