Rumer Wins Mojo Breakthrough Award

After chasing a record deal for more than a decade, Sarah Joyce – otherwise known as the singer-songwriter Rumer – has taken home the prize for best newcomer at the annual Mojo awards. Also nominated for best album of the year for her debut, Seasons of My Soul, Rumer lost out on that honour to Arctic Monkeys, for their fourth album, Suck It and See.

The Sheffield band were "incredibly special", said the Mojo editor, Phil Alexander;

"I think its because they fit in a long line of truly great British artists. You can draw a line between the lyricism of Ray Davies and Alex Turner, stopping at John Cooper Clarke along the way."

But it had been a transformational year for Rumer, he said. After years of working as a waitress, a cleaner, a receptionist and a stint in the little-known indie band La Honda, the Pakistan-born artist's album has gone platinum in the past year and reach no 3 in the charts.

"It has been a remarkable 12 months for Rumer," said Alexander. "It's all about the songs with her. That's what's made Seasons of My Soul one of the biggest-selling British albums in recent memory."

Rumer had been nominated in three categories, underlining "the impact she has among real music fans", he added.

Another artist receiving some long-awaited recognition at the music magazine's awards – held at The Brewery, in east London – was John Grant, who was named best live act. The singer has put a decade of serious substance abuse behind him to score a word-of-mouth success with his album King of Denmark, featuring songs about Sigourney Weaver and wanting "to go to Marz". Grant – described by Alexander as "one of the finest artists to emerge in recent times" – was also nominated for song of the year, but lost out to Grinderman's Heathen Child.

There was no shortage of back-slapping for more seasoned artists at the awards, sponsored by Glenfiddich. The former Beatle Ringo Starr took home the Icon award, Martha and the Vandellas were awarded the Merit prize, and Brian Wilson – architect of one of the defining sounds of 60s as the creative force behind the Beach Boys – entered the Mojo hall of fame, joining previous winners such as Elton John and The Specials.

"Brian sold us visions of America that were infused with romanticism, hope and in places, sheer fragility," said Alexander. "You listen to his music and you are transported by what it does. He has a sense of composition that is utterly unique to the point where it almost defies categorisation. Genius is the only word for it."

Primal Scream's Screamadelica won the classic album award, Gary Numan was presented with the inspiration award for the range of his influence on modern music, and John Lydon – aka Johnny Rotten – received an award for his band Public Image Ltd's outstanding contribution to music.

The hero award was given to the soul singer Eddie Floyd, whose 1966 song Knock on Wood has been covered by the likes of David Bowie and Eric Clapton.

Source: The Guardian Online