James Blake wins Mercury Music Prize

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James Blake has won the prestigious Mercury Music prize for his second album, Overgrown. The Mercury is considered the most serious formal recognition in the UK music industry as opposed to the likes of the Brit Awards, and featured a diverse shortlist of artists ranging from Rudimental to David Bowie.

The judges (who remain anonymous until after the winner is announced) described Overgrown as “Late night music for the digital age. An inventive, poignant and poetic record of great beauty”, going on to say that "James Blake makes music like no-one else".

The 25 year old Blake has defied characterisation with melancholic music rooted in electronica. A classically trained pianist, he broke through on legendary Belgian electronic label R&S before continuing on through to the majors with his ambient tinged, ethereal sound. When asked if he would describe his own style, he answered "No, because that will come right back at me. Music keeps changing so I keep writing new music."

In a short acceptance speech, he thanked his parents "for showing me the importance of being self-sufficient", and his band members for "showing the importance of letting other people help you".

Speaking backstage, he described his emotions as "jubilant and confused", going on to say that "this is the first award I've ever won apart from a tennis trophy I won when I was 12,"

He was naturally asked how it felt to beat someone with the legacy of David Bowie he replied: "I don't think I beat him.

"A lot of people do their best work when they're young - and it's always disappointing when they don't keep going and don't keep innovating. So David Bowie's an inspiration to people like me."

He added: "I feel like I deserved it as much as anyone else did," perhaps not least because Laura Mvula had been the critics favourite for the prize.

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