Talvin Singh ('Ok' - Winner 1999)
People got to know my music that had never heard it before, so that is a positive point, and the Mercury Prize can stretch your career in that way, but I've never really taken much advantage of that because I've been on a bit of sabbatical from recording for the past few years. When I won you couldn't get my records for four months because the record company had never thought of me winning so they didn't stock up. So, for record sales, that didn't really help.
Tip to win: Burial
Jim Noir mixes science fiction with the humdrum on his latest album
Jim Noir's dazzling 2006 album Tower of Love was basically just an aggregation of earlier EPs, so this is the Mancunian genius's debut proper. And what a debut, stuffed with whimsical beauty and gorgeous layered harmonies that Brian Wilson would kill for, each instrument and vocal painstakingly overdubbed by Noir.
MGMT are, along with Vampire Weekend, the most droppable name out of New York City right now, and have been heralded with the loudest buzz of advance hyperbole of any NYC band since the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, if not the Strokes.