Stormzy and Santan Dave are both up for Ivor Novello awards


Stormzy has had two nominations in the UK’s most prestigious songwriting awards. He is up for Best Contemporary Song for ‘Don’t Cry For Me’ featuring Raleigh Ritchie and the coveted Album Award for the already multiple award-winning record ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’.

And the host of the event, Paul Gambaccini believes the rise of urban acts such as the London based grime star reflects a growing appreciation for urban music in the United Kingdom.

Organisers of the Ivor Novello awards, now in their 63rd year, announced shortlists on Tuesday for the 2018 awards which also included two nominations for Ed Sheeran and two for Manchester-based art-poppers Everything Everything.

One of the most intriguing categories is best contemporary song, in which Stormzy’s Don’t Cry for Me, a reflection on the complex relationship he has with the area where he grew up, is up against Question Time by thesouth London rapper Dave.

‘Question Time’ (one of my favourites of Dave’s) condemns Theresa May for UK involvement in Syria, her response to the Grenfell Tower fire, the state of the NHS and her treatment of health workers.

He also has messages for her predecessor David Cameron – “I mean you fucked us, resigned, then sneaked out the firing line / I wanna know how you managed it” – and the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn – “Do you really have the faith of your party? Do you really have faith in the party that will come with you?”

The radio and TV presenter Gambaccini said music had been evolving more drastically in recent years than in any time he could remember, and that there was much to celebrate as well as work to be done.

“We have had the breakthrough of the black British writer, Dizzee Rascal was a real pioneer, and that is an important change,” Gambaccini said. “I’ve seen over 31 years the gradual increase of in the percentage of women writers but it is still too low for everybody’s comfort.”

The winners will be announced on 31 May.