BRITs 2018

The 38th BRITs awards will be broadcast live on Wednesday 21st February and will be hosted by British comedian, Jack Whitehall.  This is always one of the most hotly anticipated nights of the rock ‘n’ roll calendar, bringing together the biggest names in music and featuring live performances and unique musical collaborations from some of the world’s biggest stars. It is an event that celebrates and rewards the best of British music and such is the impact of the show and the continuing influence of British music, that the whole thing is watched by a huge international audience. The BRITs themselves are held in such high regard that being nominated for an award, let alone winning, is seen as a massive honour that truly reflects how nominees and winners are viewed by their peers and the wider music industry.

Here at the British Music Experience we are lucky enough to have a long-term partnership with the BRITs and a dedicated BRITs exhibition space. This allows us to showcase some of the British music greats of recent years who have all been BRIT winners.  We have on display an amazing range of guitars and handwritten lyrics from the likes of Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Robbie Williams, Status Quo, Queen, Adele and Oasis. Not only that, but as you are probably aware, the BRITs award is designed by a different artist every year so every year’s awards are unique and distinctive. Huge versions of these award statues stand guard at the award ceremony each year and the good people at the BRITs have been kind enough to lend us a number of these larger than life size statues from recent years. Come along and have a look – they are really impressive and beautifully designed pieces.

Our BRITs area is right next to our Gibson Brands Interactive Studio so if you find yourself inspired by the show you can always come along and try to emulate your BRITs favourite artist on one of our classic Gibson guitars.

Last year’s BRITs saw Rag’n’Bone Man win best breakthrough act, the 1975 were the best group, One Direction won best music video, Little Mix got best single, David Bowie and Emeli Sande won best male and female respectively and the late, great Bowie’s Blackstar was also deemed the best British album. Adele also achieved the Global Success Award to add to her collection; having won four awards in the previous year.

Some of the BRITs highlights every year come from the amazing live performances. This year looks better than ever with a line-up that includes the likes of Foo Fighters, Stormzy, Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Jorja Smith (winner of the Critics’ Choice Award) and the return of Justin Timberlake.

The BRITs 2018, sees an eclectic mix of bands and artists up for awards. British groups nominated include Gorillaz, London Grammar, Royal Blood, Wolf Alice and The xx. After a very quiet few years London Grammar resurfaced in 2017 with their second studio album Truth Is a Beautiful Thing. Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett’s animated brainchild Gorillaz have also been busy with Humanz, their fifth studio album. As always there are plenty of new and exciting collaborators on their album including Grace Jones, Rag’n’Bone Man and Noel Gallagher. Heavy rock/blues duo Royal Blood are gaining an even bigger following with the release of their second album, How Did We Get So Far?  They won this award in 2015 so everyone will be watching to see if they can do it again this year.  

The nominations for best British male include Ed Sheeran, Liam Gallagher, Loyle Carner, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man and Stormzy. BRITs favourite Sheeran will be hoping for his third best British male award, having already won in 2012 and 2015. Despite taking home several awards with Oasis, Liam Gallagher could win his very first BRIT as a solo artist. It’ll also be interesting to see if Rag ‘n’ Bone Man keeps up momentum after his success in last year’s ceremony. This years BRITs will also see performances by Sheeran, Stormzy and Sam Smith. Meanwhile Dua Lipa, Jessie Ware, Kate Tempest, Laura Marling and Paloma Faith are all up for best British female artist. Dua Lipa was not only the most streamed female artist in the UK in 2017, (beating the likes of Beyonce and Rihanna) she is also up for five awards in this year’s BRITs. This could potentially be her year. Folk singer/songwriter Laura Marling, a favourite of ours here at the BME is up for this award for fifth time. Although only winning it once back in 2011, it wouldn’t be a total shock if she took it home this year.

This year’s Mastercard British album of the year nominations include Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, J Hus, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man and Stormzy. Again, this is a really difficult category to pick a winner from such is the strength of the contenders.  Rag ‘n’ Bone Man’s debut album ‘Human’ went straight to number one the week it was released and was the fastest selling debut album by a male artist in the last ten years. Lipa, however, looks to be just as much in the running and this is just one of her five chances of taking home an award this year. Stormzy, will also be one to watch in this category.  He has had an incredibly successful 12 months and his magnificent ‘Gang, Signs and Prayer’ was certified gold just sixteen days after its release.  

There’s a fairly wide variety of artists whose videos are nominated for British artist video of the year. Ed Sheeran’s quirky, karaoke style video (Shape of You) could bag the artist one of the few BRITs he has yet to win. Dua Lipa’s New Rules is also nominated and her video was praised by critics for its themes of female empowerment as well as its impressive choreography and blocking. What’s interesting about this category is the fact that not one, not two, but three previous members of One Direction are all up for an award. Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Zayn Malik have all released solo music videos and will be battling against each other, as well as other big names such as Little Mix and Calvin Harris.  

On top of all of the exciting British music we have to look forward to this year, there’s an incredible collection of international artists nominated for awards. Huge groups such as the Foo Fighters, Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem could take it home. The Foo Fighters have already won this award three times and if they manage to bag it again this time they’ll have won it more than anybody; except for U2, of course. The international male and female categories include an equally exciting range of huge household names. These include Taylor Swift, Beck, P!nk, Drake, Alicia Keys and Childish Gambino.

We are really looking forward to the night here.  Not just to see who will win each award but to watch the brilliant live performances, the unique collaborations, and the acceptance speeches that will sometimes be funny, sometimes moving, and will occasionally end in tears as the winner realises the magnitude of their achievement. The awards are a serious business but it is a live event too so you can expect the unexpected and we may even get to witness another BRITs controversial moment!

By Joe Laverty