Feature: Brit Award Nominees 2016 | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Feature: Brit Award Nominees 2016

Hannah Davies dissects the nominees of this year's Brit Awards show.

When I was a little girl, the BRIT Awards were exciting. It was the one night of the year that I stayed up late to watch through to very end. As a youngster, it was the show that boasted the absolute best of Britain, showing the rest of the world ‘anything you can do, us Brits can do better.’ It was a night that made you proud, showed off and recognised incredible talent and never went without the odd bit of controversy. However, for some years now, the BRIT Awards have failed to excite me in the way that they used to. Whether that be due to poor line-ups or mediocre nominees, the award show in more recent years has never quite lived up to the hype.

For some time, I’ve had several issues with BRIT award nominees and unfortunately the list of names 2016 brings is no different. The nominees raise several questions and problems. The first question? ‘HUH?’ There are just some nominations I can’t understand. Jessie J for Best Video? I don’t mind Jessie J, but even as a fan of her music, the past twelve months haven’t exactly been standout. Ed Sheeran and Rudimental for Best Single with their remix of ‘Bloodstream’ also raises a few eyebrows. Early last year I reviewed the track and it was good, a solid remix, but it was hardly breaking boundaries or particularly taking over the airwaves. But I guess they needed to nominate Ed Sheeran, which leads me to my next problem - it’s all too predictable. Of course Adele will be nominated, along with Ed Sheeran, One Direction, Coldplay etc. etc. etc., and they are all likely to win too - perhaps in some cases deservedly, but it’s all getting a bit boring. When there is so much fresh music and new talent in the British music scene, to fall back on the same artists every year seems lazy.

'...I’ve had several issues with BRIT award nominees and unfortunately the list of names 2016 brings is no different.'
This leads into a much greater point and my biggest issue with this year’s nominees. It ignores so many people I would consider the forefront of our music scene over the last year, many of these artists being black. Much like the Oscars, this year’s BRIT awards are overwhelmingly white. Only four artists nominated this year are black - three of those four aren’t even British and are nominated for international awards - (that’s another point, isn’t this the BRITS???). Many people may say that the forefront of British music ‘just happened to be white’ and there shouldn’t be so much focus on race but I would have to disagree. I was incredibly disappointed with Ella Eyre’s snub, and despite the fact that she only dropped her album this year, their decision to ignore Fleur East’s ‘Sax’, as a contender for Best Single seems bizarre. That’s not to mention the complete lack of recognition for the grime music scene. 2015 saw grime take over, not just in the UK, but globally - Krept and Konan, Lady Leshurr, Skepta, Chip, JME and Stormzy all had huge breakthrough years and yet, all snubbed. It’s difficult to understand why.

I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised or disappointed about the nominations for an award show that claims to represent the best of British music but increasingly becomes more about big names and international stars. The point of the awards seems to have been forgotten over the years, with the committee’s refusal to shift out of the comfort zone and credit fresh talent. Whilst I don’t wish to discredit any artist on their achievement for being shortlisted for a once very credible award, I refuse to believe that this list is the absolute best that Britain has to offer.


22nd January 2016 at 4:54 pm

Last Updated

22nd January 2016 at 7:08 pm

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