February is a month of many events. Valentines day, Pancake Day and most importantly, my birthday. It is also the month that the annual Brit Awards falls on. For those of you that don’t know, the Brit awards is an award ceremony that has been running since 1977 and is in light of celebrating Britain’s pop music.
The award show over the years had predominantly focused on only pop music, mainly focused on white acts rather than non-white acts in the UK. The awards ceremony nominations caused much controversy last year, with the hashtag #BritsSoWhite created by this years nominee Stormzy on Twitter. Discussed by many grime artists, the backlash of the awards ceremony was a protest against the lack of representation of black artists in the UK which deserved more recognition, as the UK is a multicultural island and should therefore focus on ethnic artists.
Grime artist Big Narstie had an interview with Channel 4 discussing what he thinks of the lack of diversity at the Brit Awards last year. Last year, only two non-white British acts were nominated for an award, and that doesn’t include international acts. The lack of diversity in last years Brits have caused many petitions to be signed, as organisers of the Brit Awards taken the backlash comments into account and decided to change the nominations of the Brit Awards this year.
This year, majority of the nominees are black. This gives a wider range of diversity, making the organisers learn a lesson. The most important nominees out of these are definitely the inclusion of grime artists. Artists such as Kano, Skepta and Stormzy have been nominated for more than one awards this year. Kano and Skepta, the MCs that have been considered highly rewarded in the grime scene, have been nominated for Mastercard British Album of the Year, British Male Solo Artist (including Garage act Craig David, who emerged back into the spotlight last year after years of chilling) and British Breakthrough Act.
Grimes popularity soaring over the years allows British artists who have worked in the industry for years to allow grime to move out of London and into the mainstream, even reaching countries like America and Australia. The significance of grime shifting from a niche genre into the mainstream allows more recognition for the artists. Grime artists literally started Started From The Bottom (a little Drake reference, since Drake has been spending all his time recently with our London guys) to get to the top and it’s been a journey which brings joy for those who grown up on grime and also just enjoy the genre.
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