It’s official: Lily Allen’s fourth album ‘No Shame’ is one of the twelve albums shortlisted for the 2018 Hyundai Mercury Prize and, well, let’s just say she’s pretty taken aback by it.
“I’m just very overwhelmed!” she laughs, as we congratulated her on the nod earlier today. “I’m just a little bit weepy all of a sudden - it’s sort of hit me now, I don’t know what’s going on!”
To be honest, we don’t blame her for getting a bit teary. With her latest album ‘No Shame’, she faced head on some of the tougher challenges of her life recently - the whole process being no easy ride - making today’s news all the more special.
“I worked really hard on this album and I worked to make something that felt really connected, and a true representation of how I feel,” she tells us. “I really believe that that’s what music is meant to be and people so often say to me - when I’m doing promo, or interviews - they’re like, ‘Wow, you’ve really been honest with this record’, but if you hold it up to Billie Holiday or Ella Fitzgerald, it’s like, no, not very! Something’s kind of gotten lost, maybe in the internet age, where music is so much more about the visual aspect of things and not so much about what you’re saying. I really wanted to change that with this record and I felt like I had achieved that. To get the nod from the panel is just amazing. I feel so happy.”
“To get the nod from the panel is just amazing. I feel so happy.”
— Lily Allen
It must also be so vindicating to be shortlisted for an album which is so very personal, in contract to its predecessor 'Sheezus', which Lily admits saw her making "an album of what I thought everyone else wanted. I didn’t really consider myself in it all."
She knew something had to change this time around: "When you’re on your own touring in America, away from your children, not really getting much radio play and it all feels like a bit of a failure… I was like, what am I meant to do? When I sat down to write this record, I [realised] I’ve just got to be me again. If I’d have been in a really happy place, then the music would’ve reflected that but I was incredibly depressed and struggling, and that’s what the album sounds like. It was a struggle to get it done. I’m not gonna lie, it was no easy feat, but I’m really happy I’m here!
Brought to you as part of our media partnership with Hyundai.
Watch performances from the shortlisted artists on BBC Four at 10pm on 23rd September.
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