This week was the 38th edition of the Brit Awards, celebrating the best of the British (and international) music industry over the last 12 months.
While most of the articles since have covered who was wearing what, who kissed who at the afterparty (we have to admit, we didn’t see Jack Whitehall & Dua Lipa being a ‘thing’), and what safe word Cheryl & Liam use (seriously…”don’t stop” is an accident waiting to happen) - we wanted to talk about one of the big winners on the night.
Stormzy’s debut, Gang Signs and Prayer, won album of the year. Firstly, if you haven’t heard it yet, do yourself a favour and listen. Secondly, we respect Stormzy because he embodies everything innovation should be, especially within the music industry - using his voice to push boundaries, challenge mainstream views and bring grime back to the masses.
While grime as a genre has been around for a long time, Stormzy’s use is filled with pure, unadulterated passion. Passion drawn from his upbringing, and the community he grew up around - which happens to be Croydon. During what should have been a celebratory closing-performance, Stormzy issued a particularly scathing statement to Theresa May :
"Yo Theresa May, where's the money for Grenfell? What, you thought we just forgot about Grenfell? You criminals, and you've got the cheek to call us savages, you should do some jail time, you should pay some damages, you should burn your house down and see if you can manage this."
Without digging into the politics, Stormzy is a voice for many of those affected, and by using his new-found status to raise the awareness of issues that are impacting real people in his community, he’s forcing a discussion. Which makes him a worthy winner - even if winning doesn’t feel like the most important thing right now.
While it’s at this point we’d usually try and segue into why anyone reading this should learn more about Sid - we’ll refrain…just this once (we’ll make up for it in our next post!).