Michael Kiwanuka wins the 2020 Mercury Price
Michael Kiwanuka has won the 2020 Mercury Prize for his album Kiwanuka, which came out in November 2019. Kiwanuka is his third LP, and it was his third time being nominated, and his first win. "It's blown my mind," he said. "Music is all I've ever wanted to do, so I'm over the moon."
Kiwanuka beat Anna Meredith's FIBS, Charli XCX's how i’m feeling now, Dua Lipa's Future Nostalgia, Georgia's Seeking Thrills, Kano's Hoodies All Summer, Lanterns on the Lake's Spook the Herd, Laura Marling's Song for Our Daughter, Moses Boyd's Dark Matter, Porridge Radio's Every Bad, Sports Team's Deep Down Happy, and Stormzy's Heavy is the Head for the prize, which was announced by Radio 1's Annie Mac on The One Show, since coronavirus made a ceremony impossible.
In our review of Kiwanuka, we wrote:
Love & Hate sounds like a 2010s album influenced by '70s soul, but Kiwanuka sounds like a lost '70s soul classic that somehow you've always had sitting right next to your old Bill Withers and Marvin Gaye albums and just never realized it. Love & Hate has multiple songs that already feel like classics, be it "Cold Little Heart" or "Black Man In a White World" or the title track, but Michael doesn't let that pressure get to him on Kiwanuka. Instead, he loads the album with even more potential classics. Recent singles "You Ain't the Problem" and "Hero" already feel as essential and established as "Cold Little Heart," and I won't be surprised if one or more other Kiwanuka songs get there eventually too (like maybe "Living In Denial" or "Solid Ground" or "Light"). Between the unmistakable familiarity of his voice and the warmth of the vintage-sounding production, Kiwanuka quickly starts to feel like an album you've known your whole life. The arrangements are complex yet welcoming, and the songs are stuffed with hooks, even when they're at their most poignant.
Read the rest of our reviewhere, and stream Kiwanuka below.