Britain’s Benjamin Clementine wins Mercury music prize

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.Benjamin Clementine who is announced as the winner of the Mercury Prize for his album At Least For Now, at the Mercury Music Prize awards event hosted at BBC Broadcasting House in London, Friday Nov. 20, 2015. 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. PA via AP LONDON, United Kingdom—Benjamin Clementine, the experimental singer and poet with deep roots in Paris, on Friday won Britain’s Mercury Prize and dedicated the award to the attack-stricken city. 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.

Clementine won over 11 other nominees who included Florence and the Machine, the theatrical but introspective rockers who have become coveted festival headliners, and the innovative electronic composer Aphex Twin. 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. Clementine is known for his powerful, high-pitched voice and highly poetic lyrics, with a crowd-rousing delivery that has brought comparisons to Nina Simone.

The singer moved at age 19 to Paris, where he would play, and often sleep, on the streets and gradually developed a performance style that defies traditional song structure. “Sometimes when someone passes away, and they’re not part of your family, you send your condolences. 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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