This year, the 2021 Annual Mercury Prize Awards saw an amazing turnout, with 21 year old Arlo Parks taking home the award for her debut studio album “Collapsed In Sunbeams”. This was the second win for the album after Parks took home the British Breakthrough Award at the Brit Awards. 

The panel for the awards included a plethora of respected broadcasters, journalists, and musicians, that recognised artists achievements across a wide range of music genres.  The event hosted 12 artists, with each presenting one song with a live band, with 10 of them appearing on this shortlist for the very first time. The acts ranged from the electronic “queen of headphone dreamscapes” Hannah Peel, to the likes of Celeste, performing British soul alternative R&B. 

The music presented that night reflected the incredible diversity of the event, with half of the nominees being Black British Artists, and with Arlo Parks representing the LGTBQ+ community. Parks stresses that her success took “a lot of hard work and sacrifices” claiming that there were moments where she “wasn’t sure [she] would make it through”.

It’s exciting to see such a young artist achieve so many great things at such an early stage in her career. Parks and each of the 12 artists deserve congratulations for their outstanding achievements.