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Sam Smith, Pharrell Williams & Mark Ronson – The 2015 Brit Award Nominee’s and their commonalities

Photograph of the blog post author, Sophie



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So, the best faces and behind the scenes professionals of British pop swarmed to the 02 Arena in London yesterday to congratulate and commiserate the Brit Award nominees. It involved a slightly awkward and out-of-place performance from Ant & Dec, which I for one was pretty gutted about because, lets face it, they’re great. However, the Brit Awards was not the gig for them. Perhaps the biggest highlight of the night was Madonna’s tumble, which took social media by storm.

Everyone started cracking some jokes:


Wilfred Giroux made an accurate observation:

It was all pretty crazy for a while..

And finally, it is important to note before we go any further, that Kanye West went for a Nando’s before the Brit Awards. You can read more on this here because apparently, this is really big news.

As much as we love to discus the best and worst dressed artists at these kinds of awards in the office the next day (not), we thought we’d go for a slightly more… constructive angle. Here’s the recent rises and career drives of 4 of the acts that were up for Awards and how recent career moves brought them to this level. Other than a collection of number ones and all being Brit Award 2015 nominees, lets see if you can spot the other similarities…



  • British Breakthrough Act – Winner
  • Mastercard British Album – Nominee
  • British Male Solo Act – Nominee
  • British Video – Nominee
  • British Video – Nominee


Sam Smith has had a storming past 12 months. In fact, he’s so popular I’m surprised Chris Austen and the Brit Award’s Voting Academy weren’t just like, ‘sod it, lets put him in International Female Solo Artist, Best British Producer & Best British Group too’. But in 2012 this wasn’t the case. Sam co-wrote a lot of his album, including Latch, with a guy called Jimmy Napes (real names, James Napier) who has also written songs with Clean Bandit, Mary J. Blige and Disclosure. Not only is he responsible for some of the best top charting songs in the last couple of years but he also introduced Sam Smith to Disclosure. Or was it Disclosure to Sam Smith? Anyway, not only will university me be forever grateful to Jimmy Napes for bringing some form of normality to club nights in between the Psy, Flo Rida, David Guetta and Conor Maynard tripe of the time (there’s not a wide range of club nights to choose from in Bath) but so also will Sam Smith for instigating a collaboration that has changed his life.



  • British Single – Nominee


Jess Glynne has a great voice and is on a path leading to a promising career and reputation in the industry. Let’s start off with her two number one hits that introduced the world to Jess Glynne, ‘My Love’ and ‘Rather Be’. Strictly speaking though, these aren’t her hits. Route 94 and Clean Bandit are the owners of these bad boys. Although, credit where credit is due, she did co-write ‘My Love’ with Route 94. Jess met Rowan Tyler Jones (Route 94) through her publisher who put them in a studio. Then it went a bit like this; he showed her the song, she wrote the topline and vocal and there was a bit of a nip here and a tuck there… and that was that. Following that single Clean Bandit approached her and asked her for some vocals. Now Jess has her own single ‘Right Here’, which reached the top ten of the charts and is working on an album. Joint success after joint success after… solo success?



  • British Single – Winner


This article on Pigeons and Planes pretty much sums up all the points I need to make about Mark Ronson. Just on the off chance you don’t listen to the radio, walk into shops or are pretty much shut off from every place in the world that ever existed, Mark Ronson recently released a song with Bruno Mars, ‘Uptown Funk’ and it was massive. That’s the song he was up for an award for. Probably Mark’s most famous work commercially was his work with Amy Winehouse. It might even be fair to say he’s king of the musical partnerships.

  • There are a few important facts about how Mark Ronson went about his album ‘Uptown Special’ in relation to this article:
  • Mark co-wrote with people over the internet rather than face-to-face as well as working in a studio with Jeff Bhasker
  • He also teamed up with an author, Pulitzer prize-winning novelist, Michael Chabon during his newest album.
  • Other artists on his album include:
      1. Bruno Mars
      2. Tame Impala
      3. Stevie Wonder


  • International Male Solo Artist – Winner



Pharrell has come back with a bang the last 12 months with a big-selling solo album and a number of fashion collaborations. Before his album release he released the single ‘Get Lucky’ with Daft Punk and also caused some controversy with his ‘Blurred Lines’ track with Robin Thicke. Back in the day though, Pharrell worked on a number of songs you might not even know about. My favourites are the following:

Even if these songs aren’t your scenes, you can’t pretend you’re not impressed. Also, before we move on, we have to give a shout out to ‘the hat’.


Have you guessed it yet? Well my friends, it’s collaboration. It’s co-writers, it’s producers, it’s publishers and it’s collaboration. You can be a great writer, producer, publisher or artist but everyone needs help. These Brit Nominees prove that great things come from collaborations. A business idea doesn’t turn into a business and then grow into an even greater business if the founder doesn’t employ some help as it grows.

In order to grow further again you need a passionate team behind the idea and you need investment. Music is business. It’s why it’s called the music business and so passionate co-workers and investment into your idea is necessary in order to make something turn from an idea to something great. If you’ve got an idea or even a talent worth sharing through someone else’s idea… then you should share it!

‘I originally came up with the concept of a marketplace for musicians and professionals to collaborate, connect and co-work with ease, without all the headache and delays that hold people back from creating great music. It’s amazing that the concept which started as an idea has now, only 18 months on since the launch has a community of over 40,000 users and the fruits of some amazing recordings and user projects. Credit to our wonderful team!’

Jon Skinner, CEO of Мusic Gateway                           



Мusic Gateway is a big believer in collaborations and co-working. The idea was formed on collaborations and our business grows because of collaborations. If the success of these artists and our company doesn’t convince you of that, then maybe it’s time to go back to a 9-5. If you are convinced though and have an idea you should post a free collaboration project on Мusic Gateway and choose from our 40,000 users to collaborate with to make great music. Go on, make your name known and who knows, you may be a future BRIT Award winner.


Never heard of Мusic Gateway? That’s cool – do some research!



Written by Sophie Small

See more of Sophie’s views here.


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