Last year's Brit Awards Show was widely criticised as it failed to include any black or ethnic minority artists in the main prize categories which led to #BritsSoWhite going viral. Following the public uproar, organisers admitted they needed to make changes to the way the nominations were chosen and so unveiled a new Voting Academy, one that would ensure that the show better demonstrated the diversity of the UK's music scene. I couldn't believe it when I was invited to be a part of this new, more diverse and inclusive, Voting Academy.
The Brits are one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the year for me. Not only are the Brits a celebration of British music excellence, but they are also a part of British culture after first being broadcast live in 1982, one of the first large music award shows to do so. I always enjoy hearing new material from established artists however I'm most eager about the next generation of upcoming talent from a wide range of musical genres. Each year we get a glimpse of how the music industry is going to shape and evolve, which I find really exciting.
The Nominations for the Brits Awards this year are incredible and it's great to see fresh urban acts such Stormzy, up for the British Breakthrough Act, and Skepta, up for a whopping three nominations, also included in the British Breakthrough Act category. I must say that it has been a great year for Stormzy, who has recently been named in the' 30 Europe's most influential artists under 30' list compiled by Forbes magazine. The artist, born and raised in Croydon, is a great example and inspiration for the next generation to not give up on their dreams and invest in themselves. I've been a fan of Little Mix for quite some time and have enjoyed seeing their rise to fame so great to see them get recognized with three nominations this year. The group truly represent a cross section of our society and encourage young women to embrace their diversity.
One of my absolute favourite performances from the live Brit Awards Nomination Show was by the artist Rag'n'Bone Man. I think he has an outstanding voice and stage presence, demonstrating exactly what the Brits are all about - talent. I know 2017 is going to be huge for him and I am very excited to see what he has in store for us.
As I'd hoped, this year's nominations demonstrate both a mix of ethnicities and a wide range of music genres. I personally feel new The Voting Academy structure has achieved its mission of creating a more diverse and inclusive nomination list this year. I'm very proud to have been a part of this new process, but now it's up to the public to decide the winners! I wish every act the best of luck and can't wait to see and hear the performances on the big night.