Last week saw British talent James Blake win this year’s coveted Mercury Music Prize and walk away with £20,000 for his new album ‘Overgrown’. In the lead up to the awards, the hot favourites to win were soulful songstress Laura Mvula, and iconic performer David Bowie.
It came as a refreshing surprise therefore that the largely unknown James Blake took home the grand prize whilst pitted against chart topping mainstream acts such as Disclosure, Rudimental, Arctic Monkeys and Foals.
In an industry where success is as much to do with courting the media by falling out of nightclubs, taking over Twitter with self promotional snaps and dressing in the latest fashions, James has achieved monumental recognition purely as an artist.
Challenging the stereotypes of music with his minimal dubstep and deconstructed electro sound, London born James has continuously worked to push boundaries, collaborating with underground legends such as RZA to produce a fresh sound. ‘Overgrown’ is a subtle yet complex record full of hidden gems; “Retrograde” is a beautifully soft song, perfect for Sunday mornings, “Digital Lion’ showcases an experimental James at his best and “I am sold” will make the hairs on your arms stand on end.
So despite the bookies poor odds (Ladbrokes set James at 33/1 chance of winning), he has seen off the competition and proved that the Mercury Music Prize really does recognise raw talent. Hopefully his win will continue to inspire musicians all over the UK to achieve critical acclaim, and with his stash of prize of money his new album could be the best yet!