Rag’n’BoneMan has announced he will perform live at the BRIT Awards – and he’s also been nominated for three awards.
The nominations were announced last weekend, with Rag’n’Bone Man up for awards in the categories of British Male Solo Artist, the MasterCard British Album of the Year, for his 2017 No1 album Human, and British Single, for his No2 single Human.
He’ll be competing for the gongs with the likes of pop superstars Ed Sheeran, Stomzy and former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher. Sheehan will also perform live at the event along with Foo Fighters, Sam Smith and Stormzy.
The 32-year-old Brighton singer-songwriter, whose real name is Rory Graham, also announced that he’s putting on a show with O2 in aid of the charity War Child, which helps children in war-torn areas, during BRITs Week from February 12-24. Tickets are up for grabs on Friday (January 19) for his live performance at Islington Assembly Hall on February 13.
Among the big names also performing at a series of venues during the week are Jessie Ware, Laura Marling, The Vamps, Wolf Alice, alt-J and Deaf Havana.
Despite his nomination for British Male Solo Artist at the BRITs, Rag’n’Bone Man tweeted last weekend that “Even though I’m nominated, I’m kinda rooting for Liam Gallagher”.
At last year’s BRITs, the artist, whose distinctive deep bass voice wowed crowds at last summer’s Glastonbury Festival, was named British Breakthrough Act and won the Critics’ Choice Award. After this year’s nominations, he tweeted, “Jheez! 2017 has flown by super quick. It’s pretty mental to think I bagged 2 awards at the BRITs last year and now I’m heading back to perform.”
The star, who was born in Uckfield and became a father for the first time last September, has also revealed that he has become an ambassador for Brighton-based music charity AudioActive, which supports young people starting out in the music industry. Brighton hip hop duo Rizzle Kicks have credited AudioActive for honing their skills, saying “Without them we wouldn’t be here”.
Rag’n’Bone Man has made the first of three films with the organisation this year to “shine a light” on its Grass Roots Talent Development projects, its Social Innovation work and his involvement in the charity as patron.
The film documents his visit to Sessions, the charity’s open access skills development programme in Brighton, Hove and Eastbourne. Around 70 young people “crammed into a studio” at Brighton Youth Centre and he helped lead a production session, sat in with a live band rehearsal and offered advice to young artists.
In the film, which was made by music giant Sony, he explains why he became involved in AudioActive. “When I was at school, I was never told by a music teacher that I could have a career in music, and you should try to be a bit more confident. I want that for other people and… an organisation like this… can give that confidence to other people and that can go miles.”
After his visit, he said, “It’s about confidence and inclusiveness. People can feel they’re part of something without being judged. It’s a daunting thing for everyone to sing and play an instrument for the first time. It’s important to be encouraged.”
And he says, “AudioActive are doing something to ensure that regardless of wealth or background, young people get a chance to be creative. I can’t support that enough. Big love.”
Rag’n’Bone Man’s BRITs performances come just before he embarks on his 2018 tour. He heads off to France on February 23 and performs in countries across Europe including a date at the Alexandra Palace in London on March 8. Then he’s off to Dubai, Australia and New Zealand, and returns to Europe in April before a series of dates in the US. He returns to the UK for two shows in Manchester and the tour finishes with five dates in Europe, ending in Switzerland on August 8.
For details of Rag’n’Bone Man’s 2018 tour, visit ragnbonemanmusic.com.
Picture: Dean Chalkley.