Coldplay, Nick Cave, Mystery Jets and Skepta are among the nominees at the Ivor Novello Awards 2017. Celebrating the best in British songwriting and production, the Ivors will take place at Grosvenor House in Park Lane, London on 18 May.
Fronted by Chris Martin, Coldplay are nominated twice in the PRS for music most performed work category with their 2016 singles, Adventure For A Lifetime and Hymn For The Weekend. Although their chances are doubled, the rockers face major competition going up against Adele, who has received a nod for the ballad When We Were Young.
Nominated for best contemporary song are Skepta with Man, Mura Masa and A$AP Rocky with Lovesick and Neiked featuring Dyo with their hit single Sexual. Reflecting on the whirlwind success of Sexual, which has amassed over 185 million streams on Spotify, Dyo told IBTimes UK at the nominations announcement: "I feel like I'm still digesting it. It's one of those things that will take a while. My life has changed so quickly, so fast. It's one of those things that I'm happy to do and be doing it for a living so there's always a positive side of things."
Despite the X-rated nature of the song, Dyo, real name Dayo Olatunji, admits the origins of the catchy dance track could not be further from the title. The 25-year-old singer revealed: "I really was not in a sexual mood [when I wrote the song]. I was freezing cold in Sweden and needed to write something that was going to make me happy right [then]."
Sexual created a huge buzz in 2016 and is still appearing on radio playlists, while it has become the subject of many covers on YouTube, including one from pop star Zara Larsson. Offering an insight into the song's popularity, Dyo explains: "It's probably the fact that people get to shout 'sexual'. It gives you a reason to say bad things. It's one of those songs that children sing even though they shouldn't. More than anything, my mum was like, 'What? Why?' She was under the impression that the music industry makes you do things you don't want to do. It's really not that, it's just a fun song."
Listen to Neiked and Dyo's Sexual:
Progressive rock band Mystery Jets, comprised of father and son Henry and Blaine Harrison, are nominated for best song with their track Telomere, alongside Michael Kiwanuka's Black Man In A White World and Laura Mvula's Overcome. Revealing the origins of Telomere, Blaine said: "The chorus for Telomere came five years before the verse and that's not unusual."
The drummer continued: "I'm sure other songwriters would agree that these musical ideas often appear as fragments and don't find their counterparts until months or even years later. It can be both torturous and enjoyable once it does come together. Once all the components are on the table it can all come together pretty quickly and that was the case for Telomere.
Listen to Mystery Jets' Telomere:
While they have a decade of experience in the music industry, Mystery Jets praise their fellow nominee Kiwanuka for his talents. Henry enthused: "Michael is one of the best songwriters of our time and when the shortlist was announced, we had a moment of sinking hearts because we thought we absolutely cannot compete with him but it's great to be in that company. We've toured with Michael and he's an amazing artist. It's a great privilege to be mentioned in the same breath."
Ivor Novello 2017 nominations
Best Song Musically and Lyrically
Black Man In A White World – Michael Kiwanuka
Telomere – Mystery Jets
Overcome – Laura Mvula
Best contemporary song
Lovesick - Mura Masa ft A$AP Rocky
Man - Skepta
Sexual - Neiked ft Dyo
Most performed work
Adventure of a Lifetime - Coldplay
Hymn for the Weekend - Coldplay
When We Were Young - Adele
Love and Hate - Michael Kiwanuka
Skeleton Tree - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
The Dreaming Room - Laura Mvula
Best film score
High Rise - Clint Mansell
Kubo and the Two Strings - Dario Marianelli
My Scientology Movie - Dan Jones
Best television soundtrack
The Collection - Dominik Scherrer
Witness for the Prosecution - Paul Englishby
War and Peace - Martin Phipps