Brit Awards 2017: My Picks

Brit Awards 2017, Wednesday 22nd February, ITV 7:30pm

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It’s that time of year again. The Brits are back and will be hosted by Dermot O’Leary and Emma Willis this year. There’s also a star-studded line-up of live performances from Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Little Mix, The 1975, Robbie Williams, Emeli Sande and Skepta. The nominations are in for 10 awards. The recipients of two are decided by the public and the other eight by the critics. However, today, all winners will be decided by Trackdose.

BRITISH FEMALE SOLO ARTIST

Nominees:

  • Ellie Goulding
  • Emeli Sande
  • Anonhni
  • Lianne La Havas
  • Nao

My winner: Emeli Sande

This was a tough choice as none of the nominees have done anything this year that definitively makes them the clear choice for winner. Nevertheless, Emeli Sande enjoyed a successful comeback in 2016 with her second album hitting the shelves in November.

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BRITISH MALE SOLO ARTIST

Nominees:

  • David Bowie
  • Michael Kiwanuka
  • Skepta
  • Kano
  • Craig David

My winner: Skepta

David Bowie is the clear bookies’ favourite for this award at 11/10 odds. However, two artists who have both had a huge 12 months, Craig David and Skepta are both at 4/1. My decision, based on the premonition that a David Bowie win would be more of a tribute to the man than a reflection of his last album ‘Blackstar’, is between this pair. It was close but Skepta just about edges it with a Mercury Prize under his belt for his 2016 LP ‘Konnichiwa’.

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BRITISH ARTIST VIDEO

  • One Direction – History
  • Adele – Send My Love
  • Zayn – Pillowtalk
  • Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna – This Is What You Came For
  • Clean Bandit Feat. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie – Rockabye
  • Jonas Blue Feat. Dakota – Fast Car
  • Coldplay – Hymn For The Weekend
  • Little Mix Feat. Sean Paul – Hair
  • James Arthur – Say You Wont Let Go
  • Tinie Tempah Feat. Zara Larsson – Girls Like

My winner: Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna – This Is What You Came For

The Scottish hitmaker takes the prize on this one. The video for his number one single ‘This Is What You Came For’, directed by Emil Nava, features Rihanna prancing about inside a big white cube with seizure-inducing strobe lights and trippy visuals. It’s better than it sounds.

BRITISH BREAKTHROUGH ACT

Nominees:

  • Stormzy
  • Anne-Marie
  • Rag ‘N’ Bone Man
  • Skepta
  • Blossoms

My winner: Blossoms

I chose Blossoms over Skepta, by best male artist winner, for this award due to the speed of the Stockport band’s rise to fame and success. Despite Skepta’s massive 2016 and his Mercury Prize win, I believe Blossoms are the true breakthrough of the year, rocketing from relative unknowns to indie titans, whereas as it’s been a hard-fought ascent for Skepta and the grime scene.

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BRITISH ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Nominees:

  • The 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It
  • David Bowie – Blackstar
  • Skepta – Konnichiwa
  • Kano – Made In The Manor
  • Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate

My winner: Skepta – Konnichiwa

I hope Skepta can follow up on his Mercury Prize with a Brit Award for the masterpiece that is ‘Konnichiwa’. The LP, which featured the singles ‘Shut Down’ and ‘Man’, was my favourite album of 2016.

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BRITISH GROUP

Nominees:

  • Bastille
  • Biffy Clyro
  • The 1975
  • Little Mix
  • Radiohead

My winner: Bastille

I fell in love with Bastille in 2013 when they released their debut album ‘Bad Blood’. I was almost equally when their 2016 album ‘Wild World’. The bookies don’t fancy the London four-piece but they’re my pick for Best British Group.

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BRITISH SINGLE

Nominees:

  • Alan Walker – Faded
  • Calum Scott – Dancing On My Own
  • Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna – This Is What You Came For
  • Clean Bandit feat. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie – Rockabye
  • Coldplay – Hymn For The Weekend
  • James Arthur – Say You Won’t Let Go
  • Jonas Blue feat. Dakota – Fast Car
  • Little Mix – Shout Out To My Ex
  • Tinie Tempah feat. Zara Larsson – Girls Like
  • Zayn – Pillowtalk

My winner: Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna – This Is What You Came For

My choice for best video scoops this one too. ‘This Is What You Came For’ was an instant EDM anthem and was the soundtrack to summer 2016. Calvin Harris and Rihanna will be deserved winners if they get this one.

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INTERNATIONAL FEMALE SOLO ARTIST

Nominees:

  • Beyoncé
  • Christine and the Queens
  • Rihanna
  • Sia
  • Solange

My winner: Rihanna

Beyonce was a big hitter in 2016 with the unannounced release of her album ‘Lemonade’. However, Rihanna came out on top with her massive comeback album ‘Anti’ and achieving number one singles with both Calvin Harris and Drake.

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INTERNATIONAL MALE SOLO ARTIST

Nominees:

  • Bon Iver
  • Bruno Mars
  • Drake
  • Leonard Cohen
  • The Weeknd

My winner: The Weeknd

This one was between Drake and The Weeknd for me. Both of these Canadian superstars released highly regarded albums in 2016, Drake with ‘Views’ and The Weeknd with ‘Starboy’. However, The Weeknd is my winner based on the fact he took a big risk this year, stepping out of his R&B/hip hop comfort zone into pop world. The risk paid off and he takes my award for best international male.

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INTERNATIONAL GROUP

Nominees:

  • A Tribe Called Quest
  • Drake & Future
  • Kings of Leon
  • Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
  • Twenty One Pilots

My winner: Drake & Future

It’s been a huge 12 months for hip hop and Drake and Atlanta rapper Future were at the forefront. Their collaborative mixtape ‘What A Time To Be Alive’ apparently qualifies them for the groups category. Although not officially a group, Drake and Future take my award for best international group.

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