So, how’s awards season treating you? In amongst the air kisses, backslaps and headaches, one thing has become apparent: in an increasingly fragmented world, occupying a niche is often the most effective thing an awards ceremony can do.
Last week’s Music Producers Guild Awards celebrated talent most people wouldn’t recognise in the street, but who’ve shaped the most important records of the year, and everyone went home happy.
The week before’s Grammy Awards honoured essentially the most successful album of all time (Adele’s 25) and got it in the neck. The NME Awards fell somewhere inbetween, honouring both Metallica and Dua Lipa.
Catering to the widest possible audience may be a thankless task in an internet age where you can’t please all of the people all of the time.
But we need tonight’s BRIT Awards – the last big ceremony before we can all have a lovely, long sleep, a bacon sandwich and start getting ready for the Music Week Awards – to be bigger, bolder and broader than ever.
The BRITs arrive at the perfect moment to capitalise on the feelgood factor being brought back to the UK music industry by Ed Sheeran, Rag’N’Bone Man and others.
The line-up, despite celebrating what, on paper, was a less-than-triumphant year for homegrown artists, looks stronger than we had any right to expect.
All it needs to do is deliver a great show and get the great British public talking about (and buying, obviously) everyone from Little Mix to Skepta.
That’s the entire great British public, by the way. There may be no way of keeping everyone happy, but the BRITs is one awards ceremony where there should be no more Mr Niche Guy.
Mark Sutherland, Editor