Michael Kiwanuka is very proud to be the 2020 winner of this year’s Hyundai Mercury Prize for ‘Album of the Year’ with his eponymous and peerless third album, KIWANUKA.
Michael, who has been nominated for the prize with each of his albums to date, took home the prize at the third time of asking with a record that united the judges.
Remarking on the news straight after its announcement, Michael said: “I don’t even know what to say – I’m speechless. This is amazing…I don’t even have any words. This is ridiculous, it’s crazy! I’m so happy. Third time’s a charm. It’s blown my mind. I’m over the moon, I’m so excited – this is for art, for music, for albums. This is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do so to win a Mercury is a dream come true. Music and art means so much to me and this is an award that celebrates that so I’m over the moon.”
The judging panel heralded the record as a ‘masterpiece’: “Warm, rich, hugely accomplished and belonging to no one genre but its own, KIWANUKA is a masterpiece.”
KIWANUKA was released in November 2019 to widespread critical acclaim, with The Guardian describing it as one of the albums of the decade. Produced/co-written with Danger Mouse and Inflo, it’s a record that tackles a broader understanding of identity, social injustices, acceptance and resilience all spun through a sonic feast of sound.
To coincide with the award, Michael is pleased to share the video for his latest single, “Light (edit).” “Light (edit)” here is a mesmerizing, psychedelic-kissed tune that showcases the musicianship and atmospherics that make KIWANUKA such an alluring record.
Today, Michael discusses the making of the record and what the award means to him in conversation with Jools Holland on BBC 2. Listen HERE.
KIWANUKA could conceivably have dazzled in any era. A rich and soulful modern classic.
Michael’s eagerly anticipated tour of the UK is now scheduled for the Spring:
26th March – O2 Academy, Glasgow
27th March – Bonus Arena, Hull
29th March – O2 Apollo, Manchester
30th March – Empress Ballroom, Blackpool
1st April – DeMontford Hall, Leicester
2nd April – Princess Pavilions, Plymouth
3rd April – Brighton Centre, Brighton
5th April – O2 Academy, Leeds
6th April – O2 Academy Brixton, London
15th September – O2 Academy, Newcastle
16th September – Corn Exchange, Cambridge
17th September – Alexandra Palace, London