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The Brit Awards 2021: What Happened?

Weak punchlines, awkward moments, chaotic introductions and female artists stealing the show, the Brit Awards 2021 had all types of funny and momentous occasions.

Despite popularity trumping musicality with these award shows, it’s still a good laugh and a watch from all things current in the music industry.

With the controversial work of Jack Whitehall returning to host the show again for the third year in a row, the show was flux with jokes that failed to hit the mark, jokes that trump a snort or chortle, or jokes that didn’t catch on at all. But despite the awkward moments with the socially distanced audiences, and flight-testing COVID-friendly live performances, the award show allowed us to delve a little deeper into what we should expect post-lockdown for our live music industry.

Lapping up the fame and notoriety of powerful women in the music industry, Dua Lipa, Little Mix, Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and HAIM all made stellar appearances for Best British Group, Best British Album, Best International Group and International accolades that trifled a new domination, the Global Icon award, where previous winners have been Bowie and Elton John.

As they fed off male counterparts with the likes of The 1975 and Biffy Clyro, they made a point to prove for their cultural impact with their music – and rightly so.

Swift and Lipa also both discussed within their speeches, the power of stepping up and rising against resistance from those before them. The iconic moment captured, and taken aboard as every single woman up and down the country effortlessly echo and agree their words.

After the sham of The Grammys, Awards for the Brits wanted to get on the good side of chart-topping electro-pop maestro, The Weeknd as he collected his Best International Male Artist while singing in the rain with his song, Save Your Tears, pre-recorded due to the inability to fly outside the Green Zone into and out of the United States.

The rising scenes of drill music also made an appeareance with J Hus and Headie One making fantastic live show performances and appearances at the awards show, demonstrating just how unique and varied our music scene really is.

Fashion-favourite and pop-lovin’ soloist, Harry Styles swept up the surprises with him taking home the Best British Single with Watermelon Sugar, whilst my favourite artist from the year, Arlo Parks got the fantastic praise she deserves by winning Breakthrough Artist for the year.

My top wtf moments from this year has to be the incontrollable use of ITV’s decision to mute the audio on some explicable language – despite it being past the watermark hour of 9pm. Whitehall made them hit the button a fair few times with him celebrating the majority of the audience being made up of our key workers – and the “corporate wankers” to boot in the boxes too. Capaldi also was a favourite of the mute, as his off-the-cuff introduction speech was simply hilarious and ridiculous at the same time.

“Hello motherfuckers! Listen guys… I’m fucking sweating – it’s like a swamp down there, I’m telling you. Sweaty bollocks.”

In an attempt to follow the controversial steeds of Oasis before him, he certainly made it more entertaining to watch nearing the final strands of the 2-and-a-half runtime of the show.

All in all, it was somewhat of a showing of what British music has to offer and really shows just how iconic and varied our scenes really are. Despite the fact that there are thousands more artists who create more compelling music than those who won but … popularity trumps musicality with these awards shows.

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GRAMMYs Controversy: “work with us, not against us.”

In a first for the academy show, stand-in president, Harvey Mason Jr. declared a speech last night, to join together and share the love of music, as it should be loved.

Amongst the controversy and boycotting drama with The Weeknd and Zayn Malik, Mason addressed these concerns in an aid to “build a new Recording Academy that we can be proud of.”

“Tonight I’m here to ask the entire music community to join in – work with us, not against us – as we build a new Recording Academy that we can all be proud of. One that will continue to do the work and serve everyone in the industry. Now we might not get it right 100 percent of the time and we certainly won’t be able to make everyone happy, but we will provide support in times of need.

We will preserve music and educate the next generation. We will advocate for the rights of all creators to make sure they can continue to earn a fair living making music. And we will stand up for what’s right and fight for greater diversity and more equal representation. This is not a vision for tomorrow, but the job for today. Our work is important because music is important.” –

HARVEY MASON JR, Interim President and CEO

____________________________

It certainly seems that the GRAMMYs are keeping themselves barely above water, and making us all aware that they themselves are aware of the outcries and rebuttal the award show has recently received. Striving for “greater diversity and more equal representation” – in an age where it seems easier to do so than ever before with our immense talent from all areas – only time will tell if the Recording Academy will set out to what they’ve promised over the next few years.

Let me know if this will ring true, or is merely here-say to protect their image.

Here all the winners from the Grammys 2021:

Questionable nominations; inconsistent qualities – is this the same case of “Popularity over Musicality”?

Record Of The Year

‘Black Parade’, Beyoncé
‘Colors’, Black Pumas
‘Rockstar’, DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch
‘Say So’, Doja Cat
‘Everything I Wanted’, Billie Eilish – winner
‘Don’t Start Now’, Dua Lipa
‘Circles’, Post Malone
‘Savage’, Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé

Album Of The Year

‘Chilombo’, Jhené Aiko
‘Black Pumas’, Black Pumas
‘Everyday Life’, Coldplay
‘Djesse Vol.3’, Jacob Collier
‘Women In Music Pt. III’, Haim
‘Future Nostalgia’, Dua Lipa
‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’, Post Malone
‘Folklore’, Taylor Swift – winner 

Song Of The Year

‘Black Parade’, Beyoncé
‘The Box’, Roddy Ricch
‘Cardigan’, Taylor Swift
‘Circles’, Post Malone
‘Don’t Start Now’, Dua Lipa
‘Everything I Wanted’, Billie Eilish
‘I Can’t Breathe’, H.E.R. – winner
‘If The World Was Ending’, JP Saxe featuring Julia Michaels

Best New Artist

Ingrid Andress
Phoebe Bridgers
Chika
Noah Cyrus
D Smoke
Doja Cat
Kaytranada
Megan Thee Stallion – winner

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

‘Un Dia (One Day)’, J Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny and Tainy
‘Intentions’, Justin Bieber featuring Quavo
‘Dynamite’, BTS
‘Rain On Me’, Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – winner
‘Exile’, Taylor Swift featuring Bon Iver

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

‘Blue Umbrella’, Daniel Tashian
‘True Love: A Celebration Of Cole Porter’, Harry Connick Jr.
‘American Standard’, James Taylor – winner
‘Unfollow The Rules’, Rufus Wainwright
‘Judy’, Renée Zellweger

Best Pop Vocal Album

‘Changes’, Justin Bieber
‘Chromatica’, Lady Gaga
‘Future Nostalgia’, Dua Lipa – winner
‘Fine Line’, Harry Styles
‘Folklore’, Taylor Swift

Best Dance Recording

‘On My Mind’, Diplo & Sidepiece
‘My High’, Disclosure featuring Aminé & Slowthai
‘The Difference’, Flume featuring Toro y Moi
‘Both Of Us’, Jayda G
’10%’, Kaytranada featuring Kali Uchis – winner

Best Dance/Electronic Album

‘Kick I’, Arca
‘Planet’s Mad’, Baauer
‘Energy’, Disclosure
‘Bubba’, Kaytranada – winner
‘Good Faith’, Madeon

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album

‘Axiom’, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
‘Chronology Of A Dream: Live At The Village Vanguard’, Jon Batiste
‘Take The Stairs’, Black Violin
‘Americana’, Grégoire Maret, Romain Collin & Bill Frisell
‘Live At The Royal Albert Hall’, Snarky Puppy – winner

Best Rock Performance

‘Shameika’, Fiona Apple – winner
‘Not’, Big Thief
‘Kyoto’, Phoebe Bridgers
‘The Steps’, Haim
‘Stay High’, Brittany Howard
‘Daylight’, Grace Potter

Best Metal Performance

‘Bum-Rush’, Body Count – winner
‘Underneath’, Code Orange
‘The In-Between’, In This Moment
‘Bloodmoney’, Poppy
‘Executioner’s Tax (Swing Of The Ace) – Live’, Power Trip

Best Rock Song

‘Kyoto’, Phoebe Bridgers
‘Lost In Yesterday’, Tame Impala
‘Not’, Big Thief
‘Shameika’, Fiona Apple
‘Stay High’, Brittany Howard – winner

Best Rock Album

‘A Hero’s Death’, Fontaines D.C.
‘Kiwanuka’, Michael Kiwanuka
‘Daylight’, Grace Potter
‘Sound & Fury’, Sturgill Simpson
‘The New Abnormal’, The Strokes – winner

Best Alternative Music Album

‘Fetch The Boltcutters’, Fiona Apple – winner
‘Hyperspace’, Beck
‘Punisher’, Phoebe Bridgers
‘Jaime’, Brittany Howard
‘The Slow Rush’, Tame Impala

Best R&B Performance

‘Lightning & Thunder’, Jhené Aiko & John Legend
‘Black Parade’, Beyoncé – winner
‘All I Need’, Jacob Collier featuring Mahalia & Ty Dolla $ign
‘Goat Head’, Brittany Howard
‘See Me’, Emily King

Best Traditional R&B Performance

‘Sit On Down’, The Baylor Project featuring Jean Baylor & Marcus Baylor
‘Wonder What She Thinks Of Me’, Chloe X Halle
‘Let Me Go’, Mykal Kilgore
‘Anything For You’, Ledisi – winner
‘Distance’, Yebba

Best R&B Song

‘Better Than I Imagined’, Robert Glasper featuring H.E.R. & Meshell Ndegeocello – winner
‘Black Parade’, Beyoncé
‘Collide’, Tiana Major9 & Earthgang
‘Do It’, Chloe X Halle
‘Slow Down’, Skip Marley & H.E.R.

Best Progressive R&B Album

‘Chilombo’, Jhené Aiko
‘Ungodly Hour’, Chloe X Halle
‘Free Nationals’, Free Nationals
‘Fuck Yo Feelings’, Robert Glasper
‘It Is What It Is’, Thundercat – winner

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Love Story: Why Taylor Swift is a Genius

One of the biggest female artists in this decade, Taylor Swift is the rarity in pop phenomena.

With the ability to cross from country to the music of mainstream, Swift soon become the populist singer/songwriters of our generation. With recent releases, willow, champagne problems and cardigan becoming instant favourites among the fans, it seems that for Taylor, writing love songs is just too an easy trait, impossible to get wrong. And after her record label refused to release her music, she’s bounced back bigger than before.

’tis the damn season: Love and Loss During Lockdown

Ever since her Lover tour was evidently postponed due to the pandemic, Taylor seemed to write and write, hit after hit, til her hands hurt. In what seems to be a new release every week, Taylor Swift has taken to being productive during lockdown like a water off of a ducks’ back. With folklore in 2020, and evermore, that soon followed just less than 5 months thereafter, Swift has been a major artist to not only capitalise on the unexpected time on our hands, but to also earn herself an album that went straight to the top of the Billboard 200. And we’ve got one more re-recording coming, too. Oh, and a documentary, too!

It is the perfect formula for the music industry. Produce melancholy acoustic sweetheart-tales and you’ve got media attention because nothing else is going on, and avid listens from old fans and new, because well,… nothing else is going on. It has undoubtedly been the much-needed medicine for everyone to get through this difficult time, too. And she’s a genius because of it. It certainly makes you wonder as to why more artists haven’t done it, though. With the ability to produce music from the comfort of your bedrooms – with the major artists in the industry actively having recording studios in their own homes, might I add – it is worth noting why no other artists have followed in her footsteps, and produced song after song. Especially when it is so easy for everyone to be in touching distance with listening to music.

It may be Swift’s work ethic, production team or her simple strive for perfection that trumps her above the rest of the major mainstream artists – but, you’ve got to hand it to her. She’s not been waiting for this to just blow over, planning old tours and relying on pay-outs from old records, she’s made three new ones.

And the response has been emphatic. Have you been enjoying this as much as I have?