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The VMAs 2018!

The VMAs are officially back! Next week sees the awards taking place back at Radio City Music Hall in New York - where the first ever VMAs were held. The awards will take place on the 20th August, with broadcasting for the UK being the 21st August.

With the VMAs just around the corner, we wanted to check out the nominees - and give a run down of who would like to win video of the year, best new artist and best video with a message!


Video of the year

Ariana Grande: No Tears Left to Cry

Ariana has had a difficult year following Manchester, but this song is all about fighting hate by being positive, framed in an upbeat, disco feel. The music video sees Ariana walking on walls and the ceiling, opening with a city rotating. To make the video, they had to use a rotating room that has been used in movies like Transformers: The Last Knight, Inception and High School Musical 3: Senior Year. A nice finishing touch is a tribute to Manchester with the worker bee flying towards the camera.

Bruno Mars ft Cardi B: Finesse Remix

With a strong 90s vibe, the video sees Bruno and Cardi featuring in a sublimely choreographed retro dance sequence. The entire video is a homage to In Living Color, a TV sketch comedy that ran from 1990 to 1994. It was shot in 4:3 ration, with the dance sequence being shot at 60 frames per second!

Camila Cabello ft Young Thug: Havana

Showing off her acting skills, Camila Cabello’s Havana is like a short romance flick. Shot through Camila's various points of view and eclectic personas ; we get to see her finally embrace life and dancing her way home - and into love, (Awh). Posting an unedited version of the dance choreography, she stated that learning to dance helped with her confidence - and so it should, she’s amazing in the video!

You can check out the unedited dance video here.

The Carters: Apes**t

Power couple of the music industry, Beyonce and Jay-Z have teamed up for their first album collaboration, Everything Is Love. The music video is shot in The Louvre where iconic and ancient artefacts from African and European cultures are unveiled before timeless art such as the Mona Lisa and The Coronation of Napoleon. The music's edgy, broadly urban aesthetic is a palpable contrast to the classical atmosphere of the setting. Perfectly poised choreography of black performers before the white marble of the Venus de Milo, interspersed with flashing imagery of slavery and contortion, speaks to the philosophical layers and deeply-considered subject matter written into the shoot.

Childish Gambino: This is America

This is America has caused controversy and it’s not hard to see why-  he tackles gun violence to outlandish, extroverted, almost caricatured dancing. It’s hard to associated his physical movements with the profundity of it's message, making for an unsettling- almost chilling dischord. Within the first minute, he’s shot someone and the gun is safely wrapped, whereas the guy is dragged away. Another controversial scene is where Childish Gambino guns down the choir, which could be based on a 2015 Charleston shooting. Hard hitting, clever, ironic, unrelenting and unapologetic. Donald being Donald, then.

Drake: God’s Plan

Drake toned down his video for God’s Plan for a more humble project. Instead of bombastic displays of wealth and excess- he gave the money allocated as budget for the video to those in need. The team really did their homework, finding out who could use the money most - a talented young woman always dreamed of going to University but due to lack of access to resources couldn’t afford it is but one example. Drake gave her $50,000 which enables her to go university without worrying. It shows an entirely new side to him, one that is thoughtful, philosophical and human. This seems a more tactful Echo of Kendric'k' infamous assault on a Lamborghini, making a topical point about the banality of greed and the benefit of charity.

Who we want to win:

I never thought I would say it but I would like to see Drake win this one! His video shows a more humble and lovelier side to him and the video is a more laid back approach.


Best New Artist

Bazzi

Bazzi is an American singer-songwriter, his song ‘Mine’ became an internet meme - people put filters over the music video on Snapchat. He started out by posting covers of songs on to Vine and then Youtube. ’Mine’ is a glitch art and realistic music video, he thought of the melody at a pool party!

Cardi B

Cardi B is a very well known artist - she has worked with artists such as Bruno Mars, Bad Bunny and SZA. She rose to fame through instagram and her time on TV show - Love & Hip Hop: New York.

Chloe X Hale

Chloe X Hale are a sister duo, they did a cover of Beyonce’s ‘Pretty Hurts’ which gained them attention from the label ‘Parkwood Entertainment’. The difference in their voices is certain but subtle. One with the striking delivery of a ballad belter and another with the gently descending flutters of a smokey jazz-caff vet. The combined result is a rich and sophisticated sound.

Hayley Kiyoko

Hayley is openly gay - which shouldn’t matter because it’s 2018, but her songs are all based on lesbian relationships. She wants to normalise them within society and the music industry - which she sees as being very heteronormative.

Lil Pump

Lil Pump is an American rapper, his career took off when Smokepurpp asked him to freestyle over the top of one of his tracks. One of his tracks - Welcome to the Party - was on the Deadpool 2’s soundtrack, with Charlie Sheen appearing in the music video for ‘Drug Addicts’.

Lil Uzi Vert

An American Hip-Hop singer, songwriter and artist, he got noticed by Don Cannon for his rapping skills. He collaborated with Migos - which is made up artists Offset, Takeoff and Quavo, on track ‘Bad and Boujee’.

Who we want to win:

I’d love to see Chloe X Hale or Hayley Kiyoko win this award! Hayley is very truthful and honest, this is something that a lot of people currently love about artists - they are easily relatable. I love Chloe X Hale because they are such a raw talent!


Best Video With a Message

DeJ Loaf and Leon Bridges: Liberated

Embracing what makes us all different, Liberated contains people’s own accounts of what liberation means to them. It means many things to many people, but this portrayal seems centred around freedom and love of self. There is also a website - PeopleGetLiberated.com, which has all the full length videos of people’s answers to ‘What does the word liberated mean to you?’ and allows fans to add their own testimonials. We like this video as it represents more than just a video, but part of a campaign for social change awareness as well.

Drake: God’s Plan

Janelle Monae: PYNK

The song is all about celebrating sexuality, love and ‘pussy power’. The video sees women dancing around in vagina shaped trousers, with a pink grand canyon as the backdrop - everything else is coincidentally pink too.

Jessica Reyez: Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper tells Jessica’s story of trying to break into the music industry, how she encountered sexual harassment and sexism. It’s a very direct and honest video, there’s also a short film. We praise this for being such a topical and courageous video.

Logic ft Alessia Cara & Khalid: 1-800-273-8255

Teaming up with the National Suicide Prevention Line, Logic’s video follows the story of a teenager who is struggling to be accepted after coming out as gay. It shows him going through the motions of contemplating suicide and how he decided to ring someone instead. The day the song was released, the charity recorded their second highest number of callers in the organisations history. For a song and a video to have this kind of impact is a huge feat for the music industry!

Who we want to win:

I would love for Logic to win this category, It’s a powerful song which is made even better with an amazing video. Jessica Reyez’s of course deserves a highly honourable mention for tackling such evocative and difficult subject matter.


Jennifer Lopez

Video Vanguard Award

Jennifer Lopez

The Video Vanguard Award celebrates an artist's contribution to music, this year's winner is J-Lo! As we all grew up with Jenny from the block' we are excited to her long and illustrious career recognised. With a career of almost 20 year's and with hits such as 'On the Floor' and 'Let's Get Loud', not to mention a vault of older tent-peg productions, she was certainly a deserving winner.


Other Categories:

Artist of the Year:

  • Ariana Grande
  • Bruno Mars
  • Camila Cabello
  • Cardi B
  • Drake
  • Post Malone

Song of the Year:

  • Bruno Mars ft. Cardi B – “Finesse (Remix)”
  • Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug – “Havana”
  • Drake – “God’s Plan”
  • Dua Lipa – “New Rules”
  • Ed Sheeran – “Perfect”
  • Post Malone ft. 21 Savage – “rockstar”

Best Collaboration

  • Bebe Rexha ft. Florida Georgia Line – “Meant to Be”
  • Bruno Mars ft. Cardi B – “Finesse (Remix)”
  • The Carters – “APES**T”
  • Jennifer Lopez ft. DJ Khaled & Cardi B – “Dinero”
  • Logic ft. Alessia Cara & Khalid – “1-800-273-8255”
  • N.E.R.D & Rihanna – “Lemon”

Push Artist of the Year

  • JULY 2018 – Chloe x Halle
  • JUNE 2018 – Sigrid
  • MAY 2018 – Lil Xan
  • APRIL 2018 – Hayley Kiyoko
  • MARCH 2018 – Jessie Reyez
  • FEBRUARY 2018 – Tee Grizzley
  • JANUARY 2018 – Bishop Briggs
  • DECEMBER 2017 – Grace VanderWaal
  • NOVEMBER 2017 – Why Don’t We
  • OCTOBER 2017 – PRETTYMUCH
  • SEPTEMBER 2017 – SZA
  • AUGUST 2017 – Kacy Hill
  • JULY 2017 – Khalid
  • JUNE 2017 – Kyle
  • MAY 2017 – Noah Cyrus

Best Pop

  • Ariana Grande – “No Tears Left to Cry”
  • Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug – “Havana”
  • Demi Lovato – “Sorry Not Sorry”
  • Ed Sheeran – “Perfect”
  • P!nk – “What About Us”
  • Shawn Mendes – “In My Blood”

Best Hip Hop

  • Cardi B ft. 21 Savage – “Bartier Cardi”
  • The Carters – “APES**T”
  • Drake – “God’s Plan”
  • J. Cole – “ATM”
  • Migos ft. Drake – “Walk It Talk It”
  • Nicki Minaj – “Chun-Li”

Best Latin

  • Daddy Yankee – “Dura”
  • J Balvin, Willy William – “Mi Gente”
  • Jennifer Lopez ft. DJ Khaled & Cardi B – “Dinero”
  • Luis Fonsi, Demi Lovato – “Échame La Culpa”
  • Maluma – “Felices los 4”
  • Shakira ft. Maluma – “Chantaje”

Best Dance

  • Avicii ft. Rita Ora – “Lonely Together”
  • Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa – “One Kiss”
  • The Chainsmokers – “Everybody Hates Me”
  • David Guetta & Sia – “Flames”
  • Marshmello ft. Khalid – “Silence”
  • Zedd & Liam Payne – “Get Low (Street Video)”

BEST ROCK

  • Fall Out Boy – “Champion”
  • Foo Fighters – “The Sky Is A Neighborhood”
    Imagine Dragons – “Whatever It Takes”
    Linkin Park – “One More Light”
    Panic! At The Disco – “Say Amen (Saturday Night)”
    Thirty Seconds to Mars – “Walk On Water”

Best Cinematography

  • Alessia Cara – “Growing Pains” – Cinematography by Pau Castejón
  • Ariana Grande – “No Tears Left to Cry” – Cinematography by Scott Cunningham
  • The Carters – “APES**T” – Cinematography by Benoit Debie
  • Childish Gambino – “This Is America” – Cinematography by Larkin Seiple
  • Eminem ft. Ed Sheeran – “River” – Cinematography by Frank Mobilio & Patrick Meller
  • Shawn Mendes – “In My Blood” – Cinematography by Jonathan Sela

Best Direction

  • The Carters – “APES**T” – Directed by Ricky Saix
  • Childish Gambino – “This Is America” – Directed by Hiro Murai
  • Drake – “God’s Plan” – Directed by Karena Evans
  • Ed Sheeran – “Perfect” – Directed by Jason Koenig
  • Justin Timberlake ft. Chris Stapleton – “Say Something” – Directed by Arturo Perez Jr.
  • Shawn Mendes – “In My Blood” – Directed by Jay Martin

Best Art Direction

  • The Carters – “APES**T” – Art Direction by Jan Houlevigue
  • Childish Gambino – “This Is America” – Art Direction by Jason Kisvarday
  • J. Cole – “ATM” – Art Direction by Miles Mullin
  • Janelle Monáe – “Make Me Feel” – Art Direction by Pepper Nguyen
  • SZA – “The Weekend” – Art Direction by SZA and Solange
  • Taylor Swift – “Look What You Made Me Do” – Art Direction by Brett Hess
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