Brits Ignore Urban Music Scene in Whitewashed Award Ceremony

Other | Thursday 25th February 2016 | Ashleigh-Rose

Last night saw London’s O2 Arena play host to the annual Brit Awards. Billed as a celebration of the best in British music, this year the awards have been marred in controversy due to the lack of BAME (Black and mixed ethnicity) nominees and winners.


The whitewash has not gone unnoticed; petitions have surfaced calling the Brits to publish their voting academy’s diversity figures and many high profile names in the music industry have been quick to call out the injustice. But this movement has not affected the outcome, with all 13 gongs handed out to white artists.


As a supposed celebration of the British music scene the biggest shock was the lack of acknowledgement of the urban genre across the nominations. After a phenomenal year for Grime and the resurgence of Garage across the nations club scene, there was an incredible absence of either genre at last night’s awards. In fact, the majority of BAME nominations came under the International artist category, calling into question the music industry’s appreciation of Black British talent.


The Brits have issued a statement regarding the lack of diversity among the nominations stating that the winners are judged on ‘commercial popularity and chart success’.  But this again brings about its own problems, if we are judging the best of British music from the Top 40 where is the recognition that the way we consume music has changed?


All in all this year’s awards have misjudged British music in 2016. No longer can we ignore the black urban artists who are bringing new music to the scene.