Music | Mercury Prize 2013 – James Blake

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Mercury Prize 2013 results – James Blake

With such a vast pool of talent including David Bowie, Foals and The Arctic Monkeys fighting against notable new-comers Laura Mvula and Jake Bugg for this year’s Mercury Prize, it was difficult to cast any vote on a definitive winner.

Although most people would have probably cheered for all-time pop legend David Bowie who has shaped the landscape of pop music and has recently released his 24th studio album ‘The Next Day’; James Blake came out on top with a shiny trophy and a crisp cheque for £20,000. After receiving his award, the 24-year-old Londoner was sure to expel any rumoured gloating about ‘beating Bowie’ –  “I don’t think I beat him; I don’t think that’s how this prize works.” He further commented on his admiration for Bowie’s maintenance of creativity and innovation.

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The bookies had originally placed their bets on Laura Mvula with her debut album ‘Sing to the Moon’ , however, it was Blake’s second album ‘Overgrown’ that took the crown. Having soared to number 8 in the UK album chart, the electronic, dubstep and alternative infused album provided a fresh and vibrant sound previously unheard. Blake has demonstrated that he’s a pioneer of the digital age and his music represents an emerging style of music that is filled with roar, experimental drive.

Although the Mercury Prize is often reserved for the artist in bloom, it seems that Blake has re-invented himself as a star in his own right through his second album that has become critically acclaimed and revered. With the award being the first received for his music, in a press conference held after the ceremony he joked: “This is the first thing I’ve ever won apart from a tennis trophy when I was 12. And I hold them in equal esteem. I’ll be putting them on the shelf next to each other.” This, however, was not the first Mercury nomination James Blake has received, and it certainly won’t be his last. I’m sure many will argue whether James Blake was the most deserving artist of the year, but, to be honest, I think we’re all just a little relieved Rudimental didn’t get it.

 

Check out his creative genius at work below:

Joey Colley

photos: Stereogum

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