Lou Rhodes on her Mercury prize nomination

Lou Rhodes talks to Imogen Tilden.

Tuesday was the first I heard about my album Beloved One being nominated for the Mercury music prize. My manager Gordon and I sat in a cafe round the corner from the Commonwealth Club, where the shortlist was announced. We didn't dare go inside while they were announcing the nominees. Then Gordon got a text from someone on the panel saying congratulations and it was all systems go.

We went to the Commonwealth and were taken to a room full of paparazzi. I stood there, flashes going off in my face. One photographer said: "Stand by the wall and we'll shoot you." I thought that was an unfortunate turn of phrase. Then there was a row of TV crews, asking mostly the same question: how do you feel? I didn't make an album to please the public or get an award - I made this album for myself. So to be nominated is an extra treat.

I thought it would nice then to have a drink, but instead I had to jump on a train and collect my five-year-old from school. It's not very rock'n'roll is it? I felt a bit shellshocked as I waited at Waterloo. I got home and tried to explain what a big thing it is to my kids and bought them ice lollies. They kind of got it but all they wanted to do was go swimming. On our way home I bought some bubbly and smoked salmon and had a bit of a celebration with the community where I live.

By Wednesday it felt like business as usual, but there are a few things I've got to do next week as a result of the nomination. One thing I was planning to do is check out the other shortlisted albums. The most exciting thing about the nomination is the opportunity to get my record out there. It's released on my own label and we don't have a lot of money - so this is hopefully going to do a bit of marketing for us.

I'm already nervous about the televised ceremony. What I'm going to wear and childcare will be the biggest issues - my kids are due to start school that day. I'm hoping I'll get to do a bit of TV along the way, as practice. But really, I'm just glad to have made it this far.

· Lou Rhodes was talking to Imogen Tilden.

Lou Rhodes

The GuardianTramp

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