Rated Awards > BRIT Awards

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Why do the award shows matter? Think about it. Award shows are only relevant for one day of the year and their decisions are based on the work of blogs, TV shows and airplay and then THEY decide who the most important artists of the year are?

Isn’t that kind of like a deadbeat dad turning up after 30 years to ‘reconnect’ with their son after they’ve sold 10 million records (See: every rappers dad ever). But it’s true they have very little to do with the success of the acts and merely put on an event that receives millions in sponsorship literally off the fact that the artists performing will bring the viewers. And the greatest trick is that artists are convinced they need them.

Deadbeat Dad: You wouldn’t be shit without me!
Every rapper ever:…I haven’t seen you since I was 3.

Now of course Stormzy’s Spotify advert was a boss move and combined with the Ed Sheeran performance if Stormzy’s debut album wasn’t guaranteed to hit no.1 before, it certainly is now. But this is a rare moment where the artist directly benefits from an award show. Outside of a sales bump the thinking is that they’re introduced to a larger audience. That’s certainly true of the 90’s; but today?

Well 2014 had the lowest viewing figures since 2006 with 4.6, but 2015 had a huge bump with 5.8. I mean that is a million more people, but it’s nothing compared to 99’s 9.8 and dwarfed by Planet Earth II’s 15 million. Really though with a massive 16 million viewers (That’s double the population of London) is The Great British Bakeoff really more compelling TV than the British music industry’s highest honour? Well…I mean…yes of course it is. Have you tried to make a soufflé? And we’re still #teamnadia but the point is that the idea that our artists need these award shows is greatly overstated.

What does industry recognition even mean anymore? The idea is supposed to be that these shows offer a platform to allow these artists reach a wider audience. But that’s not the case. Skepta had a no.2 gold selling album, co signs from Drake and Kanye West and 2 top 20 singles from himself and the blogs and platforms that supported him. If anyone wants to point out where the BRITS fit into the Skepta story I’ll wait. The BRITS aren’t giving Stormzy a no.1 album because of an advert. Again the platforms that supported Stormzy and continued to do so resulting in Shut Up and ‘Not The Deep’ charting and receiving a MOBO are. It’s old thinking and just continues the idea that these old institution recognising a genre now makes it legitimate. Not sold out tours, chart dominance, global recognition, nope a BRIT award.

At the end of the day I don’t need the BRIT’s to tell me what good grime is.

A point raised by Stormzy in his NFTR interview  was that he didn’t want a grime category at the BRITS.

Which makes perfect sense. A grime category allows the show to remain credible by awarding grime acts but not giving them the big awards. See also: Grammy’s ‘Best Urban’ award. Because in truth, 2016? 2016 wasn’t about Little Mix, One Direction or even Zane. It was about Skepta and Stormzy. They dominated culture unlike their mainstream contemporaries. But naturally weren’t awarded.

You know who has been there from the start? GRM. And they have their own award show. And yes it’s on YouTube for now. But TV isn’t really the big draw it once was. And in the next five years Rated Awards will become a solid cornerstone of the culture. And in those five years our artists will only continue to dominate mainstream culture, so the hope is they avoid more shows like the BRITS with their dwindling ratings and support Rated. And yes of course Ed Sheeran gets a seat at the table.