Freya Ridings used to watch the BRIT Awards on television and would struggle to understand how the artists actually ended up on the show.
Now, the former BRIT School student is among the nominees for the 2020 edition, recognised for a breakout year in the Best Female category.
“I used to watch The BRITs and see word ‘breakthrough’ and not really understand what that meant,” Ridings told Music Week. “You have to have an army of incredible people help you and you're a kind of fragile baby, with some ideas of how to break through this massive iron wall.”
Ridings, who’s proud of building her career “from the ground up”, hit No.3 with her self-titled debut album in July and it has since sold 61,840 copies, according to the Official Charts Company. That followed smash single Lost Without You which, boosted by a high profile Love Island sync in 2018, peaked at No.9 and has 1,035,050 sales to date.
It's like something from a film, you feel this is some crazy dream
The singer received the New Artist Award at Music Week Women In Music 2019, and dedicates her success to “the people who champion me and took a risk on the songs when I wasn't cool”.
“I love the journey,” she said. “I love the fact that I remember what it was like to play Lost Without You at an open mic night opposite The Roundhouse. Then, three years later, I was [playing] on stage there with confetti cannons. It's like something from a film, you feel this is some crazy dream.”
Ridings is up against Mabel, Mahalia, FKA Twigs and Charli XCX at the ceremony, which takes place on February 18 at The O2 in London. Read our interview with BRITs chairman and Universal Music chairman and COO David Joseph here.
“There are just so many ways that this might not have worked,” Ridings added. “And the fact that it has is just baffling to me every day and this huge wave of gratitude follows me wherever I go. I could be doing the job I hate right now, but I would do this for free for the rest of my life.”
Subscribers can read Music Week’s November interview with Ridings here. Revisit our On The Radar here. To subscribe and never miss a music biz story, click here.