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DAVE WINS 2019 MERCURY PRIZE

British rapper Dave has won 2019's Mercury Prize for his critically acclaimed and chart-topping debut, Psychodrama (Neighbourhood). The album was chosen by judges for being a "moving, musically sophisticated work that demands total attention from the listener."

Released in March, Psychodrama beat Foals to hit the top of the U.K. charts and has since sold over 130k. On release, it was the fastest streamed debut British album of all time and has racked up 775m cumulative streams to date.

In announcing the winner at the awards ceremony in London Thursday night, the Mercury judging panel said: "Psychodrama is the musical equivalent of a literary masterpiece: a conceptual album about Dave’s experience of growing up in South London, structured in the form of a therapy session, which takes a deeply personal story and gives it universal relevance. … It will have lasting relevance for a generation and underlines the importance of the album as an art form."

In a memo to staff following the win, Warner/Chappell Managing Director Mike Smith wrote: "Dave is one of the most important songwriters in the U.K. today and it’s an honour to represent his music. At a time when so many artists are better known for the one-off tracks they release, Dave has pushed the boundaries with Psychodrama, showing what the album format is capable of in 2019. His poetry has never shied away from the biggest issues of our times and he continues to be the most ambitious songwriter out there. I know that we can expect more exceptional music from Dave in the near future, but for now join me in congratulating him on this fantastic win."

Dave was signed in 2015 to management and label Neighbourhood, which was founded by former Island A&R exec Benny Scarrs and manager Jack Foster.  Universal is the exclusive distribution partner for Neighbourhood, while Method Music founders Jack Street and Sam Evitt are partners in the firm.

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