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For many, the start of the year means only one thing: awards season. From January through to the end of February, the media industries gather in their respective countries to pay homage to the talent that lies among them. For musical artists in the UK, there is no higher honour than winning a BRIT award. The winners are voted for by over 1,000 music industry professionals, lending their credibility to the awards which, over their forty years of existence, have become known as synonymous with true musical excellence.
With the BRITs being held in such high esteem, it’s only right that ACM artists maintain a strong presence among the nominees.
No stranger to the BRITs, Ed Sheeran, who joined ACM in 2009, was nominated for his seventeenth award, this time for Best British Single for I Don’t Care. The song, a duet with Justin Bieber, reached number one in 26 countries and number two in a further seven, only missing out on the top spot to the cultural phenomenon Old Town Road.
ACM Production graduates Dan Priddy and Mark Crew once again proved their worth as members of the UK music industry, with two of the artists they have worked with receiving nominations. After performing at last year’s awards as part of a supergroup, Rag’n’Bone Man, who was discovered and developed by Dan and Mark, returned as a nominee. The nomination, his fourth, was for Best British Single for his smash-hit Giant with Calvin Harris. Bastille, who Dan and Mark have often produced for, and who won the British Breakthrough Act award in 2014, were nominated for Best British Group. It was a fantastic year for the four-piece, who released their third album, Doom Days, to critical acclaim. Throughout 2019 they toured the album around the world, including their debut performance on Glastonbury’s infamous Pyramid Stage.
But these weren’t ACM’s only contributions to the prestigious awards ceremony. Henrietta Adewole, ACM Vocals Degree alumna, performed alongside grime’s golden boy, Stormzy. However, on his regular visits to Metropolis Studios, Stormzy is often bestowed an even rarer honour than the Best British Male Solo Award he won at this year’s BRITs – ACM Chief Executive Kainne Clements’ parking space. And finally, Mabel, with whom ACM alumna Vonné has regularly performed as a backing vocalist, was nominated for four awards, taking home the gong for Female Solo Artist. After spending the last couple of years supporting artists like Harry Styles and LANY, 2020 will see Mabel head out on her first headline tour.
ACM shares a unique partnership with Metropolis Studios, Europe’s largest independent recording complex, which on average records, mixes and masters over 50% of the UK chart. As usual, a long list of Metropolis’ clients were also winners and nominees at this year’s BRITs. Scotland’s favourite singer/songwriter, Lewis Capaldi, was nominated for four awards, taking home two: Best New Artist and Song of the Year. Ed Sheeran, Mabel, Stormzy and Justin Bieber have also all recorded at Metropolis, as well as fellow nominees Sam Fender, AJ Tracy, Michael Kiwanuka, Burna Boy, Mahalia, Mark Ronson, Bring Me The Horizon and Miley Cyrus.
From Jarvis Cocker mooning Michael Jackson, to a spat between Vic Reeves and Sharon Osbourne and regular commentary on British politics, the BRIT awards have often played host to key moments of levity and poignancy in British music history. This year, however, the ceremony went off without controversy. Instead, it delivered an evening that will almost definitely be remembered for its inspirational performances and speeches.
Each year, members of the ACM community attend the BRITs to watch students past and present perform, accept awards and cheer on the artists they have worked closely alongside. There to witness it all this year were some of ACM’s current rising stars, who each took something unique from the night.
My BRIT experience was super inspiring and it was great to work alongside Stormzy and some amazing vocalists in the scene. As a solo artist myself, being in that environment and seeing all the hard work from everyone, from the musicians to the tech guys, shows me that it’s all about teamwork in making an artist’s performance flawless and memorable. It really helped motivate me that anything is possible.
Henrietta Adewole – ACM Vocals Degree Alumna
I had an absolutely incredible night. It was so inspiring to see a group of such talented and diverse musicians take the stage and perform. Definitely a night I won’t forget!
Eloise Warren – ACM Creative Artist Degree Student
I’ve always loved The BRIT Awards from a young age, and we’ve performed at The BRIT Awards for the last three years now supporting The 1975 and Justin Timberlake!
Ky Lewis – ACM Commercial Songwriting Student and Skunk Anansie Scholarship Winner
The whole evening at the BRIT Awards was just incredible. I’m very grateful to have seen such amazing artists and share this experience with fellow ACM students. I am sure it gave us all a ton of inspiration to reach our own goals in the music industry.
Marleen Mihkelsoo – Creative Artist Degree Student
It’s cool to see former ACM students up there, and to them it’s like ‘that’s the end goal’.
Jamie Hayes – Industry Link
ACM’s teaching philosophy is centred arounds its ‘learn by doing’ ethos. Every day its students reap the benefits of the academy’s links to the industry they will undoubtedly go on to dominate. With workshops by leading artists and industry professionals, access to Metropolis Studios’ world-class facilities and a plethora of opportunities provided by the academy’s Industry Link department and teaching staff, we look forward to bringing more industry events to the ACM community over the coming months!
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help kick-start your music career, why not come along to one of ACM’s Open Days.