Electronic music producer and singer James Blake won this year's Barclaycard Mercury Prize for his sophomore album "Overgrown". The BBC Sound of 2011 runner-up, who recently turned 25, won over heavy favorites like veteran artist David Bowie and last year's winner Arctic Monkeys. He said he "deserved it as much as anyone else did," adding an acknowledgement for all the "great people involved" in his triumph, something that he had been put on a 25/1 chance to win by bookies.
"I feel jubilant and confused, wonderful. It's a moment you don't expect to happen to you," said Blake, whose live performance earlier that night had been erroneously introduced by host Lauren Laverne as James Blunt. When asked how he thought the prize would change his career, he said "people might be louder" at his gigs and he might even "stand up on stage," but it would not change him as a person that did not want "to bend to outside pressures."
It was the first Mercury Prize for Blake, after only his second time to be nominated for the award, the first time being last 2011 for his self-titled debut album, but he lost that one out to PJ Harvey. Looking back, he said he's pleased to win for his second album and not his first since now he's in a better position to handle the pressure that it would bring along with it.
For winning the Mercury Prize, Blake took home £320,000 and a trophy, his only other trophy apart from the one he won back when he was 12 years old for playing tennis in school. He said he held them both "in equal esteem." More importantly, he acknowledged his loving parents for his success, particularly "for showing me the importance of being self-sufficient."