Do The Brits neglect the music industry’s grass roots? We discuss…
The Brit awards! Renowned and respected, they give away yearly awards to the best and most deserving acts, albums and singles! We know this for a fact. The Brits are objectively the best judge of music in todays musical society.
Only, from my point of view, it is anything but. The Brit awards serves only rich and successful industry giants to give other rich and successful industry giants a huge pat on the back. It is one big circle jerk. Much like the NME, the Brit awards have no interest in cutting edge music, no interest in what is genuinely creative nor brilliant. They look at the 10 most streamed artists on Spotify and Apple music and compile a bland and uninspired list of nominees. Who sold a lot of albums? WINNER! Who is popular with teens despite the quality of music? WINNER!
You might put your clever-clogs on and prepare to type “but the Brit awards are there to reward pop music! That’s the point! To reward the most popular acts!”. And yes, you are correct. But there in lies my problem. To reward already heavily successful people with more success, rather than directing all of the resources and money the Brits has unto more deserving artists, artists who are masters at their craft, is abhorrent. The Brits is pointless pop bollocks, and it is mindless entertainment for mindless music.
The Brit awards exists as a method in which to advertise and to draw in television viewers, for artists at the top of the game to say, “Look here, I won album of the year, here is a super deluxe special AOTY edition which costs £20 in commemoration”. And thousands will buy it. If I were wearing a tin-foil hat I’d say things like the Brits were there for the masses to consume, another thing to get excited for, another thing to distract them from their dreary lives, of working 9-5 six days a week just to barely scrape by paying bills and buying food.
Furthermore, what are the awards really worth? If Ed Sheeran wins “British Male Solo Artist”, who respects this? Does it matter? Does anyone gain anything? The only event which takes place is, a multi-millionaire gets a little ego-boost and a silver trophy to put on a shelf. Imagine if rather, a cutting-edge band like Punk legends IDLES won album of the year, launching their music to a wider audience, giving them financial boosts so they can continue to write and perform excellent and meaningful music. Instead, a man with less personality than a sewage pipe and who is more popular than Jesus will continue on his journey of vacuous sonic drivel whilst dominating headlines. It’s tiring. It’s uninspiring. It makes me glad that I only have to write about it, rather than actually watch it or take it seriously.
We all know he is not the “artist” of the year, I bet every person reading this has their own personal artist they wish would win. So, The Brit awards are not ‘awards’ per se, they are a popularity contest. Imagine that “popular” group of kids at school, it would be like them crowding together and giving each other awards for “prettiest daisy chain”, “best at football”, and the award went to the most dominant personality of the group. The only nominees for this category that, in my eyes, are worthy of any rewards are Stormzy and Loyle Carner. Stormzy might win, and I hope he does, because Liam Gallagher released a shit Oasis-worship album (some local Manchester bands have done a better job of ripping Oasis off!), and Rag’N’Bone man is a male Adele, his music is ten miles wide but about an inch thick. He excuses shitty behavior with “I’m only human”, so is everyone, its not a qualification to be absolved of blame. Also, he won Breakthrough act last year, has done next to nothing of note since, yet is nominated for best artist award? What?
International group? Well let’s give the award to Arcade Fire, who just released their worst album to date, with horrid aged clichés about technology and the youth despite them being a decade out of that zone. Or let’s give it to Foo Fighters? One of the biggest bands on the planet? They definitely deserve an award just because they’re massive despite lacklustre releases since Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. Haim, The Killers, LCD Soundsystem, all massive bands who have released mediocre albums recently. The category says “International” but should really say “Americans we want to impress”.
These names do nothing but draw in viewing figures. Why are King Gizzard not nominated? They are a ground-breaking band who just realised 5 genre-pushing albums and have sold out a UK and US tour for 2018. What about Tinariwen? A world band from Mali, who have more creative talent in a single song that any of the nominees. Again, I repeat, these awards do not mean anything. They mean you are popular. You can release a relatively bad album, but if you’re big enough, you can win the International group award at the Brits. Again, you, dear reader, could probably list five of your current favourite bands who you think should win this award. But they won’t. Because the industry bosses have decided that only the artists who are already in the top 1% will reap any benefits from the rewards they can offer. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle of stinking shit. I would even consider myself a fan of all of these nominated acts, but I’m not deluded enough to think they deserve awards.
Each category follows this pattern. International female, International Male, British Album of the Year, British Single, British Group, British Solo Artist, all of these categories consist of artists that my Mum will have heard of, that you have heard of. The Brits do not reward talent. They reward popularity. When the papers list the winners, it is a requirement that people reading will have to know who they are, otherwise people won’t be interested. When they advertise the awards show, the nominees have to be people audience will have definitely have heard, otherwise they won’t tune in. Popularity, not talent, over and over and over. An award show with integrity would give rewards regardless of numbers. If anyone tries to argue that popularity is an adequate gauge for talent, then I will meet them for a shiv battle by the Ladybower.
If I have to conclude, I will say that writing this was a horrible experience. It is snide, vindictive, bitter, and angry. It comes form a place of deep negativity because I think the Brit awards are a scar on the music industry, yet another way to corporatize and capitalize on the willingness of the masses to accept average content. People are complacent with mediocrity and always will be. I think the Brit awards are pointless, so logically speaking I think that this article is pointless.
If I hate the Brits so much, then why did I write about them? Who knows. Also, I encourage debate. If you disagree, or want to challenge my opinion, I implore you to do so. You might even change my mind.