NME editor-in-chief Mike Williams has hailed the magazine’s annual awards as “an alternative to other awards” ahead of tonight’s ceremony.
The 2017 NME Awards take place this evening (February 15) at The O2 Brixton Academy and, according to Williams, the event still has an edge over many of its more mainstream rivals.
“What we’ve proved over the past 18 months is that we can talk about anything and have NME’s spin on it,”Williams told Music Week.“That’s the same as the Awards – if you see artists like Beyoncé being nominated, that doesn’t make the NME Awards ‘less NME’.
“We do see it as a slight alternative to the other awards because it’s a lot less formal,” he added. “But my ambition for everything to do with NME is for it to be enjoyed by as many people as possible and the Awards are absolutely a part of that.
“There’s no limit on how big we want to make it. If that makes it a big mainstream awards ceremony, well, that’s fine, as long as you know you’re getting something different from NME.”
This year’s event sees the Pet Shop Boys unveiled as the recipients of NME’s 2017 Godlike Genius Award, with the band set to perform live at the show.
"For three decades, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have been pushing the boundaries of pop music, releasing a series of consistently excellent singles and albums and working to blur the boundaries between art, music and social commentary. Their influence on pop culture is undeniable and the list of artists they’ve worked with is a mini rock’n’roll hall of fame. Pet Shop Boys’ stage performances and festival shows are never anything short of spectacular, and we’re honoured that our latest Godlike Geniuses will grace the Brixton stage for an extra-special set of hits to close the VO5 NME Awards 2017.”
Also set to perform on the night are Bastille, Dua Lipa and Wiley, while The 1975, Skepta and Kings Of Leon are among the artists in contention for the biggest awards
You can read our interview with Williams in full here and in the latest copy of Music Week, out now.