There is a whole lot of talent in the UK (Picture: PA)
Griff, Pa Salieu and Rina Sawayama have been nominated for the rising star Brit Award.
The rising star award recognises the future superstars of British music, and the three nominees were selected by a panel of journalists, musicians and radio and TV bosses.
Previous winners of the rising star award – previously called the critics’ choice – include Adele, Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, Florence + The Machine and James Bay, so it has a great track record.
This year, Japan-born singer Sawayama, Coventry rapper Pa Salieu and singer-songwriter Griff from Hertfordshire will compete for the title.
Sawayama’s inclusion comes after she campaigned for eligibility, after discovering she was not eligible to be nominated for British awards like the Brits or the Mercury Prize because she did not hold British citizenship – despite being raised in the UK, attending Magdalene College in Cambridge and holding an indefinite leave to remain visa.
After fans got #SawayamaIsBritish trending and musicians including Elton John supported the campaign, the BPI changed rules to allow anyone who remained in the UK to be eligible for nominations.
Rina was previously ineligible for the award (Picture: PA)
Sawayama, 30, released her critically acclaimed album Sawayama last year, which produced the hits XS and Lucid.
She said: ‘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.’
Pa Salieu hails from Coventry (Picture: PA)
Pa Salieu made his debut in January 2020 with his track Frontline, and has received acclaim for his blend of grime, drill and Afro-beats.
The 23-year-old’s debut mixtape Send Them To Coventry was released in November.
He said: ‘I am very grateful to be shortlisted for this Brit award. Love and blessings every time.
‘Thanks to everyone supporting my journey so far.’
Griff – real name Sarah Faith Griffiths – is the youngest nominee at just 20, and has already achieved attention from her tracks Black Hole, Mirror Talk and Inside Out, a collaboration with Zedd.
Griff is nominated at just 20 (Picture: PA)
Her debut EP The Mirror Talk was released in late 2019, and already in her career she has been nominated for an Ivor Novello rising star award and has written for Hailee Steinfeld.
She said: ‘It’s kinda terrifying how many legends have been nominated for this award.
‘I never ever, ever expected making beats in my music room after school could eventually lead to a Brit nomination.
‘Super lame but I remember after school, catching up on the Brits and crying watching Stormzy perform. And I don’t think I really knew what that emotion was at the time but I think it was just an overwhelming sense of aspiration. So to be nominated for a Brit award three years on is completely surreal.’
Last year, Celeste was honoured with the rising star award and became the first recipient to perform on the main show the same year.
The winner of the award will be revealed on March 19, while the Brit Awards will take place on May 11, postponed from its usual February slot.