This Tuesday, I had the amazing opportunity to attend one of the most popular UK Grime associated awards called The Rated Awards, with the partnership of GRM Daily and KA Drinks. Witnessed performances from the likes of Stormzy, Stefflon Don, AJ Tracey, Big Shaq, Nines, Mostack, Tion Wayne and many more.
As an 18 year old that wants to get a kick start in the music and entertainment industry, I was so inspired and astonished by my surroundings that evening. I was one of the people chosen from the Creativity Works: Multimedia Genius Training Programme to attend this award ceremony. It was so helpful for my career development especially as I want to get into events, seeing how people co-operate and handle artists and guests inside the venue, the production team making sure everything goes to plan, as well as the lovely free drink voucher promotions at the door! (Thanks GRM & KA!)
On a music perspective, it was really inspiring to see so many artists that I’ve grown up with still in the music industry promoting the impact of Grime and empowering black people in particular. One perfect example of this was Bashy, as around this time 10 years ago, he released a Grime track called “Black Boys” that shook the urban side of the nation. As the high number of crime in London damaged not just our city streets but contaminated positive perceptions of black boys in general, he believed that he had the power and platform to inspire and make a change for so many boys in the UK, which in my opinion he did do 20 times over. He did a speech at the awards that evening, explaining his career development being involved in the Grime industry and how proud and lucky we should be as people that we even have such a strong platform to strengthen our talents on.
One highlight of the evening that literally brought tears to my eyes was Dave‘s “Question Time” performance. Okay, let me just explain that Dave is 19 years of age and is one of the most influential UK rappers killing the music scene right now! This song is streaming at over 1 million views on YouTube after 2 weeks of its release. ‘Question Time’ is strongly related to UK politics, how it’s impacted all demographics in the UK and how we need to all have support from the government. Dave received a standing ovation after he finished performing, which left the audience speechless due to his empathy and compassion in his music. His age does not stop him, in fact, it makes him stand out even more for being so open minded and extremely talented regardless of age. He continues to speak on political issues and aims to make a change, not just for himself but for young people that need to be heard.
Being a Croydoner, it made me very happy to see that so many artists from my area are blossoming into such successful men and women in their craft such as Michael Dapaah, Nadia Rose & Krept & Konan. One person in particular is the Big Mike himself: Stormzy. He received 2 Rated Awards last night which were The Best Video & Artist Of The Year. His first ever debut album Gang Signs & Prayer (GSAP) has allowed Stormzy to FINALLY get the recognition and respect he deserves. A surprise performance from Stormzy towards the end of the ceremony was another one of my highlights! As much as I wanted to see him live before, I never had the chance to, so for it to happen so unexpectedly was even better for me, as the unpredicted timing hit me by ultimate surprise! Good thing I listened to GSAP so much, I knew every word and was rapping from the top of my lungs. I had to do a little dance movement here and there, it’s all part of the territory. Overall, that experience is something that I will never forget.
The final and most energetic part of the evening was to celebrate and announce the Legacy Award for Lethal Bizzle. His evolution from where he was back in 2003 to now being one of the most well known Grime Artists in the world shows his level in the music industry and why so many younger Grime MC’s look up to him. One thing that stuck with me was his speech regarding his manager, Nadia. He highlighted that she is a female, and that he is so grateful that women managers in the music industry in particular ride for their artists as the natural emotional element to them shows the level of care they have and the sacrifices that they will make. He also mentioned that women managers do not get appreciated and promoted enough in the music industry, and he made sure that his views towards this went across on all platforms.
The event was definitely memorable, and I hope that many more events like this will come to light within the years to come. A massive thank you to Media Trust, London 360, Mayors Fund, KA Drinks and GRM Daily for making this opportunity possible!