James Blake Awarded 2013 Mercury Prize

Established in 1992 the Mercury Prize is an annual award for the best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland. This year’s winner is Overgrown by English singer-songwriter and electronic music producer, James Blake. This is Blake’s second studio album, with his eponymous debut album having been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 2011. Chosen by a panel of music industry experts, the short-list for the 2013 Barclaycard Mercury Prize included AM by Arctic Monkeys; The Next Day by David Bowie; Settle by Disclosure; Holy Fire by Foals; Immunity by John Hopkins; Once I Was An Eagle by Laura Mvula; Home by Rudimental; Silence Yourself by Savages; and {Awayland} by Villagers.

Born on September 26, 1988, James Blake released his debut single Air & Lack Thereofr in July 2009 on the record label Hemlock The song was pegged as a favorite of DF Gilles Peterson of BBC Radio 1. Peterson invited Blake to do a special mix on his show, including a track with Mount Kimbie. He went on to do a number of live gigs with the English electronic music duo. At the time Blake was studying popular music at Goldsmiths at the University of London where he released the EP Klavierwerke as his university composition. His third EP was CMYK which was chosen by BBC Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw to feature as the channels Record of the Week.

In December 2010, Blake was placed on BBC’s annual poll, Sound of 2011, which promotes musicians likely to be successful in the upcoming year, and he took second spot. He was runner-up at the BRIT Awards ‘Critic’s Choice’ in December 2010, with singer-songwriter Jessie J taking first place. Most of 2010 was spent recording his 11-track debut album, James Blake, which was released in February 2011, receiving a nomination for the 2011 Mercury Music Prize. When awarding Blake the 2013 Mercury Prize for Overgrown, judges stated that the album was “An inventive, poignant and poetic record of great beauty”, and “Late night music for the digital age.”