South London Stormz the Brit Awards

BY TOBY PORTER
toby@slpmedia.co.uk

As Stormzy rapped in his climactic performance at the Brits: “It’s South London in the house.”

Artists from the less prominent part of the capital literally stormed the UK’s biggest music awards show, on home soil, at the O2 Arena on Wednesday night.

So it was a night when South London singers and songwriters confirmed they are the cream of creative Britain’s cream.

Croydon’s Stormzy bagged two top awards – best male vocal and best album, with Gang Signs & Prayer.

He also brought the ceremony to a thundering conclusion by demanding compensation for the families of the Grenfell Tower fire.

But the nominations were a checklist of the best talents currently making waves in the charts from their homes south of the river.

The crossover artists who were shortlisted include up-and-coming Loyle Carner, who only released his first album, Yesterday’s Gone, recorded in studios all over South London, at the end of last year.

The Lambeth-born rapper was up for breakthrough act and best solo artist – a combination which confirms his lightning impact on the mainstream.

Another rapper, Streatham’s forthright Dave, was another up for the breakthrough category, as was Morden’s soulful singer Sampha.

Clapham’s Jessie Ware and Lewisham girl Kate Tempest were in the running for female solo artist, won by Dua Lipa.

Putney’s The XX lost out to Gorillaz for best group.

Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim and Jamie Smith, also known as Jamie xx from the band The xx attending the Brit Awards at the O2 Arena, London.

The best single category also featured another two South Londoners. Brixton’s Jax Jones’ song You Don’t Know Me, which reached number three in the charts, had singer Raye – real name Rachel Keen – who was born in Tooting and grew up in Croydon.

Probably the most surprising omission from the list was Catford singer and rapper Ray BLK – real name Rita Ekwere, who was chosen as the BBC’s Sound of 2017 a year ago. But the 24-year-old’s debut album, Durt, was released last month, too late to qualify for consideration.

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