The BRITs: a place where popularity should no longer be king
|January 31, 2012||Posted by Michael Smith under entertainment|
On January 12th the nominees for the BRIT Awards 2012 were revealed. I watched the nominations ceremony in a sort of stupefied coma, filled with a form of masochistic glee. I love the BRITs. Maybe it’s the glamour of the event, the spectacularly over-the-top live performances, or my secret affection for repetitive MasterCard adverts. Realistically though, I think I love the BRITs because it offers an opportunity for me to discuss and share one of my greatest passions: music.
The BRITs is the largest awards ceremony in the British music calendar. The annual ceremony will often attract an audience of almost 10% of the British population, and is seen by many as a celebration of a year in the world of music. For me it also constitutes the most depressing two hours of the year. Every year I have hopes that some of the bands and artists I have invested time in will achieve success at the awards. Every year I look on in disappointment as the next Lady Gaga, JLS or Take That win copious awards, leaving more talented, critically acclaimed acts empty handed.
I’m not saying that these successful, popular acts don’t deserve success. I would probably consider Bad Romance to be the perfect pop song, and Gary Barlow is a superlative songwriter. (I was going to include a positive comment about JLS here, but attempting to do so made me feel nauseous.) Many of the victors do deserve the prizes they receive, but I personally would rather they let someone else receive a share of the limelight. If Rihanna wins the award for international female solo artist this year, will it make a significant difference to her career? I somehow doubt it. There are many bands and artists who lack the mainstream success of many of the nominees, but whose music (in my opinion) deserves to be appreciated by a wider audience. Winning an award at the BRITs could provide them with just the break they need.
Last year I was heartened to see the likes of Laura Marling and Arcade Fire celebrate triumph and I am equally excited to note the nominations given this year to Marling, James Blake, Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver. These artists all produced some of my favourite albums of last year, and I will no doubt be singing their praises to anyone who will listen in the run up to the awards. A win at the BRITs would present them an opportunity to expand their audience, a privilege which the Justin Biebers of this world would scoff at, but could be (excuse the cliché) life changing for more indie and underground musicians. The BRITs could help broaden our nation’s musical horizons, but I’ve still got £20 on Jessie J winning.