Published Nov 24, 2009Back in September, relatively unheard of London rapper Speech Debelle came out of left-field and won the coveted Mercury Prize. And while her winning album, Speech Therapy, got a 4,000 percent sales boost, Debelle has suggested that the sales would have been higher if her label, Big Dada, had been more prepared, which has led to her parting ways with the Ninja Tune affiliate.
In interview with BBC 6 Music, Debelle explained that the label was not fast enough in shipping the release. "The Mercury Prize was on Tuesday, and on Friday there were no more physical albums in the shops," she said. "So, on the Mercury weekend, which would have been my biggest selling weekend, people couldn't get it... I wasn't disappointed that it didn't sell well, I was disappointed in the people I was working with."
A spokesman from Ninja Tune, which is the parent label of Big Dada, said the label had no comment on the matter. Nonetheless, Debelle has moved on and is in talks to find a new home for her sophomore effort.
"One thing I've learnt is that having bargaining power is important," she explained. "It's important to walk into a record label and say, 'This is what I have, and these are the kind of terms I want.'"