The BRITs: a night of celebrating the very best in British culture. An appreciation of British lyricism, musical endeavours, entertainment…and people getting drunk. We were invited to head down to the O2 to check out the night’s proceedings with Youtube Shorts, the video platform’s new initiative which favours 60 second clips, and survived to tell the tale. Youtube was the official Digital Music Partner for the BRITs, sponsoring the event’s new gender neutral category of Artist of the Year, which included Little Simz, Dave, Adele and more.
The night started big, with a selection of the UK’s brightest musical talent gracing the red carpet and showcasing their best fits. Ghetts came through in a pair of shades by Salvatore Ferragamo, and Maya Jama turned up and out in a Cher-inspired cut out two piece. Elsewhere, Ed Sheeran arrived in a blue velvet suit that screamed, well, we’re not too sure actually.
However, the real highlights of the show were Little Simz and Dave – two of the scene’s most exciting young talents. They both performed and collected awards, with Simz bringing out her mum to receive her award and saying “Look at what you’ve done Mum… I’m from North London, I’m an independent artist and to be here tonight receiving this award is such a blessing, I’m so grateful”; a moving moment that made it all seem worth it. The British actor, singer and rapper picked up the prestigious ‘Best New Artist’ award, a title well-deserved after her sell-out run at Brixton at the end of last year.
Picking up the trophy for Best Hip Hop/Rap/Grime Act was Dave, who has already revolutionised the face of UK music. Having previously used his slot on prime time TV to call out Boris Johnson, Theresa May and the UK for generally being a racist hellhole, Dave called on Ghetts, Giggs, Fredo and Meekz as well as a full gospel choir for this set. Performing In the Fire, Dave showed the world the power of impactful music, impassioned performance and also a crazy-good guitar solo.
View this post on Instagram
Never one to flout his talent though, Dave delivered a speech which showcased his humbleness; shouting out his peers, Simz, family, and God. “I want to say thank you to all of the artists that are in the same field as me. The rappers that have suffered for years and years and years and years and years, and broken down so many barriers in this industry that I’m in right now…Listen, man. I’m just a guy that really, really, really loves music, man. To be able to be here to share a stage with some of the most talented musicians in the world, in the country, some of the best rappers in my field. It’s the best I can do, man.” Get you a man who can do both.
Elsewhere, YouTube Shorts brought a whole host of video talent to the arena, including Kofi – music artist and vlogger extraordinaire. Bringing us fits videos in which members of the public (or Willem Defoe, either or) break down their outfit and its cost, Kofi appeared alongside KSI, another Youtuber-turned-music artist representing at the awards. Last night though, he was one of the red carpet hosts for YouTube, where he could be found asking a range of celebs what they were wearing. Other creators were capturing BTS footage for YouTube Shorts throughout the night, which you can find under #BRITsUnseen.
Check out some of Dave and Simz’ speeches here.