Brit Awards

The BRIT Awards May Not Be Able to Keep Up with the Pace of Streaming

Acts like multiple nominee Dua Lipa already seem so established thanks to the speed with which we now move on from albums.

by Lauren O'Neill
15 January 2018, 11:44am

Image via PR

It's that time again; the moment you've all been waiting for. The full list of nominations for the BRIT Awards 2018 was released this past Saturday (13 January), and now, as predictably as the sun rising and setting, as the tide moving in and out, as your boyfriend liking The National, I'm here to give you a take on them:

They are a bit weird aren't they?

What I mean by that, specifically, is that some nominees don't seem to fit that well into all of the categories they find themselves in. Dua Lipa, for example, is nominated in every category for which she is eligible (British Artist Video of the Year, which she should absolutely win, British Breakthrough Act, Mastercard British Album of the Year, British Single, British Female Solo Act). This is an impressive feat. If nothing else her nomination as a "breakthrough act" shows how fast the business moves now: someone who puts out a debut album in June can already, seven months later, feel as though they've been around for ages. "New Rules" felt so ubiquitous last year, so emblematic of a particular type of relationship that it seemed to push her quickly to pop star (and singles chart number 1) status, rushing past "breaking through."

Isn't it strange, then, to describe Dua as a 'Breakthrough Act' in the same breath as artists like Dave (who is still unsigned and has found huge underground success while never breaking the UK album or single top 10), or J Hus? Similarly, Sampha – the winner of the 2017 Mercury Prize for his debut album Process – finds himself named in the Breakthrough Act category, but is nowhere to be seen in the British Album or British Male Solo Artist categories. It's a little confusing. On the BRITs' site, the eligibility period for each annual ceremony isn't clearly stated, so we've asked them for clarification and will update this post when that comes through.

Elsewhere, Childish Gambino is nominated for International Male despite last putting out new work right at the end of 2016 (I love Childish Gambino but... come on), with Alicia Keys representing a similar situation in International Female. It's entirely possible that the BRITs submission deadlines include the latter part of the previous year, but it does feel a bit late to be rewarding people for work they've likely begun to move on from. And if I was being especially pernickety, I might also gesture towards the fact that American featured artists like Katy Perry, Big Sean, Pharrell, and Taylor Swift have snuck their way into British Artist Video of the Year and British Single categories. I am just saying.

Despite the confusion, however, there are also some gems here: as I mentioned before, it's great to see J Hus and Dave getting some love (Hus' "Did You See" is also nominated for British Single), and grime gets its foot in the door again with the help of Stormzy, who has two nominations. The British Female category, which includes Laura Marling, Jessie Ware and Kate Tempest, is, as always, a home to some of the most innovative and interesting music being made in this country (though it does skip women making UK R&B and rap – like Stefflon Don, who, despite losing out the BRITs Critics' Choice award to Jorja Smith, won the Best Female MOBO – entirely). It's also nice to see Lorde get a look in for that Best International Female trophy.

As usual, it's not perfect, and there have been oversights, and I'd be lying if I said I hadn't raised an eyebrow once or twice, but if you asked for an overview of the mainstream UK recording industry, with a couple of surprises chucked in – which is basically the best we can hope for from the BRITs – this is basically it.

See the full nominations below:

British Artist Video of the Year
Anne-Marie - "Ciao Adios"
Calvin Harris ft. Pharrell Williams / Katy Perry / Big Sean - "Feels"
Clean Bandit ft. Zara Larsson - "Symphony"
Dua Lipa - "New Rules"
Ed Sheeran - "Shape Of You"
Harry Styles - "Sign of the Times"
Jonas Blue ft. William Singe - "Mama"
Liam Payne ft. Quavo - "Strip That Down"
Little Mix - "Touch"
ZAYN And Taylor Swift - "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" (Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack)

British Breakthrough Act
Dua Lipa
J Hus
Loyle Carner

British Male Solo Artist
Ed Sheeran
Liam Gallagher
Loyle Carner
Rag'n'Bone Man

International Group
Arcade Fire
Foo Fighters
The Killers
LCD Soundsystem

International Female Solo Artist
Alicia Keys
Taylor Swift

International Male Solo Artist
Childish Gambino
DJ Khaled
Kendrick Lamar

Mastercard British Album of the Year
Dua Lipa - Dua Lipa
Ed Sheeran - ÷
J Hus - Common Sense
Rag'n'Bone Man - Human
Stormzy - Gang Signs & Prayer

British Single
Calvin Harris ft. Pharrell Williams / Katy Perry / Big Sean - "Feels"
Clean Bandit ft. Zara Larsson - "Symphony"
Dua Lipa - "New Rules"
Ed Sheeran - "Shape of You"
J Hus - "Did You See"
Jaxe Jones ft. Raye - "You Don't Know Me"
Jonas Blue ft. William Singe - "Mama"
Liam Payne ft. Quavo - "Strip That Down"
Little Mix - "Touch"
Rag'n'Bone Man - "Human"

British Group
London Grammar
Royal Blood
Wolf Alice
The xx

British Female Solo Artist
Dua Lipa
Jessie Ware
Kate Tempest
Laura Marling
Paloma Faith

If you want to know what happens/have bets placed, the BRITs will be broadcast on ITV on Wednesday 21 February.

UPDATE: As promised, we've got those eligibility periods for you; they're as follows:

Male, Female, Group (British & International), Album, Breakthrough have a fourteen month eligibility period (Friday 16th September 2016 to Thursday 7th December 2017).

British Single, BRITs Global Success and British Artist Video of the Year: Calendar year (Sunday 1st January 2017 to 31st December 2017).

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