Independent labels celebrate Mercury Prize domination as Sony and Warner miss out

The independent music sector was responsible for over 75% of the twelve shortlisted nominations for this year’s prestigious Mercury Music Prize.

The final 2015 shortlist was chosen from an entry of over 290 albums.

Universal Music Group released three of the entries (and could also lay claim to distributing one – Gaz Coombes’ Matador, issued on the star’s own label via Caroline International).

But for Sony and Warner, the list was a washout: neither major had a single album release chosen.

The awards show will be held in the Radio Theatre at Broadcasting House in London on Friday November 20 hosted by Lauren Laverne and Broadcast live on BBC Four and BBC Radio 6 Music.

Almost a quarter (23.4%) of all record sales in the UK in the last 12 months have come from artists on independent labels.

According to Alison Wenham, CEO of AIM, the Mercury nominations list is another significant milestone for the independents in 2015.

The Mercury Prize is known for shining a spotlight on emerging acts and niche genres alongside more established artists, with creativity and innovation given more credence than market share.

Alison Wenham Chairman and CEO of AIM said, “Once again we’re thrilled to see the Mercury Music Prize champion and endorse independent music in the UK with 75% of this years final shortlist nominees coming from the independent scene.

“This is confirmation that independent music is a key driver of musical creativity in this country and a reflection of the rich variety of talent that comes through each year.

“Independent labels and the artists they represent can often be neglected when it comes to mainstream music awards so the fact that in the past 10 years over 50% of Mercury Prize nominees have been independent is to be celebrated.”

The 12 shortlisted albums for the Mercury Prize 2015 (and their UK labels) are:

  • Aphex Twin – Syro (Warp)
  • Benjamin Clementine -At Least For Now (Virgin EMI)
  • C Duncan – Architect (Fatcat)
  • Eska (pictured) – Eska (Naim Edge)
  • Florence + The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (Island)
  • Gaz Coombes – Matador (Hot Fruit – via Caroline International)
  • Ghostpoet – Shedding Skin (Play It Again Sam)
  • Jamie xx – In Colour (Young Turks)
  • Róisín Murphy – Hairless Toys (Play It Again Sam)
  • Slaves – Are You Satisfied? (Virgin EMI)
  • SOAK – Before We Forgot How To Dream (Rough Trade)
  • Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool (Dirty Hit)

Music Business Worldwide

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