Jape wins award for second time


JAPE HAS become the first artist to win two Choice Music Prizes for best album.

The singer-songwriter, whose real name is Richie Egan, was the surprise winner of the best Irish album of 2011, which was announced in front of a full house at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin last night.

Jape won for Ocean of Frequency,the follow-up to his 2008 release Ritual,which also won the prize three years ago.

He won €10,000 last night and a specially-commissioned award, courtesy of the Recorded Artists Actors Performers.

Having won before, it was expected that the award would go elsewhere, but Jape confounded the received wisdom and the bookies odd (he was 16/1 beforehand) by winning. Nobody was more surprised than the man himself when the co-founder of the prize, David Reid, announced his name.

Jape admitted to being shocked by the decision and said he expected that Lisa Hannigan would win for her well-received album Passenger.

He told the cheering crowd: “I actually can’t believe that we won, twice. It’s very strange . . . this year I didn’t think we’d win because the line-up is so great. I actually thought that Lisa Hannigan was definitely going to win. To be honest all of the f***ing bands on the list are so good, I’m just actually in shock that we won.”

“Thank you so much for listening to us. Thanks for listening to all the bands and . . . holy shit. Can I just say thanks to my band: Neil, Glen and Simon and Ross, who played on the album and Matty B and to all the judges . . . Big love from us and take it easy.”

In an interview with The Irish Timeslast week, Jape said winning the Choice previously had allowed him to continue to make music, pay the rent and buy a pre-amp and microphone to help with the recordings.

He admitted that Ritual’s success made “some ears prick up around us for a while – even some pricks’ ears!”

For the first time all 10 nominated bands played last night and the event was streamed live on the internet and also on Today FM.

Belfast band Cashier No 9 were warm favourites, but once again the 11-member judging panel, chaired by Irish Timesmusic writer Tony Clayton-Lea, went for an act that was not one of the favourites.

Royseven won the prize for the inaugural Meteor Choice Irish Song of the Year for We Should Be Lovers. It was the most played song on Irish radio last year and has now got international recognition by being the soundtrack for a Volkswagen car commercial.