This week’s big news from the world of pop is the Brit award nominations. I use the phrase ‘big news’ pretty loosely – it seems that with the exception of the nominated artists, most people’s attitude to the Brits is “meh.” Sometimes even the nominees themselves share this feeling – Arctic Monkeys famously snubbed the awards ceremony in 2007, and then used their acceptance speech in 2008 to slag off the Brit school, before they were unceremoniously pulled off stage. In fact the misdemeanours of drunken rock stars have become something of an annual highlight of the Brit awards, ever since Jarvis Cocker stole the limelight from Michael Jackson back in 1996.
But that said, this year’s list of nominees includes some interesting artists who’ve enjoyed a particularly successful 2011. Obviously superstars like Coldplay and Adele are going to scoop multiple awards, but it’s nice to see relatively new names like Ed Sheeran and Emeli Sandé, who were virtually unheard of a year ago. If I had my way, here’s who the big winners would be:
British Male Solo Artist
Ed Sheeran – The ginger kid from Suffolk who penned hit singles The A Team and You Need Me, I Don’t Need You has had a brilliant year. His debut album + isn’t perfect (the cringey “U.N.I.” is a bit of a blemish) but I really like how he spans different genres – one minute he’s crooning folksy acoustic melodies (The A Team, Give Me Love, Small Bump), the next he’s unleashing a relentless rap diatribe (aka the incredibly catchy You Need Me…). The album recently went triple platinum and shifted over 900,000 copies. Not bad for a guy who started out selling CDs from his rucksack…
British Female Solo Artist
Adele – Like I said, she’s the obvious choice, but I can’t really fault her. Even though I’ve heard Someone Like You so many times it makes me want to pull my hair out. (I actually loved her performance of this at last year’s Brit awards, but since then I’ve been hearing the studio version EVERYWHERE.) Kudos to her for cracking America though – she’s a sure-fire win.
British Breakthrough Act
Jessie J – Initially I didn’t really get all the hype about Jessie J. The fact that she wrote Miley Cyrus’ single Party in the USA didn’t help. But she’s definitely grown on me since then, and singles like Price Tag, Nobody’s Perfect and Domino have become some of my favourites. She’s also the real deal when it comes to live performances, as proven by her little stint busking at Times Square:
Arctic Monkeys – We all know Coldplay are going to win this one, but I would secretly love to see Arctic Monkeys do a repeat performance of their 2008 shenanigans. Oh yeah, and their album Suck It and See is pretty good.
Example Changed the Way You Kiss Me – This isn’t actually my favourite single from Example, but it’s the only category he’s nominated in and I really want to see him win an award. Partly because I like his music, partly because he seems like a funny guy, but mainly because of the Nando’s skank:
Mastercard British Album of the Year
Ed Sheeran + again, for the reasons above. As I said it’s not a perfect album, but I think it shows a lot of promise.
International Male Solo Artist
Bon Iver! I was surprised to see this nomination (especially because I thought Bon Iver was a band, but I guess it’s mainly Justin Vernon?) but it would be amazing if he/they won. Although with competition from more typical alpha males like Bruno Mars and David Guetta, I’m not sure how likely this is…
International Female Solo Artist
Rihanna – I used to find Rihanna irritating, but after hits like What’s My Name, Love the Way You Lie and the indomitable We Found Love, I think I should just shut up.
Foo Fighters – just for their pure awesomeness, and also for continuing to produce hits like Walk and Arlandria.
International Breakthrough Act
Foster the People – really happy these guys have been nominated. Their album Torches is full of summery goodness with infectiously catchy tunes, and hopefully we’ll hear much more from them over the next year.
I have no idea if any of these predictions/wishes will come true, but I guess we’ll find out in February!