All the awards have been handed out at the Brit Awards 2017 tonight and there’s one big red flag on the winners list. Where’s the grime at?
After last year’s #BritsSoWhite controversy, this year the organisation have done a far better job of representing all the diverse people who make British – and international – music so great. Grime had a big presence in the nominations list with Skepta getting three nods, Kano picking up two and Stormzy creeping in with one. Ahead of the ceremony, it seemed almost a dead cert that one of them would pick up one award.
And yet they got nothing. Of course, being nominated guarantees nothing and Skepta and Stormzy did perform (the latter with Ed Sheeran), but when you’re a part of the most prominent, influential and exciting music scene in the country, surely the awards should reflect that? Yes, Rag’n’Bone Man has had a phenomenal few months, but could you legitimately argue that he had more of an impact and a bigger breakthrough than Skepta or Stormzy?
David Bowie – who won both Best Male Solo Artist and MasterCard British Album Of The Year – is an icon who had an unimaginable effect on music and the world in his lifetime and will undoubtedly continue to do so. His final album ‘Blackstar’ was a true masterpiece. Yet it feels a little reductive to give him two awards – does he need them? Is Bowie, right now, having more of an impact on young British music than any of the artists associated with grime?
The fact is there have been few genres in recent years that have felt quite as inspiring and hopeful as grime does right now. It is the voice of the British youth in 2017, not Rag’n’Bone Man or David Bowie. The fact that grime has not been rewarded at all shows that, while the Brits might be making strides to be more reflective of UK music as a whole, they aren’t getting everything quite right just yet.
READ MORE: BRIT Awards 2017 full winners list