With her love letter to Black British music celebrating the sounds that has long been the beating heart of its culture, Candice Carty-Williams’ 'Champion' brought to life trials, tribulations and triumphs it faces with unrelenting truth, vigour and style.
Making history – during this Black History Month - as the first Black British woman author to win ‘Book of the Year’ for her debut novel at the British Book Awards, the author of the bestselling debut ‘Queenie’ - the story of a Jamaican British woman living in London and trying to figure out her job, her position in life - has written for publications including The Guardian, i-D, Vogue, The Sunday Times, BEAT Magazine, and Black Ballad and is a contributor to the anthology ‘New Daughters of Africa’, edited by Margaret Busby. She was also appointed the weekly books columnist of The Guardian.
On her victory she said: “This win makes me hopeful that although I’m the first, the industry are waking up to the fact that I shouldn’t and won’t be the last.” From working with grime legends to tackling racism, Carty-Williams’s Champion was described as ‘landmark TV’ as it’s backdrop in the UK’s rap and R&B scenes brought to colourful life as it culturally fuses London life and that in the Caribbean seamlessly.
"Growing up I never felt I could write,” Candice said. “Writing is something I came to really late and I guess I’m still finding my confidence because I never thought it was an attainable career."
The one thing that will keep her at the top of her game, as she continues to make history and break stereotypes is that “I have loved every word I write.”
And that’s a love you can’t beat.