How singer Nadine Shah has become joint favourite to win the Mercury Prize

Nadine Shah could be set for a career-changing night after being installed as joint-favourite to win the prestigious Mercury Prize.

Wednesday, 19th September 2018, 4:06 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th September 2018, 4:17 pm
Will V be for victory? Nadine Shah is joint favourite to win the prestigious Mercury Prize.
Will V be for victory? Nadine Shah is joint favourite to win the prestigious Mercury Prize.

Her rise to the verge of winning such a prestigious accolade has been a slow-burning one.

The 32-year-old singer-songwriter was born in Whitburn, to an English mother from South Shields of part-Norwegian ancestry and a Pakistani father.

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She now divides her time between the village and Camberwell in London, so she can be close to the centre of the UK music industry.

The owner of a rich, soulful voice, she released two EPs, Aching Bones and Dreary Town, before her debut album, Love Your Dum and Mad, emerged to critical acclaim in 2013.

The album was made with trusted collaborator and producer Ben Hillier, who has worked with the likes of Depeche Mode, Blur, Does and Elbow.

Nadine Shah is already regarded as one of the UK's best up and coming artists.

A stint on the road with Depeche Mode followed, and she opened for Bat for Lashes and played live at Vivienne Westwood's London Fashion Week show.

Second album Fast Food (2015) built on the bruised honesty and charm of its predecessor, and showed Shah stepping out from behind the piano and growing in confidence.

In 2016, she and Hillier scored the Northern Stage production of Get Carter, which included original pieces and the re-imagining of music by iconic 1960s Newcastle band The Animals.

Her latest record, Holiday Destination, released in August 2017, is the one which earned her the Mercury Prize nomination, and could catapult her to stardom.

Nadine Shah's Mercury-nominated third album, Holiday Destination.

As well as pocketing a cheque for £25,000 - invaluable for independent artists - previous Mercury Prize winners have experienced a huge surge in record sales.

Bookmaker William Hill makes Shah 9/2 joint-favourite to win the prize, the same odds as jazz group Sons Of Kemet, and just ahead of rapper King Krule, a 5/1 shot.

She is also ahead of big names such as Florence & The Machine, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and previous winners Arctic Monkeys.

Nadine Shah has won a growing band of followers with her soulful vocals.

Other past winners of the award, which was launched in 1992 as an alternative to The Brits, include Primal Scream, Pulp, Franz Ferdinand, and PJ Harvey - the only artist to win it twice.

Shah could be in line for a unique treble: earlier this month, Holiday Destination won the Association of Independent Music’s independent album of the year award.

And she has also been nominated for best breakthrough act at the Q Awards, which take place in London next month.

The Mercury Prize, sponsored by Hyundai, celebrates and promotes the best of UK music, recognising artistic achievement across a range of contemporary music genres.

The judges said this year's shortlist "celebrates albums by musicians at all stages of their careers, but with a shared belief in the importance of music for navigating life’s challenges – whether personal or political, falling in or out of love, growing up or looking back, angry or ecstatic".

The full list of nominations is:

Nadine Shah could experience an upsurge in album sales if she does win the Mercury Prize.

Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & CasinoEverything Everything – A Fever DreamEverything is Recorded – Everything is RecordedFlorence + The Machine – High as HopeJorja Smith – Lost & FoundKing Krule – The OozLily Allen – No ShameNadine Shah – Holiday DestinationNoel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Who Built the Moon?Novelist – Novelist GuySons of Kemet – Your Queen is a ReptileWolf Alice – Visions of a Life

The 2018 Awards Show is on Thursday, September 20, at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith. It will feature live performances from many of the shortlisted artists, include Nadine Shah.

The evening culminates in the announcement of the overall winner of the Mercury Prize for Album of the Year.

There will be live TV and radio coverage on BBC Four and BBC Radio 6 Music.