ELECTRONIC musician James Blake beat stars including David Bowie and the Arctic Monkeys to win the £20,000 Barclaycard Mercury Prize for the best British album of the last 12 months.
Blake won the prize for his album Overgrown, and said it was “amazing” to be in the running for an award with Bowie.
Asked what he would spend the money on, he said: “I’ll make sure it goes to some good use”.
He added: “This is the first award I’ve ever won apart from a tennis trophy which I won when I was about 12-years-old at my school and I’ll hold them in equal esteem”.
Blake, a 25-1 outsider to win, is a Goldsmiths College music graduate who was previously nominated for the Mercury for his self-titled debut album which he recorded at his home in New Cross, south east London.
The musician, whose father was a member of the band Colosseum, produced his second album himself and it features contributions from Brian Eno and RZA from Wu-Tang Clan.
The judges described it as “Late night music for the digital age. An inventive, poignant and poetic record of great beauty.”
He beat 11 other acts including bookies’ favourite Laura Mvula.
The £20,000 prize is open to British and Irish acts and aims to reward the best album of the year.