UK record labels association the BPI, which organises the Mercury Prize with FREENOW, today reports a big increase in demand for Ezra Collective’s album Where I’m Meant To Be, after last week’s acclaimed triumph.
The Awards Show on 7th September saw nine of the shortlisted artists perform to a sold-out Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, before guest presenter and Mercury Prize judge Jamz Supernova announced Ezra Collective as the overall winner.
According to BPI analysis of Official Charts Company data, Where I’m Meant To Be has enjoyed a remarkable increase in its combined sales and streams – up 859% between Friday and Sunday (8-10 Sep) compared to the total it achieved in the entire chart week leading up to the ceremony. The figure is more impressive still for physical album sales and downloads – up 6,012% compared to the same three day period the week before, while audio streams over the period rose by 1,960%.
The growth in demand has, according to Official Charts midweek data, seen the album surge up the Official Albums Chart from outside the Top 200 to challenge for a Top 20 placing when the next Official Albums Chart announcement on Friday (15 Sep). A number of the other shortlisted albums have also benefitted, including Shygirl Nymph (320% increase in album sales and downloads), RAYE My 21st Century Blues (273%), Lankum False Lankum (198%), Jockstrap I Love You Jennifer B (180%), and Young Fathers Heavy Heavy (108%).
The success of the Mercury Prize also points to the importance of the talent pipeline and supporting young people in realising their potential, including through more creative spaces that provide opportunities for aspiring talent across the UK to learn, perform and develop their skills. This was a point made powerfully by Ezra Collective’s Femi Koleoso, when he said in his acceptance speech on the night: "I celebrate places like Tomorrow’s Warriors, ELAM [East London Arts and Music], The BRIT School and all the brilliant things in London that allow people like us to exist. But at the same time, I'd love to see it replicated elsewhere in the UK and then you might have 10, 12 nominees from different regions."
Dr Jo Twist OBE, Chief Executive BPI, which is also home to the Mercury Prize with FREENOW said: “Femi’s acceptance speech was spot on: in highlighting what a showcase the Mercury Prize is of human artistry at its best and most authentic. This extraordinary success requires young people from all backgrounds to have opportunities to learn their craft – within schools and in community spaces – so they can go on to develop music careers, supported by the investment our record label members make into the talent pipeline. Our congratulations to Ezra Collective and all the shortlisted artists.”
Many of the shortlisted artists also saw their social media engagement increase thanks to the Mercury Prize exposure. This included winners Ezra Collective, who saw their social media followers across channels including Twitter/X and Instagram rise by nearly 10%.
The Prize’s broadcast partner, BBC Music, provided live television and radio coverage of the event on BBC Four and BBC Radio 6 Music, as well as online and on social media.
Audiences can catch up on BBC Four’s coverage on BBC iPlayer. A Mercury Prize 2023 collection is also available on BBC Sounds, which includes a special Mercury Prize edition of New Music Fix Daily - featuring live performances from the Awards Show and interviews with the shortlist - Pocket Guides to all 12 shortlisted albums, hosted by 6 Music’s Matt Everitt, and playlists celebrating this year’s shortlisted artists and previous winners.
FREENOW, the Mobility Super App with the largest vehicle choice for consumers across Europe, returns as the headline sponsor of the 2023 Mercury Prize. The sponsorship is part of a multi-year commitment to support British music, through which FREENOW reinforces its pledge to give people the freedom they need to enjoy the city and its unique moments.
As part of its ongoing commitment to supporting UK recorded music, renowned British premium audio brand, Bowers & Wilkins, continues as long-term official audio partner of the Mercury Prize. At the forefront of music creation for over 40 years, it is uniquely placed to help the Mercury Prize celebrate the album format and the shortlisted artists’ creative achievements.
The 2023 Mercury Prize with FREENOW ‘Albums of the Year’ are:
Arctic Monkeys ‘The Car’
Ezra Collective ‘Where I'm Meant to Be’
Fred again.. ‘Actual Life 3 (January 1 - September 9 2022)’
J Hus ‘Beautiful And Brutal Yard’
Jessie Ware ‘That! Feels Good!’
Jockstrap ‘I Love You Jennifer B’
Lankum ‘False Lankum’
Loyle Carner ‘hugo’
Olivia Dean ‘Messy’
RAYE ‘My 21st Century Blues’
Young Fathers ‘Heavy Heavy’