Brit Awards or Brit School Awards?

Maybe I’m just a bitter northerner, but the Brit Awards highlighted the music industry’s bias towards the south. With the exception of best band which went to Take That, all the awards and most of the nominees (that had any chance of winning anyway) were from the South East. Now this doesn’t mean I don’t think that the winners are talented, they are. What really gets me quite frustrated though is that the sole northerner was Cheryl Cole.

As I’m afraid to be sued for libel I’ll tone down what I was going to say. Cheryl Cole is a talentless, miming, spoilt average dancer with a pretty face. No, it’s not some snobbery because she’s from a working class background. It’s because she is actually talentless. Completely.

That rant over, let’s get to the job in hand. Host, James Corden was told to hammer home that the award ceremony now has a renewed focus on grassroots music. Not really true as most of the winners put out their good work either one or two years ago and the winning artists are based in the South East.

Why are the Brits, actually the South East England’s. It’s quite simple – The Brit School. Whilst specialist schools are great for things like technology or business, a school that controls the entire music industry is not very healthy. It gives alumni an unfair advantage over everyone else in an incredibly competitive and creative arena. Most of them go into the backroom management side such as A&R, managing etc and because it’s all their mates, they have the connections already. The few that don’t do this, instead perform themselves and they all, somewhat surprisingly, always succeed.

In a creative industry this is not great. Yes, Adele, Amy Winehouse, Leona Lewis, Jessie J, Kate Nash and Katie Melua (to name but a few) are talented, but what about the rest of us, that are pushed out London because we don’t have the infinite income to survive there. It doesn’t seem right.

To those that say you don’t need awards to succeed, you’re wrong. After every award ceremony, regardless of the medium, there is a renewed vigour to buy their wares.

To solve the problem, there needs to be more record labels with offices in the north (Manchester’s better than nothing) and close together to ensure that a more rounded winners list can be announced in the year to come. Please, we are actually quite talented up here as well you know. Tell me what you think in the comments.


  • Tanya Meadway

    I do find this article extremely inaccurate and yet another slating of the Brit school. The school does not single handedly run the music industry and does in fact pride itself on its academic results in both GCSE’s and AS/A-levels. This school just gives already existing talent a chance to develop and be nurtured. As far northerners being pushed out because the music scene is very London based, what a load of bull. Some creative and talented bands have come from the north and have gone on to make great careers, and the live music scene in the north is something that the south of England craves, especially somewhere like Bournemouth where i currently reside. As an Ex- BRIT Student and fellow northerner i think you should rethink this post as it is not based on any kind of fact, and to me seems like a very angry rant.

    • admin

      Hi Tanya,

      You are entitled your views, but I won’t be changing my mind until someone can illustrate factual evidence to the contrary. There are some excellent bands that come from the North and some excellent music from the South as well. The point I’m making is that in order to be successful in the UK, especially in the music business, you have to live in London. The Brit School prides itself on their connections to the music industry; connections that no other secondary institution have. If there was an equivalent in the North then I may see your point, but there is none that has anywhere near as stronger name as the Brit School.


  • dancer

    I completely disagree with everything you have said. And what about BOA? That’s more up north, plus just because people from BRIT have been successful doesnt mean that just because they went to the school the get famous, Jessie J was signed for 7 years after she left and has only just become well known. And like everyone from BRIT says it’s not a ‘fame’ school, you go there, you work hard, and if you’re lucky then you get success after, and yes it does give you a foot in the door so to speak, but isn’t that the whole reason you do it and everyone in the industry knows that you need connections and contacts, as they say it’s not what you know it’s who you know.

    • admin

      Hi Jammiammi,

      I think we may agree on the whole. Brit school alumni work really hard and they produce some talented individuals, but I stand by the main focus of the blog post which is that if you want to make it big you either have to be from/ go to London or be charmingly regional like Cheryl Cole, Arctic Monkeys etc. To move to London is unquestionably expensive and so it limits the scope of major creativity outside of the South East. This is not good for the country or our creative standing and marginalises some amazing talent occurring in other parts of the country. Whilst BOA is doing some great work, it has not produced anywhere near the same level of both front stage and backstage performers as the Brit School has. Hopefully in the future that will change

  • Ian

    Well, as a graduate from another somewhat dominating school in the oxbridge group I have to agree with you. Whether you like the award winners at the Brits or not is somewhat academic – the singers from the Brit School could be selected blindfolded and through a sound deadening blanket. They are clones, all of them, irrespective of whether you like their musical rendition of songs or not – they are clones. The inflection that they place on notes, the timing, the delivery, the emphasis, the presentation, actually everything about them is totally manufactured and utterly formulaic.

    People seem to like it nowadays, because lets face it there are less and less genuine individuals – people who would dare to stand outside the norms as they are bullied and picked on, sneered at in many cases or worse. So, everything is reduced to a common denominator which in the case of music in this country is a ‘magic formula’ that seems to produce the sound that sells.


    C’est la vie

    • joe

      i’m sorry, you are wrong there. how can you say adele is a clone? she has just written some great songs and has a fantastic voice. the fact that she is overweight adds to this too, because it shows that she doesnt care what people think of her, and its all about the voice. which i greatly admire. the same with jessie j, she has an incredible voice paired with great songs, and she also doesnt look like your typical cheryl cole and katy perry; she has her own look, which again i admire. im not going to go on, but how can you say people like amy winehouse, the kooks or katie melua are clones? they are all very different from alot of the british mudic scene. all these people went to brit school, and are all the better for it.

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