Dave wins at the Brits
Psychodrama, the debut release by rapper, songwriter, pianist and actor Dave, was named British Album of the Year at the 2020 Brit Awards. The much-awaited yearly event of the British Phonographic Industry was held last Feb. 18 at the 02 Arena in London with Jack Whitehall as emcee. Winners at the Brits are chosen by members of the British music industry and there is no fan voting.
Although more sedate than the American Grammys or the Canadian Juno, the Brits nevertheless drew the biggest names in popular music in the United Kingdom and from abroad. Nominee Harry Styles sang Falling. Lizzo was also there with a medley of Cuz I Love You, Truth Hurts, Good As Hell and Juice. Of course, Lewis Capaldi performed the UK’s biggest hit from 2019, Someone You Loved.
A true showstopper was guest Billie Eilish singing No Time to Die, her theme for the James Bond film of the same title accompanied by her big brother Finneas and the multi-awarded music director Hans Zimmer with the orchestra. Can there be anything more British than Bond? Well, Rod Stewart maybe. The rock superstar closed the Brits show with a medley of I Don’t Want to Talk About It and Stay with Me with original Small Faces members Ronnie Wood and Kenney Jones, plus the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
The show brought the award-giving season of the music industry for the past year to a close. I know that was once the duty of the Grammy Awards but there is no way that choosing winners should stop in the US of A because the 40-year-old Brits and British pop music in its totality not only sets the trends but also exerts a lot of influence in music tastes around the world. Remember the Beatles. Those lads were and are Brits.
Back to the Brit Awards. The show also had its share of controversial speeches. The most talked about among these was by the big winner himself. The young Dave, he is only 21 years old, called the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson a “racist” while performing Black, one of the cuts in his Psychodrama. A commercial big seller as well as a hit with the critics, the album was earlier awarded UK’s prestigious Mercury Prize as Album of the Year.
Dave was born David Orobosa Omoregee, the third son to Nigerian parents. He grew up in a troubled environment and both of his brothers have experienced jailtime. Thanks to his music, Dave had a privileged education. He went to the Saint Mark’s Academy of the Church of England and then to the Richmond upon Thames College in Leicester, where he studied philosophy, law and ethics.
Dave was supposed to go further in his studies to become a full-fledged lawyer but he chose to go instead into music. Given the success that Dave has grown up into, it is no surprise that his Psychodrama turned out to be an angry, intelligent and compelling collection. Kids are listening to what he has to say and after that daring callout last Tuesday, PM Johnson had better listen, too.
Psychodrama by Dave bested Fine Line by Harry Styles; Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent, Lewis Capaldi; Kiwanuka, Michael Kiwanuka; and Heavy is the Head, Stormzy. The award was presented by Billie Eilish and Finneas.
The other big prize of the evening was the Song of the Year, which was presented by Tom Jones. Predictably, this one went to Someone You Loved by the 24-year-old Scottish troubadour Lewis Capaldi, who is being touted as the heir to the throne of Ed Sheeran. The song is the lead cut from his album Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent.
Here now are the other winners at the 2020 Brits:
Male Solo Artist: Stormzy
Female Solo Artist: Mabel
Best New Artist: Lewis Capaldi
International Male Solo Artist: Tyler the Creator
International Female Solo Artist: Billie Eilish
Chosen earlier were the winners of the Rising Star Award, which was jazz and soul vocalist Celeste and of the British Producer of the Year award which went to Fred Again who is known for his work with Ed Sheeran, Stormzy and Brian Eno.
Congratulations to all the winners.