Protest music by Ghetts, The 1975 and Jorja Smith up for Ivor Novello Awards


Matty Healy from The 1975 and Jorja Smith

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The 1975 and Jorja Smith both won Brit Awards earlier this year

Socially-conscious songs by Ghetts, The 1975 and Jorja Smith lead the nominees for this year’s Ivor Novello Awards.

All three are up for best contemporary song, with lyrics that address issues from stop and search to sexual abuse.

Ghetts’ Black Rose looks at the ways in which society disrespects black women, while Smith’s Blue Lights was written about distrust of the police.

The 1975’s Love It If We Made It, meanwhile, tackles Donald Trump, the opioid crisis, trolling and fake news.

“Modernity has failed us,” concludes singer-songwriter Matty Healy in the lyrics. “But I’d love it if we made it.”

He told lyrics website Genius: “It’s the gem of hope amongst all of the rubble. I didn’t want to do a protest song. I wanted to be introspective but not so much like my diary.”

Ghetts said his track was inspired by his six-year-old daughter, who can be heard at the beginning of the track asking: “Daddy, how come there’s no dolls that look like me in the shop?”

The Ivor Novello Awards recognise achievement in songwriting and, while they have a lower profile than the Brit Awards or Mercury Prize, are highly coveted by musicians.

Other nominees this year include George Ezra, Rudimental and Hozier, while the best album category recognises innovative records by Young Fathers, Let’s Eat Grandma and Idles.

Organisers hailed the “brilliantly diverse” range of songwriting talent in the UK, noting that 70% of this year’s nominees were being recognised for the first time.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at Grosvenor House in London on 23 May.

Full list of nominees

Best song musically and lyrically

  • Four Out Of Five – Arctic Monkeys
  • Nica Libres At Dusk – Ben Howard
  • Nina Cried Power – Hozier

Best contemporary song

  • Black Rose – Ghetts ft Kojey Radical
  • Blue Lights – Jorja Smith
  • Love It If We Made It – The 1975

PRS For Music most performed work

  • Breathe – Jax Jones ft Ina Wroldsen
  • Shotgun – George Ezra
  • These Days – Rudimental ft Jess Glynne, Macklemore and Dan Caplen

Best album

  • Cocoa Sugar – Young Fathers
  • I’m All Ears – Let’s Eat Grandma
  • Joy As An Act of Resistance – Idles

Best original film score

  • American Animals – Anne Nikitin
  • Phantom Thread – Jonny Greenwood
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – Daniel Pemberton

Best television soundtrack

  • Flowers (Series 2) – Arthur Sharpe
  • Happy New Year, Colin Burstead – Clint Mansell
  • Requiem – Natasha Khan and Dominik Scherrer

Best original video game score

  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – Joe Henson and Alexis Smith (The Flight) and Michael Georgiades
  • Q.U.B.E. 2 – David Housden
  • Sea of Thieves – Robin Beanland

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