Clean Bandit: White boys dominating Brits is a problem

ed sheeran and sam smith

Sam Smith is the overall frontrunner for this year's Brit Awards, having been nominated in five categories.

Behind him, Ed Sheeran and George Ezra are up for four awards and Brighton duo Royal Blood have three nominations.

But despite saying he's "hysterical" about his band's two nominations, Clean Bandit's Milan Neil Amin-Smith tells Newsbeat he's not too comfortable with "all white boys" leading the way.

"It seems a bit weird and a problem," he says.

Jack Patterson, Luke Patterson, Grace Chatto and Milan Neil Amin-Smith
Image caption Jack Patterson, Luke Patterson, Grace Chatto and Milan Neil Amin-Smith from Clean Bandit

Having referenced Kwabs and MNEK as notable black male artists from the last 12 months, Milan says: "It's bizarre."

"The Oscars [nominees] were announced today and it was all white men doing everything.

"I think there is something that needs talking about there."

FKA twigs
Image caption FKA twigs, who performed at the Brits nomination party, is up for two awards this year

There are no female nominees up for best album, which is probably the most sought-after award at the Brits. There were no women in this category last year either.

Emeli Sande took home the prize in 2013 for Our Version of Events. Paloma Faith was also in the running that year.

Clean Bandit member Grace Chatto, who noted Brit nominees Jess Glynne and Jessie Ware as having a "great year", says: "I was kind of surprised because there have been big female singers this year.

"I wonder why that [more male acts being nominated] is. I don't think it's because they're men, is it?

Milan replies: "Well, I think it has been the year of the white man, which is quite depressing isn't it?"

ella eyre
Image caption Ella Eyre won best single with Rudimental at the Brits last year for Waiting All Night

2013 also saw Adele's Skyfall win best British single with six female acts in the category.

This year there are two with Ella Henderson nominated for Ghost and Jess Glynne named twice for features on Route 94's My Love and Clean Bandit's Rather Be.

Jess Glynne
Image caption Jess Glynne leads the way for female acts with three nominations including two for best single

The singer tells Newsbeat that she didn't see a problem with men dominating some of the major categories.

She says: "Women have ruled [the Brits] for quite a while. It's the men's turn."

In a statement, the British Phonographic Industry who are in charge of the Brits told Newsbeat: ""The BRIT Awards nominations process starts off with a list of the best-selling artists from the past 12 months.

"This is drawn up based on Official Charts Company data. A Voting Academy - comprising more than 1,000 artists, executives, critics and music enthusiasts from right across the UK music sector - then cast their vote to determine which acts make the final shortlist.

"It is an open and transparent process driven by a combination of market data and personal taste."

Charli XCX
Image caption Charli XCX is one of three female acts named in the 10-strong shortlist for best video

Charli XCX, who said she was "surprised" by her best video nomination for Boom Clap, tells Newsbeat this year's nominations don't reflect a "bad year for women" and suggested the acts with more nominations "have obviously had very big years".

She says: "I think there are some amazing British women winning all over the world who have had amazing year like [FKA] twigs I don't think it's a bad year for women at all.

"But yes it was a shame that the scope wasn't wider and more diverse."

The winners of the 2015 Brit Awards will be announced at a ceremony at London's O2 on 25 February with performances from Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith among others.

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