BRITS 2018: What We Learnt

It might not be as flashy as the VMAs or the Grammys, but the BRIT awards ceremony has become an annual staple of British telly. Those with a snooty attitude loudly dismiss it as a boring reflection of the mainstream; you can’t deny there is a lot to be learnt from the event. Yes, it’s deliciously extra and its filled with people who have zero affiliation with music involved (this year’s token Harry Kane) but we still, and for the foreseeable future, love it.

The End of Ed Sheeran’s Chart Reign

He did win the Global Success Award and there is no denying his status and talent, but he did lose out in all four of nominations of British Male Solo Artist, Best Video, Best Album and Best British Single. Sheeran is a victim of his own success. This is something which he must be aware of as it’s almost impossible to replicate, let alone exceed the popularity of Divide. This is by no means a bad thing and if anything, it leaves a gap for new artists to fill. Goodbye Ed, please come back with some more bangers soon.

Girl Power is Strong

Following the #TimesUp movement in the movie world, guests of the BRITs wore a white rose to campaign against sexism in the music industry. Dua Lipa was the leader of the pack, with six nominations, two of which she won, she dedicated her speech to female empowerment. She wasn’t alone with Lorde winning International Female Solo Artist and the likes of Litle Mix, Anne-Marie, P!nk, London Grammar and Paloma Faith being nominated. We can all agree it’s time for girls to get their fair share of recognition.

Kendrick Lamar doesn’t work well with TV

Kendrick’s concept of a plastic box containing some strange performance art of smashing up a car was a bizarre display. The cameras just didn’t know where to focus, leaving viewers very confused. The sound technicians and subtitle writers must’ve been having a field day with every expletive being bleeped out. However, I did enjoy the 30 fragmented seconds of his performance. If you want to experience Kendrick Lamar, you’re better off buying a ticket.

UK Music is Political as Ever

If you haven’t seen the clip of Stormzy, topless, standing under the rain and calling out Theresa May over Grenfell, where have you been? The Grime star has made an epic rise to the top and he is clearly using his new-found status to make waves in the political world. Not be overlooked is the nomination for Kate Tempest, with her single Europe is Lost fighting back against the crumbling sense of community.

An End to Boring Pop?

It was refreshing to see the genre expand out of pop with nominations for the likes of Childish Gambino and Drake and DJ Khaled.  This was at least a contrast to Little Mix and One Direction winning big last year – it’s a shift into a new genre of popular culture. The charts can’t be dominated by mindless club tunes forever. There was a surprise move towards a return of the veterans of the Foo Fighters, Liam Gallagher and Gorillaz, which added to a sense of unpredictability. We’ll have to wait and see what offering the BRITs 2019 will bring.

Although there was a distinct lack of mic drops, embarrassingly long acceptance speeches or any form of PR disaster, the show did prove to be as popular as ever. Until next year.

Photo Courtesy of Pomona.

#review #TheBRITs