- Brit Awards
Publish diversity figures
On Thursday January 14th 2016 the nominees for the 36th annual BRIT Awards were announced.
Counting categories where only British artists are eligible, out of 53 spots available only 5 were filled by acts featuring black artists. And I counted Little Mix twice! Meanwhile, the likes of Adele, James Bay and Years & Years secured 4 nominations each.
I’m involved with the UK DIY indie scene where I've had the pleasure of working with unsigned artists as both a blogger and gig promoter in my spare time. From my own experience I know that the BRITs - arguably our nation’s biggest music awards bash - isn't a representative take on British music. Instead, it's a soulless industry pageant where the likes of Olly Murs give out the gongs. For BME artists, the BRITs make it painfully obvious that the glass ceiling doesn't just exist - it's tripled glazed and Simon Cowell's swallowed the key to the lock for good measure.
Seriously, did I dream up the past year in music?.. Did JME and Skepta not set up one of the most refreshing years for UK Grime in bare time? Did Stormzy not get rightfully "gassed" when he scooped 'Best Male' and 'Best International Act' at the MOBOs and BET Awards respectively? Did M.I.A. not make the year's boldest artistic statement and comeback of 2015 in one fell swoop giving her two pence on the migrant crisis via her thought-provoking video for 'Borders'? C'mon, BRIT organisers, as this clip illustrates - even OAPs know who Stormzy is!
This needs to change. Last month, after the fury of the Oscars similar lack of diversity, the Academy announced it would be taking steps to diversify the voting body. We need to harness this positive momentum and push the BRITS to be truly representative of British music.
As a first step I’m calling on the BRITS to publish their voting academy’s diversity figures. Please sign my petition and join me.