Corinne Bailey Rae on selecting Mercury Prize 2011 nominees & recording her new album | SoulCulture.TV


Adele, Tinie Tempah, Katy B, James Blake, Ghostpoet, Metronomy, PJ Harvey, King Creosote & Jon Hopkins, Elbow, Anna Calvi, Everything Everything and Gwilym Simcock go head to head for the ultimate nod of best British album of the year at the Barclaycard Mercury Prize Awards 2011.

After watching the nominations announced by Lauren Laverne to an attentive media crowd at The Hospital Club in Covent Garden, London, SoulCulture.tv caught up with previous year nominee [for The Sea], Brit, MOBO and Q Awards winner and a member of this year’s judging panel Corinne Bailey Rae to get her views on the awards, nominees and some insight into the selection process.

“I think it’s a really strong list,” Corinne says. “We’ve been working on it for a long time, had those albums for a couple of months and we listened to more than 200 records and kept getting it down, calling each other and arguing about it and trying to champion particular records. They’re amazing artists.

“It’s also really diverse as well; I think it fully represents what’s happening in this country,” states Bailey Rae. “All the way from Gwilym [Simcock]‘s jazz album, which is really technical, to Ghostpoet – a hip hop record which think is quite dry and funny and it doesn’t have those pop hooks thrown in at every corner; the spoken word is enough and that’s what’s so great about it… A lot of these albums I’ve been living with for a while and just wanted to argue about.”

Having been nominated for the previous year’s award for her 2010 album, The Sea, Corinne reflects, “I was really touched being in some of those meetings and hearing people passionately arguing for those albums – and they’re the albums that end up on the list – thinking someone must have done this for my record last year… I was quite proud that somehow my record stood out and got through; it was really amazing to see how it works.”

Pleased about this year’s selection she affirms, “A lot of the albums I liked and felt really strongly about are here,” encouraging the public to create their own movements to support artists and albums they like.

“The Mercury Prize shines a light on the fact that albums are still important,” she says, “and for anything that’s been missed off, make it your mission to let people know about it.”

Corinne also reveals she has already started writing for her next album, following 2010’s well-received The Sea LP stating, “I wanna do something different. I think as an artist you just have to push yourself.”

The Barclaycard Mercury Prize 2011 Albums of the Year are:

Adele
21
Anna CalviAnna Calvi
ElbowBuild a Rocket Boys!
Everything EverythingMan Alive
GhostpoetPeanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam
Gwilym SimcockGood Days at Schloss Elmau
James BlakeJames Blake
Katy BOn a Mission
King Creosote & Jon HopkinsDiamond Mine
MetronomyThe English Riviera
PJ HarveyLet England Shake
Tinie TempahDisc-Overy

The Barclaycard Mercury Prize celebrates a year in UK music. The shortlist, chosen from an entry of over 240 albums, was announced by Lauren Laverne on July 19.

The overall winner of the 2011 Prize will be announced at the Barclaycard Mercury Prize Awards Show, to be broadcast live on BBC Two and 6 Music on Tuesday 6 September 2011, with Lauren Laverne presenting the TV programme and the Awards Show event itself hosted by Jools Holland.