Back in September, Skepta came out on top to win the Mercury Prize, his record Konnichiwa beat out the likes of David Bowie, Radiohead, and The 1975, to name a few. Almost two full months after the big win, England’s Evening Standard magazine caught up with the Grime artist to discuss life in the wake of the momentous win. The interview features some interesting insights into his life, including Adele’s role as a life coach in helping him deal with his ever-growing fame, Black Lives Matter in the UK, and a possible film about his label Boy Better Know.
In addition to working hitting the studio to work on new music, Skepta says that he is interested in using the £25,000 (about $31,000) Mercury check to fund community-oriented programs as well as a film about his label, which he says is “going to be about Boy Better Know but not in [a completely] autobiographical way.” He says that his community programs help him to find inspiration for new music, with the participants consistently giving him new ideas and showing him new music.
He also notes that the most interesting thing about fame is the somewhat unexpected ally he’s found in Adele, who serves as something of a lifeline in dealing with the media and fans:
Adele texts me all the time and keeps me in check. She speaks to me about how things are going. She’s one of the people I know that, from her [example] alone, you can move in a certain way where you’re not inviting fame. She’s the biggest artist in the world, bro, and you do not see her in the papers [every day].
When asked about the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement in the UK, he voices his support, but is hesitant to defend the protests:
I’ve been to a few protests before and the thing I protested about still happened after. [I know] the intention of protest is to make noise and stand up for something but I don’t know if I’d actually go to a protest again. I don’t want to kill no one, I don’t want to hurt anyone, I don’t want to bomb anywhere and I don’t think my friends want to do that either.
Skepta isn’t sure what’s going to come next musically after the success of Konnichiwa, and the fulfilling Mercury win. He’s now turning most of his attention toward the community-oriented program he pilots:
I’m not putting myself in that chase again. I’m done. There isn’t another award I want to win, there isn’t a place I want to play or an artist that I’m dying to collaborate with. I mean, what the f*** do I want? I’ve written my legacy, to the Mercury. Now I just want to help people
Those unfamiliar with Konnichiwa can stream it below.