Electronic artist James Blake says he's surprised, 'numb with excitement' and 'very very very happy' after winning this year's Barclaycard Mercury Prize with his album Overgrown. Edward Baran reports.
Songwriter and singer James Blake collected the 2013 Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize on Wednesday for his album 'Overgrown'. Mercury winners can be hard to predict but on the night no-one seemed more shocked than the winner himself. SOUNDBITE, James Blake, singer, saying (English): "Slightly numb with excitement, my face might not show it but I'm very very very happy." (Reporter: You look a bit shell-shocked. Were you surprised?) "Yes. I was yeah. I felt like I was sitting on a table amongst a load of people that just weren't going to be nominated and I was wrong." The 25-year-old Londoner is known for his melancholy tunes but also incorporates hip hop and electropop. But it's the first significant contribution to his trophy cabinet in quite some time. SOUNDBITE, James Blake, singer, saying (English): "This is the first award that I have ever won apart from a tennis trophy that I won when I was about twelve years old at school. And I hold them in equal esteem, I will be putting both on my mantelpiece." The shortlist in the award's 22nd year included some of the best-known names in the British pop world, including Arctic Monkeys who rose from internet fame to release a first album that became the fastest selling in British history. The night also saw cameos from newcomers such as blues-tinged singer Laura Mvula and nineteen-year-old Jake Bugg who sings about the gritty side of life including pill-popping and stabbings at parties. The prize has gone to a wide range of musical genres since it began in 1992 and is based solely on the music on the album.