Ezra Collective win the 2023 Mercury Prize with FREENOW

The London outfit took home the Prize for their album ‘Where I’m Meant to Be’.

London group Ezra Collective have won the 2023 Mercury Prize with FREENOW for their album ‘Where I’m Meant to Be’. It also marks the first time the Prize has ever been won by a jazz entry.

Speaking of the winners, the judging panel have said the following: “Virtuosity, community, listening to each other to work out where to go next… who knew that such seemingly old-fashioned values would come to the fore on the winning album of the 2023 Mercury Prize with FREENOW? It wasn’t easy to choose an overall winner from such an eclectic and exciting list, but ultimately the judges were unanimous: Ezra Collective, the London five-piece made up of Femi Koleoso on drums, TJ Koleoso on bass, Joe-Armon Jones on keys, James Mollison on saxophone and Ife Ogunjobi on trumpet are a living argument for putting the hours in, achieving musical brilliance, and tapping into a joyous spirit that ensures their album is as fun as it is impressive.

“The British jazz renaissance of the past decade has been one of the most significant developments in modern music. Now, ‘Where I’m Meant To Be’, with its touches of reggae, soul, Latin and Afrobeats, its call and response riffs and rhythmic intensity, is a landmark not only for jazz, but for contemporary music in general.”

Other albums shortlisted for this year’s Prize included Young Fathers’ ‘Heavy Heavy’, Loyle Carner’s third album ‘hugo’, RAYE’s debut ‘My 21st Century Blues’ and Jockstrap’s ‘I Love You Jennifer B’. Check out the full shortlist below.

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’

Shygirl - ‘Nymph’

Young Fathers - ‘Heavy Heavy’

This year’s Awards Show took place last night (Thursday 7th September) at London’s Eventim Apollo and was hosted by Lauren Laverne, while Jamz Supernova announced the winning album.

Get tickets to watch Ezra Collective live now.

Tags: Ezra Collective, News, Mercury Prize

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