Sam Fender ‘absolutely freaking out’ following Mercury Prize nomination

Singer-songwriter Sam Fender has said he is “chuffed” and “absolutely freaking out” after securing his first Mercury Prize nomination.

ender, who won a Brit award for best rock alternative act and played on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury this year, features on the shortlist for his number one album Seventeen Going Under.

He told BBC Radio 6: “Seventeen Going Under is a very personal and important record for me and the boys, and for it to be recognised is insane.

“A lot of my favourite records have won the Mercury Prize. Young Fathers – I found them because of their Mercury win, I was blown away by them.

“It is an absolute honour and I am chuffed. Fingers crossed and we’ll see what happens, but just to be nominated is an honour.”

Little Simz, who won best new artist at the Brit awards, secured another Mercury Prize nomination this year for Sometimes I Might Be Introvert – having featured in the 2019 shortlist for her album Grey.

She said: “I am feeling grateful; very, very blessed, this is my second time round now.

“When you’re an artist, a creative making art, you just do it because it’s a release.

“I had some things to say and this was my way of expressing it and it’s a blessing people have resonated with it.

“The list is so strong so to be amongst that is definitely an honour. I definitely will carry this energy throughout me today.”

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Former One Direction star Harry Styles, 28, also secured his first Mercury Prize nomination for his third solo studio album Harry’s House, which has just earned its sixth week at number one on the UK album charts and now boasts more weeks atop the chart than all of One Direction’s albums combined.

The 12-strong list in the running for the award, which recognises the best British album of the year, also features Leeds-based rock group Yard Act for their debut studio album The Overload and Isle of Wight band Wet Leg, who performed at Glastonbury this year, with their self-titled album.

Bafta-nominated actress Jessie Buckley, who recently won an Olivier award for best actress following her role as Sally Bowles in Cabaret, also features on the list for her album For All Our Days That Tear The Heart with Bernard Butler.

Scottish pianist Fergus McCreadie, who has been shortlisted for album Forest Floor, told Radio 6: “It is a huge honour to join that list of great musicians up for this award.

“It is great to be part of that for Scottish music, to have this recognition hopefully it can embolden musicians in Scotland. It feels a special thing to do.”

British musician Self Esteem also appears in the shortlist for her second studio album Prioritise Pleasure while singer-songwriter Joy Crookes’ debut album Skin also features.

Rock duo Nova Twins have been nominated for their album Supernova, alongside Welsh musician Gwenno with an album titled Tresor and British musician Kojey Radical for Reason To Smile.

Radical told Radio 6: “I am feeling very grateful and very honoured. I remember in 2015 I got taken on my first tour with Young Fathers just after they won their first Mercury Prize.

“In following years I saw so many of my peers get nominated and thought that’s the one I want. You quietly manifest it and wish it into existence.”

The shortlist for the Mercury Prize was narrowed down by a judging panel which this year included DJ Annie Mac, musician Jamie Cullum, broadcaster Jamz Supernova, songwriter Anna Calvi, broadcaster Danielle Perry and musician Hazel Wilde.

The judges said: “Getting down to 12 albums this year was not easy, simply because there were so many remarkable ones to choose from.

“That serves as proof that British and Irish music thrives during unsettled periods in history, with the albums chosen covering everything from imaginative pop to pioneering rap to Cornish language folk-rock.

“We feel that these 12 amazing albums each have something to say artistically and socially, all in their own unique, enriching ways. Now comes the really hard part… choosing only one overall winner.”


Arlo Parks (Jonathan Brady/PA)

This year’s shortlist was unveiled at a launch event hosted by BBC Music’s Huw Stephens on Tuesday.

It was also announced live at 11am by Nemone on BBC Radio 6 Music as part of their Mercury Prize shortlist special.

The awards show will take place on September 8 at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith.

It will feature live performances from many of the shortlisted artists culminating in the announcement of the 2022 Mercury Prize winner.

Arlo Parks was named the winner in 2021, having scooped the prestigious prize for her debut album Collapsed In Sunbeams.

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