Music

Krept and Konan speak out on lack of diversity at ‘out of touch’ BRIT Awards

SPEAKING OUT: Krept and Konan

SPEAKING OUT: Krept and Konan

UK GRIME duo Krept and Konan spoke out against the lack of diversity in the BRIT Award nominations yesterday (Feb 23).

The south London duo, who have a respectful four Music of Black Origin (MOBO) Awards to their name and won the 2014 Best International act at the BET Awards in the US, told Channel 4 the annual ceremony was “out of touch”.

Konan, 26, said: “l just feel that the BRITS are not in touch with the culture, yet. I feel the year we had last year, it’s been crazy, it’s been wild, we’ve gone international. I don’t think they’ve caught up year.”

The absence of black acts in this year’s nominations sparked the hashtag #BritsSoWhite , with social media condemning the ceremony’s exclusion of the UK’s black music stars.

Acts including the grime duo and south London rapper Stormzy, who have both made chart history in the last 12 months, failed to land a nomination ahead of next month’s awards show.

“None of my Gs nominated for Brits? Embarrassing. Last year, they told the mandem that to be nominated you’ve gotta go on UK charts,” Stormzy fumed on his track One Take Freestyle, released in January.

Though the pair dismissed claims that the BRIT voting academy is racist, they did say they thought they needed to “get up to date with what’s really going on”.

Krept, 26, added: “We are really representing UK culture. We are flying the flag for British black music.”

The pair’s debut album, The Long Way Home, reached No.2 in the chart becoming the highest charting UK rap album in history.

Asked what difference it would make to have 15 per cent of the academy made up of a black and minority ethic panel, Krept said he didn’t think it would change anything.

“Our fans are not all black,” he said. “At our shows, the crowd are majority white. [therefor you can’t just say black people represent my music, because that’s not the case.”

When asked if uk hip-hop stars marginalise and exclude themselves, Krept hit back, “No, we are forced to do this independently. We’re not acknowledged by the mainstream so what do you expect us to do? If you acknowledge us in the first place, we would be there, you would see us.”

The BRIT Awards take place tonight (Feb 24).

 

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