Record-breaking RAYE dominates with seven well-deserved nominations!
The talented R&B singer-songwriter has made Brit award history after becoming the first ever artist to score seven nominations in one year, as the Brit Award Voting Academy reward her incredible year after a tough decade under major record label.
After getting a lot of backlash from the lack of female representation in last year’s categories, this year’s nominations are a very different story with strong with solo women or all-female groups making up more than half of the overall nominees! This is a definitely a better look that last year.
RAYE’s nominations came in all the noteworthy categories with nods for best artist, song of the year as well as best pop and R&B artist. However, it wasn’t always this easy for Raye, these nominations followed a tough earlier career for the singer as she spent years being made to feature on songs she disliked and was unable to release her own written albums after signing to record label Polydor at just aged 17.
The 26-year-old singer from south London is getting a lot of love right now with mainstream media outlets such as the Telegraph naming her “The most exciting singer since Amy Winehouse,” and aside from perhaps Adele, I struggle to disagree with that statement as Raye has continued to go from strength to strength since the release of her self-written songs. After seeing Raye live at Boardmasters festival last year, I cannot stress how talented she really is as despite poor weather and a pretty rubbish daytime slot, she still managed to command the crowd creating an incredible listening experience with a live band and remarkable vocals.
The record breaker uploaded a heart-warming video on social media sharing the moment she found out about the awards. In the video RAYE goes from laughter and disbelief to tears in a matter of seconds she said: “SEVEN nominations, are you okay? Shut up. Wow. This is deep. Seven nominations? That’s crazy”.
She also was one of five nominees in the coveted best album category with, My 21st Century Blues, an ambitious and exciting collection of songs that took listeners on an empowering yet emotional journey. The category is well-represented by a range of genres from indie with Blur’s Ballad of Darren to UK rap heavyweight, J Hus with Beautiful and Brutal Yard. Little Simz’s vulnerable and experimental NO THANK YOU is also nominated, the album explores her mental health and highlights her anger towards the music industry. The final nominee for best album is Scottish group Young Fathers with Heavy Heavy and despite the misleading title the album has a refreshingly light and joyous sound to it. I think it will be a difficult choice for the BRIT academy but for me it must be between RAYE and Blur for the win.
The Dance Act category brought some familiar faces with Calvin Harris, Fred Again.. and Becky Hill. Barry Can’t Swim is also amongst these famous faces having had a huge year playing his jazz-infused groovy samples across the world this summer. The final nominee was Romy, one third if The xx, which is a great choice as her solo album Mid Air was one of the best complete electronic albums of the year.
British rap was well-represented in all the big categories with another big year for Central Cee and Dave with their collaboration project Split decision leaving both the London boys with multiple nominations. As well as J Hus whose comeback after 3 years has produced him with 4 nominations.
An exciting but shocking nominee was jazz drummer and composer Yussef Dayes, who was nominated for best new artist and best alternative artist. A jazz nominee is a very rare yet pleasant surprise and I’m glad that the BRIT academy jury are not just looking at mainstream music and are appreciating an underrated and extremely talented jazz performer. I hope this continues in the next few years especially in the new artist categories.
There you have it! For once I’m not overly upset at one of my favourite artists being unfairly snubbed. I think the nominations well-represent the incredible year of British music in 2023. Please share your thoughts and if you agree.
Check out this playlist full of all the nominees!