The Mercury Prize Mirrors the Sad State of UK Club Culture
MoS's Tamara Roper talks with Roni Size, one of the first Mercury Prize winners from the DJ community, and reflects on the current state of UK club culture. This year's nominees paired with the loss of Fabric London point to an "institutionalised bias against club music," Roper argues.This article originally appeared on Ministry of Sound
Roni Size’s Reminisces About Winning The Mercury Prize, and Shows Club Music’s Detachment from it
The Mercury Music Prize is an award of prestige given to a group or artist whose music has gathered column inches in all the right places
Since its inception in 1992 the awards have made masters out of quiet sonic innovators. Talented British nobodies have reached the hallowed halls of musical fame due to a Mercury Prize, with the prize money enabling them to tour, record and promote, propelling them into a new stratosphere of artistry.
Roni Size won in 1997, arguably the only winner whose music was made, first and foremost, to be played by a DJ. “When we first got nominated we didn’t even know that much about the Mercury Music Prize. We were coming from a world which was so different from the big music industry of London."
The Bristolian and his band, Reprazent, turned up to the awards ceremony, overwhelmed by the bright lights and star treatment. They revelled in the free booze and - perhaps unexpectedly - they won, beating off not just their peers in The Chemical Brother and The Prodigy, but also the Spice Girls and Radiohead.
The Mercury Prize claims winners from a spectrum of genres. This year, it has recognised grime for the first time since Dizzee Rascal won over ten years ago, with Skepta and Kano- both men who are a few albums into their career- receiving nominations...