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Art & Design | Music | PSHE

Brits are ‘worthy and dull’ says pop writer

Does pop music matter any more? A leading music critic argues that TikTok voting and gaming stars have not altered the predictable roster of chart-toppers that win the top prizes. It was a golden night for Adele in London. The singer blew away the competition to take home three top prizes at the Brit Awards – including the new gender-neutral artist of the year award.  Meanwhile, Dua Lipa won the prize for best pop or R&B act. Teen superstars Olivia Rodrigo and Billie Eilish picked up the awards for international artists.  And rapper Little Simz celebrated her best new artist win by bringing her mother on stage.  The 2022 Brit Awards was full of glitz and glamour. But for music critic Alexis Petridis, the night was too predictable. Adele, Ed Sheeran and Dua Lipa are all incredibly popular – and they have been for years. This year, young music fans could vote on TikTok, but it did not change the winners.  “It’s clear that the Brits is developing an issue keeping up with an increasingly fast-paced pop world,” says Petridis. He believes the Brit award winners do not represent the current singles chart.  But not everyone agrees. We should not be so quick to dismiss pop music, argue US professors Donald Roberts and Peter Christenson.  Pop music is more than “just music”. It changes how teenagers speak, who they are friends with and can even alters their mood.  “Pop music at its worst can be repetitive and hugely formulaic,” agrees musician Mateus de Sá. But pop music can also have an incredible cultural and musical impact.  In the 1960s and 1970s, Elton John tried out new sounds and encouraged other musicians to be themselves. Today, Beyonce’s lyrics inspire Black artists and promote empowerment for women. For de Sá, pop music matters because it is constantly evolving. Pop is always changing, and for as long as it is changing, so will the world of music and popular culture... And that’s quite an exciting thought.”  Does pop music matter any more? Easy on me Yes: The answer is obvious. Popular music artists continue to sell millions of albums every year. Pop is here to stay. No: Pop music is meaningless. Its trends change too quickly. Millions listen casually, but few people really care. Or... In the streaming world, genres are becoming irrelevant. Few musicians define themselves exclusively as pop artists. And listeners are leaning towards songs that mix musical elements. KeywordsGender-neutral - This is the first year without separate male or female categories at the Brits. Last year, singer Sam Smith criticised the awards for not including non-binary artists. 

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