Diversity at the Brit awards
The nominees for the 2017 Brit awards we’re announced last weekend, and out of the 55 nominations over 20 are going to people of colour. Given the backlash last year, it is great to see the Brit awards recognising more of the diverse talent in the UK.
Although this is better than last year, there are still concerns. The categories with the most diversity are British Male and Female solo artist, for which ‘Hurts’ singer Emeli Sandé is nominated, and International Male and Female solo artist but it pretty much stops there. Tinie Tempah was the on only black nominee for British Single and British artist, out of 10 nominations per category. Whereas in international categories there is considerably more diversity.
This isn’t just about the artists who are nominated, it’s also about the genre’s that are nominated. It is very clear from these nominations that in order to be recognised in this country you have to produce a certain sound. The Grime scene has continued to grow especially last year but is barely recognised. Skepta, Grime artist and 2016 Mercury awards winner shared his managers sentiments when she said ‘They have to accept us. They have to accept our anarchist attitude. They have to accept that we don’t give a f**k. They have to accept our blood, sweat and tears. They have to accept our outsider authenticity. They have to accept our independence. They have to accept our no days off. They have to accept our unbreakable bond. They have to accept us as equals. They have to accept we are happy every single day. They have to accept there is a new blueprint in music.’
Though progress is exciting, what is even more exciting is that artists are being vocal about the injustices in the industry and trying to hold it to account. We really hope in the coming years we’ll be able to see an industry that celebrates all the different artists and genres that make British music great.
By Ike Denloye