Football legend Ian Wright was one of the first to congratulate Ezra Collective on their emotional Mercury triumph, it seems.
The jazz group won the prize last week, with their second album ‘Where I’m Meant To Be’ battling off some talented competition. A wonderful record, it blended their improvisatory prowess with club tropes, and features from NAO, Kojey Radical, Sampa the Great, and more.
One of the night’s most impressive live performances, Ezra Collective swept on to the stage in emotional circumstances, with drummer Femi Koleoso giving a wonderful speech.
Chatting to Matt Wilkinson on Apple Music 1, the drummer revealed that their phone was red hot for hours after the result – with messages coming in from London mayor Sadiq Khan and television host Jonathan Ross.
“I’m trying to fight the temptation not to just read every single Tweet and Instagram post that’s been written because we’re not used to this mate, you know what I mean? I’m just a normal boy from Enfield. Sadiq Khan wrote our name today. I was just like, how’s he know our name? Do you know what I mean? All of that kind of thing. We got a DM from Jonathan Ross.”
❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 https://t.co/T9jmafcpGX— Ian Wright (@IanWright0) September 8, 2023
A life-long Arsenal fan, Femi Koleoso was stunned when a Gooners legend reached out to congratulate him. “I got a message from Ian Wright, man. He’s like my hero. He said, congrats. Do you know what I’m saying? It’s all crazy,” he said. “He just said, congrats. I didn’t really know what to say back. I just said like, safe.”
As for the prize money, in true Ezra Collective style they’re already thinking about how to give back. “A lot of the touring restrictions we have are financial,” he said. “We’d love to bring this person on the road, but we can’t afford it. We’d love to have this person come and take pictures, but we can’t afford the plane ticket. I’m sure that 25 grand will contribute to some people coming on the road with us.”
“Also, if I’m being totally honest, our heart is always with charities and stuff, so it’d be nice to be able to give a bunch of those people I was shouting out a little bit of help because everyone needs it. Do you know what I’m saying? It’ll be split up like that.”
Photo Credit: Aliyah Otchere