Rina Sawayama performs ‘XS’ at Abbey Road to celebrate BRITs Rising Star nomination

Sawayama was nominated along with Pa Salieu and Griff last week

Rina Sawayama has performed her single ‘XS’ at the iconic Abbey Road Studios.

The artist was nominated in the BRITs Rising Star category last week (March 11) alongside Pa Salieu and Griff and has now marked the occasion with a special recording session.

In the clip Sawayama performs ‘XS’, the ’90s R&B-inspired third single from her debut album ‘SAWAYAMA‘, which was released last April.


Reacting to the nomination last week, Sawayama said: “I literally fell to the floor when I found out that I’d been nominated for Rising Star. I really can’t put into words how much this means to me given that I wasn’t eligible for this award a few weeks ago and now that door has been opened for future generations of artists like myself. Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me, it means the world.”

The news followed successful campaigning by Sawayama and her fanbase to change eligibility rules the BRIT Awards and the Mercury Prize.

She wasn’t eligible to enter last year’s Mercury Prize for her debut ‘SAWAYAMA’. Under the old rules, solo artists must hold either British or Irish nationality and provide official documentation of their citizenship, such as a passport.

Although Sawayama has indefinite leave to remain in the UK, citizenship had been the issue blocking her nomination – and current rules set by Japan mean that she cannot claim dual citizenship.

The new rules mean that artists without British citizenship are eligible for the awards if they’ve resided in the country for five years or more.


“This is the UK I know, and the UK I grew up with – one of acceptance and diversity,” Sawayama told NME of the historic rule change last month. “It feels really special.

“I do applaud BPI for going above and beyond. I didn’t think they’d include the clause of five years [of UK residence], I thought they’d go for 10 years. And they’ve included people who were born here but might have been living somewhere else. It’s really fantastic.”