Entertainment

Thursday 14 December 2017

Skepta named songwriter of the year at Ivor Novello Awards

There were plenty of happy musical folks at the annual awards ceremony in London.

By Lucy Mapstone

Grime artist Skepta has been named songwriter of the year at the Ivor Novello Awards, where he was also recognised for hit track Man.

The Tottenham-born musician was left “speechless” by the double win, which follows up on last year’s Mercury Prize success.

He collected the best contemporary song prize for Man, co-written with Queens Of The Stone Age’s Josh Homme at the ceremony in central London, where Florence Welch was handed the international achievement award.

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Skepta, real name Joseph Adenuga, said his two awards served as a reminder that his music is as important as those produced by more commercial artists.

“I should take as much pride in it as they do and believe in my work as much as any other song,” he said.

“Just because it’s not as commercial as theirs or it’s not as so widely received, it’s just as important.

“I’m speaking true stuff with my music and it’s weird it takes stuff like this to realise that.”

He said he would be “celebrating tonight like we’ve never celebrated before”.

Singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka, Coldplay, Pulp and Gary Numan were also recognised with prizes at the ceremony in central London, while album of the year went to Laura Mvula, just months after she was dropped by record label Sony.

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Florence And The Machine frontwoman Florence dedicated the win to her father, who drove her band across Europe during their first overseas tour when they were supporting MGMT.

She told the Press Association: “We had absolutely no money and my dad took us in a Sundance campervan and they must have thought we were totally mad turning up with all the pots and pans rattling.

“We’d be sleeping in the campervan outside the venues and then all the people would come out of the clubs and pubs and climb all over the campervan, but that was the start – I don’t think if you saw that show, you’d have thought that we would have ended up here.

“I never imagined. I can’t believe it happened because it was a childhood dream and it came true and I can’t quite grasp that it did.”

She said being recognised for her songwriting made it “special” as it was her way of connecting with the world.

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“The songs are quite private and personal things and I try to be very truthful in that there is something universal that people relate to and it’s a really nice thing because it’s all about connection.

“For it to be received is a really beautiful thing.”

Michael’s Black Man In A White World, which he co-wrote with Dean Josiah Cover, beat off competition from Laura and Mystery Jets to be named best song musically and lyrically.

His prize was collected by one of the song’s producers, Nathan Burke, who said Michael would be “over the moon” with the accolade.

The Ivor Novello awards, named after the Welsh-born entertainer, recognise talent in songwriting and composing.

Press Association

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