This year’s BRIT Awards could be a watershed moment for the UK music industry.
Of course, you could probably say that most years. But after a long period when a beleaguered industry would look hopefully to its biggest showcase to try and drag it out of its slump, this year it can confidently expect it to boost some already impressive figures.
This year’s line-up, as overseen by BRITs chairman Jason Iley, contains several acts who’ve already done well (Stormzy, Dua Lipa), but are surely primed to do even better if their BRITs moment catches fire, while the appearance of Critics’ Choice winner Jorja Smith might help provide the sort of overnight success for a new artist that we haven’t seen in ages. And it’ll be interesting to see if Ed Sheeran’s hotly-anticipated performance prompts the last few dozen people left in Britain who haven’t bought ÷ to finally shell out.
But it’s also an opportunity for the awards themselves to become a truly global phenomenon. This year’s ceremony will go live on pretty much every social media platform imaginable, which means the eyes of the world will be on it like never before.
And with the Grammys still suffering from the backlash over its lack of female winners and Neil Portnow’s ill-considered comments, a classic BRITs could help the show establish itself as the pre-eminent global music ceremony. Especially with, in contrast to the Grammys, Sheeran himself on board to help boost viewing figures.
Of course, history teaches us that you should never count your chickens when it comes to the BRITs, and self-assurance can easily give way to over-confidence.
But the optimism within the biz right now should mean it can cope with any artist that fancies injecting some rock’n’roll spirit back into the do. While, if everything goes to plan, the line-up of British acts at the top of their game should show the world the best of what we can do.
Either way, the BRITs are about to get real. Embrace it.