the 2017 mercury prize album shortlist has been announced
Stormzy, Sampha and The xx are all up for the award.
The shortlist, which was announced today by Huw Stephens, also includes Loyle Carner's Yesterday's Gone, Alt-J's Relaxer, Dinosaur's Together as One,Ed Sheeran's Divide, Glass Animals' How to be a Human Being, Kate Tempest's Let Them Eat Chaos, J Hus' Common Sense, Blossoms eponymous album and The Big Moon's Love in the 4th Dimension.
Last year Skepta made history as the first independent artist to win the award for his album Konnichiwa, beating out dearly departed David Bowie and becoming the first grime artist to pick up a Mercury Prize since Dizzee Rascal 13 years before. At the time, an emotional Skepta told press backstage, "I did this for people to see freedom. I wanna inspire other genres of music to be like: why am I with this record label? I don't understand what it's doing for me? This is real. I'm not signed. This is independent".
The Mercury Prize judges, which include Jamie Cullum, Ella Eyre, Marcus Mumford and Mojo editor Phil Alexander, said "This year's Hyundai Mercury Prize shortlist celebrates the remarkable power of British music. What these artists have in common is an infectious pleasure in music making and an arresting sense of urgency about the music they make. They delight in exploring musical possibilities and refusing to be pinned down by genre conventions".
The 2017 awards show will take place on Thursday 14 September.
Text Roisin Lanigan
Photography Oliver Hadlee Pearch
Styling Max Clark