The grime hero opens up about inner peace + his Mercury Prize nomination
Andrew Trendell
14:52 4th August 2016

"One day I was just chilling and she posted up a picture of me that said 'Tottenham boy'," smiles Skepta from the Mercury Prize red carpet - recalling the time that Adele gave him a shout-out on Twitter and Instagram. "I was going to quit that day - I was going to quit music that day. But that was one of the sickest things that could have happened."

Sticking at it is a decision he won't regret. Sure, 'Shutdown' has become an anthem for the new grime generation, but it's his album Konnichiwa that showed the world what Skepta can really accomplish as an artist. Grime is a serious business, it's here to stay, and Skepta cannot be stopped. The Mercury Prize nomination is just the beginning - but he won't let it phase him. He needs to be real. 

"I believe in signs, but I believe that being myself is the best thing I could have done," he admits. "I love Adele, and she's another artist that's gone through the same things as me and knows how hard it is. I love how she keeps herself to herself. She knows it's a blessing, and she tells us how to treat her. She says 'don't run after me, don't follow me, don't take me for all these other artists - I'm just this'."

 

Tottenham Boy #konnichiwa

A photo posted by @adele onMay 15, 2016 at 10:15am PDT

So could we ever see an Adele collaboration?

“We are both on the planet, hopefully something can happen, but there are so many artists that I thought, ‘when I meet them I want to collaborate with them’," he replies. "But sometimes that’s not why you’re meant to meet.

“You’re meant to give each other a good life talk or push you in a better direction. Always going for the collaboration spoils it and I don’t want to spoil it.”

It's best to let fake take its course. You can't second guess anything, and Skepta certainly didn't see the Mercury nod on the horizon. 

"It's not validation - I don't do stuff for validation," he shrugs. "I just made the album that had nothing to do with radio or TV, or awards. To be here now is very gratifying.

"My sales pitch is 'be yourself, be relaxed, there are no worries'. Any stress is self-inflicted. I eliminate any external validation. This is all just a blessing from God. When I was first coming up, I was trying for awards and that kind of stuff, I really was. That's where my stress and bad energy was coming from. Being content with my team...and just having my fans come and see me - that's what's No.1. I eliminate so many illness just by understanding that. This is beautiful."

Skepta is set to appear at this year's Warehouse Project in Manchester with MIA, Kurupt FM and many more