Music Scene

Louise McQuade

Mercury prize for Skepta



Skepta says he hopes his Mercury Prize win will help young people “express themselves”.

The grime artist from north London was named the 2016 winner of the prestigious Mercury award last week, beating competition from bookies’ favourite David Bowie, whose final album ‘Blackstar’ was tipped for a posthumous win, as well as artists including, Radiohead and Savages.


Following his victory, Skepta has been quoted explaining how he intends to put his Mercury Prize fund to good use. “Something positive, something to help other people feel as happy and as free as me. We’re doing a project right now, actually, building a studio in my old estate to help the young kids do music.”

When asked what he hopes young people will take from his victory, he responded with “I want them to be themselves. Art is expression. I keep repeating, even if you don’t do music, express yourself. The only regret you’re gonna have is all the stuff you didn’t say that you really feel. So to all the kids: I want you to be free, be strong – you’re right, and just do you.” Empowering message.

There’s been a massive resurgence in Grime this year which is only escalated further by this Mercury Prize win.

I was fortunate to be able to catch Skepta myself a couple of times over the Summer and the support and hype around his gigs is fairly infectious, whether you’re a grime fan or not.

Whilst he insists he is not a role model, the Grime star is proving himself as a positive influence for fans.

Simon Cowell welcomes back James

SIMON Cowell has  re-signed X Factor winner James Arthur two years after dropping him.
When James Arthur was dropped following his X Factor victory in 2014 amid controversy over his behaviour, his future as a solo artist didn’t look promising. But just days after he announced his comeback last week, Arthur has pulled off a stunning return by topping the iTunes chart, challenging for the UK #1 this week and getting resigned to Syco.


Acts you should follow on Instagram

You’re probably not spending enough time on social media right? If, by chance, you need more fulfilment in the form of pop stars with animals, glamour, culture and gym selfies check out some of these artists’ Instagram accounts:

FKA Twigs (@fkatwigs)
You can rely on Twigs to accompany her inventive, experimental R&B style with killer artwork. In fact her Insta account is a piece of art in itself. Sharing images and videos of body art, contemporary dance and photoshoots.

Rihanna (@badgalriri)
If you aren’t already obsessed by Rihanna you soon will be. Lots of tour coverage, photoshoots and real life shots from RiRi herself.

Ellie Goulding (@elliegoulding)
Need some workout inspiration? Ellie shares workout videos and images to accompany live gig coverage, red carpet and holiday snaps.

Niall Horan (@niallhoran)
Surprisingly nearly normal! Despite the guest appearances from band mates and some international sports stars such as Pele and ‘our Rory’, Niall’s Instagram seems as normal as ours.

Calvin Harris (@calvinharris)
Lots of promo shots, live gig shots, Calvin in underwear, Calvin generally mucking about and an appearance from Jennifer Lopez. What more can there be?

Katy Perry (@katyperry)
For fans of insanely cute dogs.

Kanye being Kanye

IN other Instagram news Kanye West joins Instagram and initially confuses everybody.
While he is no stranger to a selfie and likes to dip his toes in everything from fashion design to controversial videos, his first post on the site hasn’t given any great indication of what we can expect, as he’s simply posted an uncaptioned still from the film Total Recall.

Mind, it hasn’t stopped him from racking up around 860,000 followers inside 24 hours.

Lake Komo.

Lake Komo.


LAKE Komo together since 2012, this English quartet started by performing some well-received shows in and around their hometowns of Lancaster and Kendal.

They released the debut single, Ritual, in May 2015 and spent the summer touring, including dates at local festivals, plus support slots with Jack Garratt and Eaves.

This summer they have been touring extensively and popped up on some festival line ups, as well as recently scoring some daytime play on BBC Radio 1.

The band’s debut Ritual EP is out now via Columbia and the band are currently in the studio with producer Cam Blackwood (George Ezra, London Grammar et al.) putting the finishing touches on a debut album.

Go check them out on streaming sites Spotify or Soundcloud and keep up to date with new emerging acts like this via the New Music Ni Facebook and Twitter.

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