Entertainment & Arts

Jamie xx favourite to win Mercury Prize

Jamie xx
Image caption Jamie xx is nominated for his rave-flavoured solo album, In Colour

Electronic musician Jamie xx is the bookmaker's favourite to win the Mercury Music Prize on Friday night.

The 27-year-old is nominated for his debut solo record In Colour, a tribute to the dance music of his youth.

If he takes the £20,000 prize, he would be the first musician to win both as a solo artist and with a band, after The xx picked up the prize five years ago.

But he faces competition from Florence + The Machine, spoken word artist Ghostpoet and rock band Wolf Alice.

All of them have been highlighted as potential winners by at least one bookmaker, highlighting the unpredictability of the annual prize, which recognises innovative albums produced in the UK and Ireland.

The judges often reward albums that are perceived as having a niche audience - such as last year's winners Young Fathers, whose album had sold just 2,368 copies when they lifted the trophy.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Florence + The Machine is another mulitple nominee - but will miss the ceremony as she tours New Zealand

Jamie xx has a higher profile than the Edinburgh hip-hop trio, thanks to the band he formed with his schoolfriends in 2005.

Their self-titled debut album - a delicate, minimalist collection of bedsit lovesongs - won the Mercury Prize in 2010; and Jamie has since remixed songs for Adele, Radiohead and Gil Scott-Heron.

"I'm nervous," he told BBC Radio 1 ahead of Friday's ceremony, "but I'm looking forward to the event."

Image caption Ghostpoet is also considered a front-runner for the £20,000 prize

The full list of nominees is:

  • Aphex Twin - Syro
  • Benjamin Clementine - At Least For Now
  • Gaz Coombes - Matador
  • C Duncan - Architect
  • Eska - Eska
  • Florence + The Machine - How Big How Blue How Beautiful (pictured)
  • Ghost Poet - Shedding Skin
  • Jamie xx - In Colour
  • Roisin Murphy - Hairless Toys
  • Slaves - Are You Satisfied
  • Soak - Before We Forgot How To Dream
  • Wolf Alice - My Love Is Cool

Read more on the shortlisted acts

Jamie xx is not the only multiple nominee on the list, with Gaz Coombes, Florence + The Machine and London MC Ghostpoet all making a second attempt on the prize.

"I can't think about winning," Ghostpoet told BBC News. "It's really weird. I've never won an award in my life."

The south Londoner is nominated for his moody, alt-rock album Shedding Skin - an unflinching portrait of life in modern Britain.

His comments were echoed by Wolf Alice, whose album My Love Is Cool was called "the debut of the decade" by NME magazine.

"We're flabbergasted," said singer Ellie Roswell. "This has been the best year of our lives."

The winner will be announced live on BBC Four and Radio 6 Music between 21:30 and 22:30 GMT on Friday.

Nominated acts will be playing live on BBC Radio 1 and 6 Music throughout the day.

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