Adele, Ed Sheeran and Inflo, a musician billed as ‘the most influential and mysterious producer on the planet’, topped Ivor Novello Award nominations in a year in which drill artists also been recognized by the UK’s most prestigious songwriting awards.
Dean Wynton Josiah Cover, AKA Inflo, leads the nominations for the awards, which celebrate Britain’s best songwriters and songwriters, with four, while Ed Sheeran – who just won a plagiarism battle for his song Shape of You – has three nods and Adele is in the running for two awards, including songwriter of the year.
Adele will compete for the songwriting award along with Coldplay, Raye, Dave and Ed Sheeran, which also has two songs – Bad Habits and Shivers – nominated in the PRS category for most performed musical work.
Inflo has credits on three of the five albums nominated in the Best Album category, with work on Mother by Cleo Sol, Nine by Sault and Sometimes I Might Be Introvert by Little Simz, while the LP Spare Ribs by Nottingham duo Sleaford Mods and the 80s by Laura Mvula are inspired by pop. Pink Noise completes the category.
Mvula said she was delighted to receive the nomination for the album she worked on during lockdown after being dropped by her record label, despite producing two Mercury Prize-nominated albums. “Sometimes it was hard to imagine getting to the finish line, so knowing that it had an impact in such weird times is really exciting for me,” she added.
The songwriter said the lineup for this year’s Novellos, which is one of the most diverse ever, was important, especially for young Britons who will see people like them represented. She said: “They need to know that they can do whatever they want, especially when it comes to creativity and the arts. I am truly thrilled to feel empowered and celebrated, and to be a symbol of something that is needed and positive in this ever-changing climate.
The hip-hop genre exercise also gained recognition with Russ Millions and Tion Wayne’s number one single Body nominated in the Best Contemporary Song category, alongside FKA Twigs’ Don’t Judge Me, a collaboration with rapper Headie One and Fred Again. James Blake’s track Coming Back, featuring SZA, Just For Me by PinkPantheress and I Love You, I Hate You by Little Simz, all got nods.
Elsewhere, Jonny Greenwood’s soundtrack for Pablo Larraín’s biopic Diana, Princess of Wales, Spencer clashes with scores for After Love, Censor, The World To Come and Edgar Wright’s psychological thriller Last Night In Soho.
Inflo’s dominance over Ivor Novello nominations continues its meteoric rise. He previously won a Novello for Little Simz’s Gray Area and worked on Michael Kiwanuka’s Mercury Prize-winning album Kiwanuka, before teaming up with Simz again on his award-winning album Sometimes I Could Be Introverted and Contributing at Adele’s 30.
He is a member of the Sault hurry project, which fused hip-hop, soul, spoken word and R&B over five releases, and at this year’s Brits he became the first black Briton to win the award for producer of the year, following in the footsteps of Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel and Calvin Harris.