The Birmingham Music Awards VIP Reception at Millennium Point was an event that had an impact on me in a way I hadn’t expected it to. Being a lover of music and it’s many varying genres I was extremely grateful to be able to attend such an affair and be in a room with these influential and passionate people, while speaking about their own personal journeys that bought them to where they are now and the drive to keep this inspirational company going so it can bring so many other talented individuals dreams to fruition.
We were delighted by up and coming artists, all with their own unique sound that showed just what this incredible city has to offer in the way of music. Thomas Atlas was the first to grace the microphone and strum us into awe with his vocal and instrumental abilities. The effortless way he plucked cords to thrill the audience showed that the BMA’s know talent when they see it. Shortly after the performance, Jo Jeffries took to the stage with Birmingham’s very own Jaki Graham; a woman who’s story is a beacon of hope for those musicians here in Birmingham who are striving for a career doing the thing that they love the most. With her was her daughter/business manager Natalie Ormsby, who also presents a radio station on the BBC and invited the acts, who stunned us all that day, onto her show to perform. Seeing the effect that had on the artist is the exact reason something like the BMA’s is important because there needs to be more routes for these amazing aspiring musicians to thrive in this industry.
Jo enlightened us on why and where this labour of love started and how it desperately needs more support after the hit it has taken due to the pandemic. Which may I add, she rightly so reminded us that we did in fact turn to music and the arts in general to keep us going when we were isolated from our normal way of life. So for us to give back to something that provided comfort and entertainment in a time where it itself suffered the most, doesn’t seem like such a big ask does it?
In between the talks there were messages from individuals who couldn’t attend the event but made sure to show their support via video such as members of Judas Priest and even the late Brian Travers from UB40 who sadly passed away last year and there was a noticeable effect on the room as his words played out on screen, just showing that the relationships built within this group of people are about so much more than showcasing artist for money. It’s more like a family building a platform for people who deserve the recognition they have worked so hard to get. I also met Stephen Pennell, a lovely and talented writer who is a winner of and ambassador for Birmingham Music Awards, he spoke very passionately about the amazing artists who surround our city and the dedication and work that the BMA’s provide them.
One of those who is most definitely entitled to a spotlight with her R&B and soulful skills is Indigo Marshall who lulled us into complete rapture, the room falling silent to allow this talent to shine before us and I was truly astonished that I had not yet had the pleasure of hearing this woman sing up until now.
Last but certainly not least to perform for this incredible event was Wrenne. With a voice that instantly enchanted the crowd that listened and watched on with amazement. The way her voice shifts and creates emotion with just it’s tone regardless of the lyrics is something that instantly struck me and it left me wanting more.
Thanks to The Birmingham music awards in just a few hours I was introduced to three exceptional artists that I will eagerly follow as they blossom in the world of music. The event was a push for some well deserved funding that can ensure the chance that talent like we saw that day doesn’t slip through our fingers and make sure we have more Jaki Graham’s, Judas Priest’s, UB40’s, ELO’s, Black Sabbath’s, Duran Duran’s created in this age of music. I could list so many others musical gems that Birmingham has to boast but you can just google to save my word count!
Jo Jeffries told us the ways we can contribute and how sponsorships can also have a positive impact on the businesses who are kind enough to pledge their allegiance by aiding the future of the BMA’s with a donation. If you are able to donate yourself or know anyone who can then please do as after my experience at this wonderful event showed, this is definitely a cause worth giving to and secures not only our entertainment but the future of the local artists who bring it to us.
They BMA’s will be putting on their first in person ceremony since 2019 at The Town Hall on September 21st this year. This astounding event that Jo herself told me has many people grappling at a chance to attend, looks phenomenal as we were shown clips of previous years and you can bet that me and my friend who attended the event with me have marked it in our calendars!
Words by Wallis Brown for Grapevine Birmingham (https://www.instagram.com/wonderfulyou_xo)