Sampha won the Hyundai Mercury Prize on Thursday (Sept. 14), honoring the best British album of the year.
His debut album, Process, was crowned after the longest deliberation the panel of British music industry officials has ever had to crown a winner.
Sampha dedicated his victory to his parents, who figure deeply into the thematic fabric of Process. He beat out international favorites (Ed Sheeran, The xx), longstanding British figures (Kate Tempest, Stormzy) and ?ecclectic newcomers (J Hus, Dinosaur). See the full list of nominees below.
The 2017 prize serves as a reminder for the immense creative and financial groundswell for the U.K., as the country has seen an 11 percent growth in music exports, its most since 2000. Last year’s winner Skepta took home the award for his breakthrough Konnichiwa, which rode a wave of heightened awareness of London’s grime scene. Previous winners also include Benjamin Clementine, James Blake, Arctic Monkeys, The xx, Dizzee Rascal and more.
Hyundai Mercury Prize Nominees:
Sampha – Process (winner)
alt-j – Relaxer
Blossoms – Blossoms
Dinosaur – Together, As One
Ed Sheeran – ÷
Glass Animals – How To Be A Human Being
J Hus – Common Sense
Kate Tempest – Let Them Eat Chaos
Loyle Carner – Yesterday’s Gone
Stormzy – Gang Signs & Prayer
The Big Moon – Love in the 4th Dimension
The xx – I See You