Highlights From This Years BRITs: Little Simz Claiming Her Throne, PinkPanthress Afterparties and More

From Little Simz and Dave being given their place at the helm of Britain’s blossoming music scene, BRIT associated NFTs and virtual afterparties starring teenage fantasy PinkPanthress via Roblox, the vision for this year’s show gave a renewed sense of youth-led innovation. But have the Brits done the work needed to become a true champion of British music today?

In this hotfooted age of technology our attention spans can be so fleeting a fish can hold a thought longer and as a result the awards show befittingly decided to incorporate novel ways to engage, such as TikTok as a means to vote.

On top of an unbelievable performance, the saintly Little Simz got her well-deserved flowers… For Best New Act, which has left some fans confused seeing as she released her first mixtape over a decade ago. But hey, it’s still a win. And the multi-faceted artist proved, once again, to be exceptionally mature when she came to Twitter to call out all the comments on her award’s category. Quite honestly her status is goated and you can’t tell us otherwise.

2021’s Sometimes I Might Be Introvert was a moment. The album a masterpiece, orchestrated and conducted to perfection–whatever perfection might be–Simz found it. She really made music that felt simultaneously cinematic in sound, therapeutic in narrative and groundbreaking in artistry. I could honestly go on about this album forever (but I’ll have to save that for another article).

And of course, seeing Simbi’s mum collect the award really tugged on the heartstrings. Not only was her award a welcome highlight of the evening, but the performance of “Women” and “Introvert” also transcended generational differences in the audience and became a particularly memorable part of the evening, with streams on each track going up by 594% and 365%.

Little Simz takes her mum to the stage to collect the award for Best New Act.

The producer for SIMBI, Inflo, who also worked on Adele’s 30 and runs the collective Sault, was clearly in his bag this year–justly walking away with the award for best producer. Alt-rock group Wolf Alice won Best British Group with tight competition from D-Block Europe. As for the other two nominees London Grammar and Little Mix…well, it feels a little 2009, and although it disappointed fans across the country it must be noted that Little Mix is currently ‘on hiatus’ as a group.

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But I find it slightly difficult to celebrate an awards show that just a couple of years ago narrowly achieved any kind of accuracy in it’s portrayal of British talent. And yet today, the BRITs are being lauded by some for ‘having an inclusive list of nominees’ and genderless categories. Which is wonderful, but certainly not enough. 

Sure, it’s a more accurate representation of British artists and audiences. And it’s a better reflection of the people working arduously behind the scenes in the industry, but this should be the standard. It’s not an accomplishment for the BRITs, it is however an accomplishment for the people who have been striving for change over all of these years. The same people who got us to the point where we can see our children’s faces light up with joy when they see someone on their TV screens that they can relate to.

It might be more accurate to say that the BRITs have become slightly less tone-deaf in their selection. There was a palpably formal atmosphere, more so than in previous years, as The Guardian reported, “There was a lot of talk from host Mo Gilligan about hedonistic behaviour, but not many actual signs of it. Nor did anyone attempt to say anything controversy-stirring or political.”. All I can say is, with people like Little Simz at the helm, I can actually look forward to seeing how British culture will grow in the next few years.

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