Belfast Telegraph

Anna Calvi: Mercury nominated album expresses my sexuality free from shame

The singer said it was important to speak out during a rise in homophobia.

Album of the year nominee Anna Calvi (David Parry/PA)
Album of the year nominee Anna Calvi (David Parry/PA)

Anna Calvi has said she hopes her record about female sexuality will find new listeners after it was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize.

Her album Hunter was praised by the judges as a “wildly adventurous musical exploration of sexual identities and desires” and Calvi said she wanted to express herself free from shame.

She told PA: “It’s a personally political record and I just think it’s so important with everything that is happening, that the more there is that pushes against that, in terms of expressing a woman’s sexuality free from shame (the better).

“And I guess exploring the fact that I’m gay and talking about that, it feels really important with the rise in homophobia, so I’m really happy that more people are going to hear this record.”

In May a couple were subjected to a homophobic attack and robbery by a gang when they refused to kiss on a bus.

Last month Mayor of London Sadiq Khan launched the capital’s Pride parade with an attack on then prime ministerial hopeful Boris Johnson for using “homophobic language”.

Calvi said: “It’s always a scary thing, that you win these rights but they can be taken away as easily as you win them.

“There is no time that you can feel ‘Oh we have done everything now’, I think that is true of equality in all different ways. It’s scary times.”

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Album of the year nominee Anna Calvi (David Parry/PA)

This is the third time Calvi has been shortlisted for the prestigious music prize and offered advice for first time nominees including Little Simz and Slowthai, saying: “I think just enjoy it because it’s such an amazing thing to be part of.

“I’m just really happy and I guess I have experienced losing twice so I know how to lose. But just to be nominated is incredible.”

The winner of the Hyundai Mercury Prize will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith on September 19.

PA

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