FEATURE: The BRIT Awards 2019: Part Two: Things Get a Bit International




The BRIT Awards 2019


Part Two: Things Get a Bit International


THE nominations have come in for The BRIT Awards...


 IN THIS PHOTO: Christine and the Queens (Héloïse Letissier)/PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

and we have a lot of quality in the running! I have already looked at the best British male and female categories alongside the albums. I now move on to the final part of the feature – where we check in with the singles, videos and international artists. I think 2018 was a bumper year for music and so many great records came out. I feel British artists have helped define the year but so many international treasures have had their say. When the ceremony happens in a month, I cannot wait to see which artists walk away with the prizes. It is hard to predict who will win and that is part of the beauty: who can ever tell whether the expected favourite wins or an underdog steals the show! I have collated the final categories and everyone nominated. 2019’s BRIT Awards are more diverse than last year’s and (the nominations) cover a lot of ground. Here are the runner and, at the end of each category, I look at those I feel will walk away with the prize.

ALL IMAGES/PHOTOS (unless credited otherwise): @BRITs


British Single

This is a really interesting and broad category and one that is hard to call. The same can be said of every category but the singles market is full and frantic. It is hard enough narrowing down to a shortlist let alone predicting who the winner will be. There are ten names in the list and there are cool singles from Anne-Marie, Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa; Clean Bandit (ft. Demi Lovato), Dua Lipa, George Ezra; Jess Glynne, RAMZ; Rudimental (with guests), Sigala and Paloma Faith and Tom Walker. I think there is a lot of quality in the running but there are two British singles that stand out. Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa streamed by the bucket-load with One Kiss and Dua Lipa ruled with IDGAF. Jess Glynne might win with I’ll Be There and there is an outside shot with Tom Walker. I think it will be hard to predict but that is because there are two or three very strong songs. It will be between Dua Lipa and the Calvin Harris/Dua Lipa blend. In any case, it seems like Dua Lipa is in with pretty good odds! She has been overlooked in a lot of categories and this is her time to shine. She did win big last year so it is not that shocking she is nominated less this year. I think the singles market is an important one and we tend to think everything is about albums. Maybe, in fact, singles are more important than albums and the British crop are standing apart.



Predicted Winner: Dua Lipa - IDGAF

International Male Solo Artist

The BRIT Awards is not only about British artists. That might sound odd but you cannot have an award show that just focuses on the one nation. I like the international categories and think some of the best winners are taking from them. That is not to say British music lacks compared to nations like the U.S. but it is good having that diversity. Drake has been in the news for the wrong reasons recently but his album, Scorpion (2018), proved popular with fans and critics. It might not be his finest work but Drake’s popularity means he will be among the favourites for the award. Kamasi Washington is a welcome addition to the category and feel that The BRITS is diversifying in terms of genre. Including a Jazz record/artist is a big step and I feel like Washington will be in with a shout. Heaven & Earth is a remarkable record and I feel Washington created one of 2018’s very best. Eminem has been busy in the past year and his most recent album, Kamikaze, was a quick response to 2017’s Revival. Shawn Mendes and Travis Scott are nominated and might be worth an outside bet. I do not feel either will win the award but the fact Mendes’ eponymous scored well with critics might put him in the running. It is going to be a tight call between Kamasi Washington and Eminem but it will be interesting seeing who gets the actual award. I have my own idea...



Predicted Winner: Eminem

International Female Solo Artist

Like the British equivalent; I love the female category because I think there is more diversity and quality to be found. I cannot believe how quality-laden this category is and it is probably the hardest one to predict. It has been a great year for Christine and the Queens and Janelle Monáe. The former released Chris and it is a remarkable album! I love the record and it is one of the very best of 2018. I think she will win the award but Monáe’s Dirty Computer was another big album. Monáe has been announced for Glastonbury whereas Christine and the Queens have been touring heavily. Cardi B produced Invasion of Privacy last year and it was another stunning album. I feel that record put her ahead of peers like Nicki Minaj and she has definitely stepped up her game. Camila Cabello is not to overlooked and her 2018 album, Camila, is a wonderful thing. It is full of fresh rhythms and instant songs. It might be worth putting some money on her but I think it will be between two names this year. I like the fact Ariana Grande has been recognised and many argue she made the biggest impact to music last year. It has been tough in many ways but she responded with excellent music. Sweetener was another big album from last year and one that sparred with the biggest Pop offerings. This is a really important category and one that will be watched very closely.


Predicted Winner: Christine and the Queens

International Group

In terms of sheer scope and variation, this is a hard one to beat! Again, like British groups, there is a lack of big guitars and anthemic choruses. That is not to say music has gone in the wrong direction but it is clear other sounds are making ground. Twenty One Pilots have been booked for Readings and Leeds this year but I do not think they will win this award. Nile Rodgers & Chic are an unusual inclusion but I think it is worthy! It’s About Time was the last album from them and was a great addition to last year. I think The BRITS have lacked diversity through the years so including some Funk and Disco-styled music is a good thing. It will be down to three names when it comes to taking away this award. BROCKHAMPTON released iridescence last year and it was one of those underground albums that did not get the exposure it warranted. The reviews it did pick up were warm and encouraging and I would not be shocked to see BROCKHAMPTON win this prize. The Carters and First Aid Kit will be the ones to watch. EVERYTHING IS LOVE was the collaboration between Beyoncé and Jay-Z and had a lot of expectation on its shoulders. It is not as fine as each artist’s best solo works but it is a passionate and tremendous record. I do not know whether The Carters cannot be considered a ‘group’ but I would like to see the duo walk away with the award, maybe. First Aid Kit are a favourite of mine and they are worth watching. Ruins was a great album from them last year and completes a very eclectic award category!


IN THIS PHOTO: The Carters/PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Predicted Winner: The Carters

British Video

There are some repeats from the single category so it would not be unexpected to see the winner of one win the other. Anne-Marie’s 2002 gets another nod as does Dua Lipa for IDGAF and One Kiss (with Calvin Harris). I like the Dua Lipa videos but feel that they are not as memorable as the singles themselves. Maybe it is hard to translate the songs into inventive videos but they are not bad by any stretch of the imagination. I think Anne-Marie is in with a better shout and 2002’s video stands up on its own feet. It might not be the best video of 2018 but it is a very solid one and I think she stands a very good chance. This year’s awards is recognising, in singles and videos, collaborations. Jax Jones and Ina Wroldsen united for Breathe and its video certainly accrued a lot of views. Jonas Blue and Jack & Jack united for Rise but did not provide the best video around – I do wonder whether there are better videos that could have made the cut. A more appealing and engaging video came from Liam Payne and Rita Ora. Although the single, For You, is not especially terrific, the video is stronger and at least provides a bit of interest. This category is heavily weighted to the Pop end of the spectrum and the inclusion of Little Mix and Nicki Minaj for Woman Like Me is no shock. Rita Ora’s Let Me Love You video is better than the effort with Liam Payne. I think it will be a close call between her video and that from Anne-Marie. Rudimental’s These Days is a strong video but I cannot see it winning the award. The video category is important and the dominance of Pop shows what the voting panel are interested in. I have a couple of names in the top spots but I feel Anne-Marie will win it.

Predicted Winner: Anne-Marie – 2002