Newsbeat hit the Brits as they talk to the stars about diversity after last years list of nominees sent twitter into a frenzy, trending #BritsSoWhite.
Equality and diversity are issues that never stop being important but in recent history there has been no putting them to the back of your mind. Stormzy last year was one of many artists criticising the Brits. He said, “It’s just a matter of breaking the doors down and carrying on” (Denham, 2016). At the time the argument was about representation of race, and whilst justified at the time, Stormzy has said he believes it is about representation of Britain. He states “Britain isn’t just Little Mix, One Direction and James Bay. There are thousands of people outside the O2 queuing up to see people like Skepta and JM2” (Thomas, 2016) meaning he believes the lack of underground and emerging music genres being represented is the issue.
It is this story that has developed over the last year that meant that Stormzy was fundamental to talk to for Newsbeat. Radio 1 is required to “support emerging artists – especially those from the UK… cover areas of relevance to young adults” (“BBC – BBC Radio 1 – BBC Trust”, 2017). Stormzy has grown a lot the last few years but could still be considered emerging so supporting him is important, and diversity is an issue that affects young people. Young people need representation more than anyone else to inspire them and show them that they matter. If society doesn’t value you why would want to be a part of it?
I believe this piece works as a fluffy location segment that addresses a deeper issue. The other stars they talked to helped to give the audience what you expect which is pre-Brits buzz and industry coverage but without the angle Stormzy gives it would have been hollow.
BBC – BBC Radio 1 – BBC Trust. (2017). Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 26 February 2017, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/our_work/services/radio/service_licences/bbc_radio_1.html
Denham, J. (2016). Brits organisers have finally responded to the growing diversity debate. The Independent. Retrieved 26 February 2017, from http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/brit-awards-2016-organisers-promise-to-improve-diversity-after-nominations-shut-out-leading-grime-a6892751.html
Thomas, H. (2016). Six Things We Learned From Stormzy’s Oxford University Talk – NME. NME. Retrieved 26 February 2017, from http://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-blogs/six-things-we-learned-from-stormzy-s-oxford-university-talk-10508