Speech Debelle (born Corynne Elliot, 1983, London, England) Speech Debelle is a British hip-hop artist, signed to Big Dada. In 2009, she won the coveted Mercury Music Prize.
Childhood: Speech Debelle was raised by her mother, after her father left the family home when she was six years old. She attended the Harris City Academy in Croydon. Speech was in frequent trouble at school and was eventually suspended. She left with no qualifications.
Speech started writing poetry when she was around nine years old and began rapping at around 13. As a child, she was inspired by the likes of Michael Jackson, TLC, Mary J Blige and a number of reggae artists.
When she was 19, Speech Debelle left the family home, after an argument with her mother. She lived in homeless hostels for four years, though she has stated that she did not consider herself to be homeless, as she kept contact with her mother and often stayed at friends' houses. At the age of 23, Speech returned to the family home and started contacting record labels, sending out her demo tapes. Eventually, Big Dada Records took her on board.
Music: Big Dada is also home to the likes of Roots Manuva, one of British hip-hop's leading lights, as well as upcoming artists such as Juice Aleem and Spank Rock.
Speech Debelle released her debut album, Speech Therapy in May 2009. Three singles have been released from the album, 'The Key', 'Go Then, Bye' and 'Searching' and one album track, 'Better Days' features Mica, from Micachu and the Shapes. Prior to the release of the album, Speech Debelle was featured on the cover of the last ever issue of Plan B magazine.
In 2009, Speech Debelle played at Glastonbury Festival. She was also scheduled to play at Latitude Festival but missed her time slot when she got stuck in traffic on the way there.
In July of that year, Speech Therapy was announced as one of the 12 short-listed albums for that year's Mercury Music Prize. She was announced as the winner in September, having beaten the likes of Friendly Fires, Kasabian, The Horrors and Florence and the Machine.
We root around the line-up and take a look at the acts that may not have stood out on first view.
Part of Glastonbury’s enduring reputation is its propensity for composing a line-up that is extensive that a wealth of acts will pass by unnoticed. We’ve sieved through the thousands of acts who will be making the trip to Worthy Farm to highlight ten acts whose inclusion in the festival bill may surprise many. Sifting through the lower rungs of the bill uncovers a slew of rising stars and forgotten flames, those who are on the ascension to the upper levels of cultural recognition as well as those whose days of glory are far behind them.
Metallica will be this years most controversial performers. Photo: Getty Images, Credit: Frazer Harrison
Beyond the endless stretch of humans eyeing up the pyramid stage with binoculars are copious tents and smaller stages which host a myriad of curiosities, from fading pop stars regurgitating their hit songs for the umpteenth time to all manner of odd theatrics, spoken word performances, comedians, circus performances and Happy Monday’s hype-man Bez, who has this year been granted his very own ‘Acid House’ stage. Here then, are ten acts who to varying degrees will surprise festival goers with their very presence at the culturally sacred Somerset site:
Continue reading: 10 Acts You Had No Idea Were Playing Glastonbury
The talented Speech Debelle returns with new album 'Freedom Of Speech', her second album following her Mercury prize winning debut 'Speech Therapy'. It was certainly a great victory for hip hop seeing Speech Debelle receive her award in 2009, the industry recognising her talent and propelling her into the spotlight. There's no doubt Speech displayed great flow and lyrics in her 'speech' delivery and being a female rapper made it even more special. However, there's no guarantee winning a Mercury music prize is a recipe for commercial success and in fact, it has been seen a bad omen for some.
Continue reading: Speech Debelle, Freedom Of Speech Album Review
Speech Debelle's new single, Studio Backpack Rap, is the new single from the anticipated second album, Freedom of Speech, which is due to be released in 2012. It follows on from Blaze Up A Fire, a song that was leaked by Speech herself in the wake of the London riots in August 2011.
Continue: Speech Debelle - Studio Backpack Rap