Warner Records president Phil Christie has told Music Week that Dua Lipa’s place on the Mercury Prize shortlist is a “badge of honour” for the singer and her team.
Alongside recently crowned Music Week Awards Managers Of The Year Ben Mawson and Ed Millet of Tap Management, Christie’s label is steering the campaign for the chart-topping Future Nostalgia, which came out ahead of schedule back in March.
Christie said that the album, which has 190,644 sales, according to the Official Charts Company, is a pop rarity on the Mercury shortlist.
“It’s not that common for ‘pop’ records to be nominated for the Mercury, so we really feel like it’s a badge of honour for this album,” he said. “Dua is deserving of it and it would be an incredible statement if she won, and a big statement from the Prize as well. But the great thing about the Mercury is that it’s one of the awards where, genuinely, to be nominated is almost as good as winning it.”
With the campaign still in full swing, Christie said it was hard to gauge a Mercury-specific boost at this stage, but he forecast “a different kind of impact” from the Mercury Prize this year, due to the restricted nature of the event.
The winner is set to be revealed live on BBC One’s The One Show on Thursday (September 24), with an extensive schedule also programmed across BBC TV and radio.
“It puts a tick in another box that we didn’t have,” Christie said. “It’s not necessarily scale because she’s such a huge global pop artist that it won’t necessarily be winning the Mercury that moves Dua’s overall scale bigger, but in terms of an element of credibility, musicianship and something that signifies how brilliant she is as a musician and an artist, winning would be a real achievement.”
Dua is deserving of it and it would be an incredible statement if she won
Phil Christie, Warner Records
Christie, who was speaking to Music Week for our recent feature on what the Prize means in 2020, admitted that the industry “would love to be in the room” together at the ceremony.
“It’s not the only thing this year that’s had to adapt to Covid-19,” he said. “I’m sure they’re going to do a great job promoting it and getting as much coverage as possible, but I’m sure we would all much rather be in a room watching performances, particularly as last year was just so wild and brilliant and felt as though it reclaimed some of the controversial, exciting highs that we associate with the Mercury. But we’ll manage, and it will still be very significant to win. Fingers crossed…”
Subscribers can read the full feature – with contributions from Moses Boyd, Georgia and the teams behind Kano, Laura Marling, Charli XCX and Michael Kiwanuka – here.