Little Simz Wins Mercury Prize 2022

Little Simz’s fourth studio album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert is the winner of Britain’s Mercury Prize, beating out a shortlist that included chart-topping LPs from Harry Styles, Wet Leg and Sam Fender.

With her victory, Simz scoops a cash prize of £25,000 ($28,000), a special trophy, and the sort of exposure that typically launches the winning record back into the U.K. chart.

Sometimes I Might Be Introvert dropped in 2021 via Age 101, and peaked at No. 4 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart, easily eclipsing her previous career best, No. 87 for her 2019 release Grey Area.

Born and raised in London, Little Simz (real name Simbiatu “Simbi” Abisola Abiola Ajikawo) enjoyed a breakthrough with her 2010 debut mixtape, Stratosphere. The Mercury Prize could launch her own career into the stratosphere.

She’s no stranger to awards nights. Earlier this year, the rapper won the Brit Award for best new act, she’s won Ivor Novellos, MOBO Awards, and now, bragging rights for having produced the album of the year.

Speaking from the stage at Hammersmith’s Eventim Apollo on Tuesday (Oct. 18), Simz admitted she was “very very overwhelmed” with her win.

Paying tribute to all the other nominated records, she added, “We all made incredible albums, we all change people’s lives with our music and that’s the most important thing. So this is for us really.”

Little Simz and other shortlisted artists performed during the 2022 final, which was initially postponed when Queen Elizabeth II died.

The Mercury Prize was launched in 1992 to celebrate the best of British and Irish music across a range of contemporary music genres. Today, it’s considered the music equivalent to the Booker Prize for literature and the Turner Prize for art, its music industry panel judging the entries and ultimate winner on artistic achievement.

Previous winners have included Pulp, Portishead, Arctic Monkeys, James Blake and Arlo Parks, who took the prize last year for her album Collapsed in Sunbeams.

Lars Brandle