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Benjamin Clementine Brings His Mercury Prize-Winning Music To OpenAir

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<p>(Photo: CPR / Daniel Mescher)</p>
<p>Benjamin Clementine</p>

Benjamin Clementine won the Mercury Prize -- an annual award for the best British or Irish album as decided by a panel of music industry professionals -- in 2015 for his debut, "At Least For Now." Previous winners include PJ Harvey, Arctic Monkeys and alt-J.

Clementine is a London-born self-taught musician who developed as a young street performer in Paris. His haunting music blends classical music, rock and spoken word. At the center are his bold tenor vocals and percussive piano arrangements.

More from the OpenAir Sessions podcast:

He recently stopped by the CPR Performance Studio before a show at Denver's Bluebird Theater. He played three songs from "At Least For Now" and spoke with Jeremy Petersen about his career since winning the Mercury Prize, his experience as a street performer and his love for early rock 'n' roll artists like Little Richard.

Stream the full session and watch Clementine perform "I Won't Complain" above. Read interview highlights and watch more videos below.

Clementine on his initially low expectations for "At Least For Now"

"I made this record in a small room somewhere in London with a producer who isn't really well known. I just did it for myself and the people around me. ... Eventually it turned out that a lot of people heard it in England.

"I always underestimate myself. It's in my nature. But I've stopped that, at least I'm trying to."

On his experience as a street performer

"It's part of me. It's helped me in so many ways but I wouldn't want to relive it. ... I do believe I learned to be more humble and more respectful towards people."

Songs performed:

  • "I Won't Complain"
  • "Condolence"
  • "Cornerstone"