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Speech Debelle


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London, England

Speech Debelle (1983, London, England) is a British artist, winner of the 2009 Mercury Prize. Debelle is signed to the Big Dada record label.

Debelle’s debut album, Speech Therapy, was released in the United Kingdom on 31 May 2009. The album has had three singles released, “Searching”, “The Key”, and “Go Then, Bye”. It won the Barclay Mercury music prize in 2009. The Mercury judges said she was a “remarkable new voice in British hip-hop, tough, warm and reflective”. One judge, the broadcaster and conductor Charles Hazlewood added: “She’s just quietly telling her stories in the most beguiling way.”

Speech began writing poetry aged nine and started rapping lyrics in the schoolyard aged 13. Back then, initial inspiration came courtesy of Michael Jackson, which quickly turned to Blackstreet, Mary J Blige, TLC and .

The first thing about Speech Debelle that strikes the ear is a contrast. Her voice is warm, youthful and listenable, and if you heard her in the background you might assume that her lyrics were the same. You’d be better placed tuning into them. In common with her new label-mate Roots Manuva, she’s astoundingly honest in her music, detailing and exorcising some very personal demons. That isn’t to say she’s another run of the mill rapper with more complaints than insights. Quite the opposite. Like all musicians worth listening to, she draws you into her universe and makes you glad you visited. There’s always a thaw to the chillier moments.


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  • ZielonyGrzyb

    Nice voice.

    20 May 11:58am Reply
  • Sutinen

    Really one of my favourite rap-artist of all time :)

    29 Dec 2013 Reply
  • OMFGsocute

    A+ Grand lyricist.

    31 Jan 2013 Reply
  • bythewasteside

    Oh wow. She's perfect.

    17 Oct 2012 Reply
  • deadevil13

    one of my favorite discoveries of this year!

    26 Aug 2012 Reply
  • LindeeLee

    love her british accent

    20 Aug 2012 Reply
  • ABoyNamedHope push.

    28 May 2012 Reply
  • rainbow_tart

    cant wait to see you live at dour!

    23 Apr 2012 Reply
  • sonicvalentine

    new album is a matserpiece!buy it all of you guys!!

    26 Feb 2012 Reply
  • JeroenKlomp

    The Ultimate Zombie Litmus Test click, watch, share ;-)

    24 Feb 2012 Reply
  • JeroenKlomp

    Remember, peak-etc has nothing to do with stuff running out. hell, probably most of it never will run out, especially oil. The problem is that it costs more and more energy and/or money (usually both by now) to get it (net enrgy), produce it. Learn also how the money/monetary system works. That shit matters. [CollapseNet Member, Zero Hedge / Max Keiser fan, and Zeitgeist Movement supporter (yeah, shoot me for the latter ;-) )]

    24 Feb 2012 Reply
  • JeroenKlomp

    Now, how are we gonna do that, I have noooo frikkin idea tbh. But this MUST become some kind of hit, srsly. That song is so frikkin powerfull, the topics itself (the word PeakOil is in there! zomg) how it is addressed, other. This song has the power to achieve someting that people like Lowkey or Immortal Technique never could, because they are put in the conspiracy nutters corner too easily by the masses (hey, don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of both). NOTHING in that song can be denied, disproven, etc. This can't be ignored, and must not be. Everywhere u look u will see that we're waay past peak-oil (and peak-so much other by now). And shit will be worse faster and faster. And it will become really bad if u just sit there and wait for what might happen. U must ACT NOW, become independent, cut urself loose from the system, connect with likeminded, re-educated urself on how to survive. These things takes time, and the longer u wait the less flexibility u have left.

    24 Feb 2012 Reply
  • JeroenKlomp

    Collapse must become a HIT || Collapse must become a HIT || Collapse must become a HIT || Collapse must become a HIT || Collapse must become a HIT || Collapse must become a HIT || Collapse must become a HIT || Collapse must become a HIT || Collapse must become a HIT || Collapse must become a HIT || Collapse must become a HIT || Collapse must become a HIT || Collapse must become a HIT || Collapse must become a HIT

    24 Feb 2012 Reply
  • PeggySue95

    She got talent. Great...and without any bling bling.

    23 Feb 2012 Reply
  • Bayou16

    her new album is terrific!!!!!!!!!!! ♥

    19 Feb 2012 Reply
  • inphanta

    Whoever wrote that Trebuchet review must've been listening to a different album. The reviewer spends most of the article meticulously criticising the production, accuses Speech of having an "aggressive swagger" (WTF?) and then, after basically writing the whole thing off, ends with "Yeah, this is a great album". It read as though he was more concerned with dropping names and trying to sound like some sort of chin-stroking muso than focusing on the album itself.

    18 Feb 2012 Reply
  • TheDarthsala

    free track download and review!

    15 Feb 2012 Reply
  • inphanta

    Speech Debelle is back! And a big "fuck you" to all the NME bitches who hated on her because one of "their" corporate indie bands didn't win the 2009 Mercury Prize...

    8 Feb 2012 Reply
  • LongLiveTheD

    This is actually ridiculous, she should have way more plays/listeners. I remember how amazed I was when I first heard her, and then she won that Mercury award, she deserves more than this. [2]

    8 Feb 2012 Reply
  • CzynmyDobro

    Can't wait for the album!

    27 Jan 2012 Reply
  • All 145 shouts

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