Benjamin Clementine scoops Mercury Prize and dedicates win to Paris where he …

21 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Benjamin Clementine Wins 2015 Mercury Prize.

Benjamin Clementine, a pianist, poet, singer-songwriter and former Paris busker, was awarded the 2015 Mercury Prize on Friday in London for the best British or Irish album of the year.London-raised musician Benjamin Clementine has won the prestigious Mercury Music Prize for his album At Least For Now, dedicating the win to the city of Paris.

The prestigious award, which calls itself “the music equivalent to the Booker Prize for literature and the Turner Prize for art,” comes with a cash prize of 20,000 pounds, or about $30,500. Pick a winner who is already commercially successful and they stand charged with telling the public what they already know; pick a winner who is too obscure and they face accusations of irrelevance. I always made a joke about it!” The musician’s debut album is a searingly-personal collection of piano-based songs, which critics have called “bold”, “brilliant” and “astonishing”. “But that’s what’s nice about the Mercury. The Mercury prize has the ability to boost an artist’s sales, but history provides us ample evidence it cannot turn a relatively unknown figure into a household name.

Others in contention for the prize included Florence + The Machine, Jamie xx, Wolf Alice, C Duncan, Eska, Ghostpoet, Benjamin Clementine, former Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes and Slaves. Clementine, 26, won for the album “At Least for Now” (Behind/Capitol), which the critic Nate Chinen called the singer’s “declaration of selfhood, an album very much about the act of becoming, with a tightrope balance of dramatic artifice and diaristic detail.” Among Mr. The predominance of artists of relatively obscure stature on this year’s shortlist had already attracted criticism from people keen to invoke the famously watertight argument that the best music is invariably the most commercially successful; among them heavyweight musical theorist Dan Wooton, of the Sun’s Bizarre column, who decried the list of nominees as “another snobfest from arrogant music industry luvvies who do not give a damn what the majority of the country listen to”.

It could be anybody’s.” The judges began their deliberations with a longlist of 298 albums earlier this year, which was whittled down to a shortlist of 12, announced in October. Clementine’s influences are powerful vocalists like Leonard Cohen and Antony Hegarty, as well as the poet William Blake. “I can’t believe I’ve actually won this,” Mr.

Newcomer Eska, whose self-titled album is an unusual combination of soul, psychedelia and jazz, said there were “12 winners” on the night, with newcomers and established artists sharing the limelight equally. “It was one of those albums that completely slipped under the radar,” he said of his debut record, Architect. “But since it was nominated for the Mercury, so many more people have listened to it and discovered it, which is nice.” Clementine said in his acceptance speech, according to The Guardian. “If anyone is watching, any child or youngster or student, the world is your oyster. Go out there and get what you want to get.” He dedicated his win to Paris — where he lived as a teenager — following last week’s terror attack. “I went ’round that train playing as if I was playing in a stadium,” Mr. He is certainly not the only piano-playing vocalist who has attracted wild comparison to Nina Simone in recent years, but his style is noticeably more theatrical and florid than your average singer-songwriter: he prefers to describe himself as “an expressionist” rather than a singer and claims he wants his voice to sound like the violin part in Vaughan Williams’ the Lark Ascending. Then again, you could have said the same thing about last year’s winner, Young Fathers’ idiosyncratic hip hop album Dead, which the public decided to pass on, despite the extra publicity afforded it by their Mercury triumph.

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