Rina Sawayama, Griff and Pa Salieu have been nominated for this year's BRITs 'Rising Star' award after recent rule changes allowed for Sawayama's inclusion. The BRIT award for 'Rising Star' is seen as a good indicator towards future performance and has previously been won by the likes of Adele, Rag'n'Bone Man, Jessie J and Sam Smith among a host of other, now global, stars.
The BRIT award, along with the BBC's Sound Of award, will also massively raise the profile of every act that is nominated, but in particular that of the eventual winner. Pa Salieu was the winner of the BBC's Sound Of 2021, but Griff was also among the artists that were short-listed for the award.
Rina Sawayama, who has been a UK resident for the past twenty five years, only became eligible for the award following talks with BRITs and Mercury Prize personnel. Having been born in Japan, Sawayama had previously not been able to be considered for either award but in February those rules were changed to reflect the absurdity of the situation. Rina was overjoyed when she found out, explaining, "I literally fell to the floor when I found out that I’d been nominated for Rising Star. I really can't put into words how much this means to me given that I wasn’t eligible for this award a few weeks ago and now that door has been opened for future generations of artists like myself. Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me, it means the world."
Rina's deserved nomination follows the release of her critically acclaimed album from last year, eponymously titled 'SAWAYAMA'. The debut album from the thirty year old singer-songwriter and model gave rise to the singles 'XS' , 'Lucid' and Comme Des Garcons and topped out at number eight on the UK Indie chart.
'XS', performed here at the legendary Abbey Road studios, highlights the individuality and creativity that Sawayama brings to her music. The heady mix of Alt-Pop, intermittent Rock and Latin infused Soul make for a fabulously eclectic combination.
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