The Brits are coming! The Brits are coming! The Brits are here! Well, at least the nominees are. Last night, the Brit Awards, the U.K.'s answer to the Grammys released their list of nominees for the 2018 awards ceremony. Naturally, given that it is a celebration of British artists and the British music industry the list in primarily Brit-based artists, but there's tons of familiar names, and some that you might not have heard of, but have definitely heard played before.
There are also some surprises and snubs. Even though I'm not quite sure if the Brit Awards carry the same weight as the Grammys, there's a few artists who I have a feeling woke up with a bruised ego this morning. And of course, no awards ceremony would be complete without a bit of controversy, and we've got all that and more covered below.
THE SURPRISE LIST
There's plenty of head scratchers on the nominations list, but the first one (or two) to jump out at you are Beck
and DJ Khaled
receiving nominations for Best International Male Solo Artist. I honestly forgot that Beck released an album in 2017, and after revisiting Colors
a little bit I can see why. It's the same mass-produced jangly indie-rock sound that Beck has been pumping out for years, with only one track ("Up All Night") that could possibly pander to commercial acceptance. And then DJ Khaled, really? First of all, how does he even qualify as a solo artist? Grateful
had more features than tracks, and Khaled had probably a combined ten minutes of vocal time in which he just repeated his number one Snapchat expressions instead of actually giving a performance.
The other big surprise is comes in the form of Loyle Carner's nomination for Best British Male Solo Artist, most likely because you haven't heard his name before today. But he really broke onto the scene, at least in the U.K. with his release of Yesterday's Gone
, a pretty solid debut release of jazz-lounge fusion hip-hop, R&B melodies and the occasional spoken-word/sing-speak performance. In a land that has been pretty thoroughly dedicated to the grime sound in rap, Carner's breakout performance while going against the grain is pretty noteworthy.
THE SNUB LIST
Maybe I'm looking into it too much, but I can't help but feel that there's going to be some animosity from Noel Gallagher
, who was left out of the Best British Male Solo Artist category while his brother Liam got in. Even though there's not much love between the cantankerous duo, Liam still regretted missing the opportunity to hurl more abuse at Noel.
The other major stand out snub to me is Cardi B
being left off the Best International Female Solo Artist list. I'll admit, there was some stiff competition on the list, which featured Alicia Keys, Bjork, Lorde, Pink and Taylor Swift, but really, can any of them hold a flame to what Bardi accomplished this year? No offense to them, but I can't tell you anyone I know who's actually listened to Pink's new album, and I'm not sure how Alicia Keys even made the list, unless Here
was released late enough in 2016 that it was allowed to carry over into 2017. Meanwhile, Cardi spent 2017 smashing records left and right, and becoming easily one of the most played artists of the year. Major snub for me.
Like any event in the music industry or the world at large for that matter, the Brit Awards suffer from a representation issue, at least according to The Crybaby hitmaker Paloma Faith. Faith, who is nominated in the Best British Female Solo Artist category, criticized the Awards for the lack of female representation during the scheduled performances. Right now, Dua Lipa
is the only female artist scheduled to perform, alongside Ed Sheeran, Stormzy and Sam Smith, though it should be noted that this may not be the full lineup. It appears Faith has since deleted the tweets, but it is worth noting that in the mixed categories, there is a notable absence of women, as only one group (HAIM) in the International Group category features women, and only one woman is up for the British Album of the Year award (Dua Lipa with her self-titled.) It seems like no matter how many times we bring it up, women still will fall short of getting the recognition they deserve in the music industry.
Check out of the full list of nominations for the Brit Awards here