Five on it photo: screengrab from Kano’s GRM Rated performance | YouTube
The Rated Awards took place this week and it was, like always, a massive night for Black British music. It was hosted by two of everyone’s favourites: Julie Adenuga and Mo Gilligan. Being shown virtually (like everything this year), the night saw a big win for J Hus, who was awarded Album of the Year. Other notable wins included D-Block Europe who received Best Mixtape, as well as Best Male Act.
The standout moment of the night came from Kano though. His performance of ‘Teardrops’ was as legendary as his name. One of many highlights from his excellent album Hoodies All Summer, this was a sensitive piece drawing attention to the number of Black British people that have died at the hands of police custody. Kano reminded us once again why his artistry is vital – why he is a national treasure.
Meanwhile, Stefflon Don fought off fierce competition from the likes of Little Simz, Ms Banks and Shaybo to win best female artist. With hard-working artists such as these, as well as the talent from upcoming musicians, we can only hope to see more women winning in some of the other categories more frequently, soon.
We have some wonderful talent below, who could also be winning next year. Here’s your five on it.
Pa Salieu – ‘My Family’ ft. BackRoad Gee
Just when Pa Salieu seemed like he couldn’t get any better, he dropped possibly the best rap video of the year. Teeming with authenticity and energy, this raw and brilliant track is a Black British anthem in the works.
James Blake – ‘Godspeed’
This glorious cover of Frank Ocean’s ‘Godspeed’ showcases James Blake at his best: tender, nuanced and dynamic, all at once.
Amaarae – ‘FANCY’
Ghanaian-born artist Amaree gives a masterclass in ethereal R&B with this bouncy, euphoric tune. A treat for both the eyes and ears, in a different year this empowering track would be one to blast with your friends as you get ready.
ASHWARYA – ‘Biryani’
Effortlessly switching between Hindi and English, this swirling, exploratory tune was actually conceptualised as ASHYWARYA ate biryani. An exciting musical prospect, the Melbourne-based 21-year old’s second single is not one to disappoint.
Zubi, anatu – ‘better me than you’
An honest duet featuring two strong voices. Introspective, timeless and sentimental, this is a catchy tune that you’ll be humming later on.
You can follow the Five on it playlist on Spotify: