That’s a wrap! Our 11th annual Drum&BassArena Awards went off with a bang last night, marking a new chapter for us with a slick new-look broadcast aimed at you – our global D&B community.
Presented by our dream team Jenna G and Dave Jenkins at YouTube Space London – our aim this year was to break outside of our industry bubble, so we swapped our usual soiree in favour of a deeper dive into the Awards and the stories behind them.
With a focussed analysis and wider snapshot of the scene, we invited unsuspecting winners, some key industry figures such as Mampi Swift, as well as nominees Kasra and Whiney.
The night marked not only a new chapter for us, but it also marked an exciting shift in voting with some huge twists in certain categories, the biggest of the night seeing A.M.C taking the Best DJ crown from Andy C for the first time ever in our Awards’ history. We had a visibly emotional A.M.C in the studio with Dave, who couldn’t quite believe the news. The award tops off a huge year for the technical wizard, following a non-stop events schedule and the release of his highly-anticipated ENERGY album (which also landed the 2nd spot in the Best Album category).
We saw Chase & Status sweep 3 of their 5 nominations (with Program coming second in the Best Track and Video categories) taking the Best Producer, Best Album and Best Remix accolades, also joining Dave in the studio for a chat about the immense RTRN II Jungle project and what’s coming up next.
Calibre was awarded the Critics’ Choice award, highlighting his prolific career and his profound impact on the scene. We had the pleasure of having him in in the studio for a very rare interview, and in true Calibre fashion he was thoughtful and his words poignant, stating that the real reward of his career has been the ability to work with complete artistic freedom and that the Critics’ Choice title was simply the “icing on the cake”.
Bryan Gee was inducted to the Hall of Fame for his immeasurable contribution to the scene, and left us all grinning from ear to ear with his heart-warming reaction to the news.
Elsewhere we saw Kanine crowned Best Newcomer, Inja claiming the Best MC title for the 2nd year in a row, DnB Allstars awarded the Best New Label award, Hospital picking up Best Club Night and Label titles, with Urbandawn’s Come Together ft. Tyson Kelly crowned as Best Track of 2019.
Best Vocalist went to soul man DRS who checked in with a thoughtful video acceptance speech, thanking all his fans for the continued support over the years. His video also saw him respectfully bow out of any future awards with the belief that art cannot be judged by numbers and categories, also citing the wider pressure of awards season as something he did not want to be a part of. His speech urged fans to vote for one of the many other amazing vocalists or MCs within our scene who often don’t get a mention for their tireless work.
While we’re sad to see him bow out of the Awards, we are aware that awards aren’t to everyone’s taste, and of course there are so many hard-working and deserving souls who didn’t get a mention this year, but our aim is to get people shouting about those who have made a positive impact on their lives, and to give our scene the opportunity to pat each other on the back and highlight each other’s hard work. Numbers certainly do not define success, but we hope that in a scene where people are often too busy to stop and reflect on their achievements, we offer a platform to do so.
Mad love to DRS for his humility and honesty, and for his final and important parting message to promoters to start billing MCs next to the DJs they perform with.
An emotional night on so many levels, we were once again reminded just how special our scene and the characters behind it are. The new format allowed us to reflect on the year that was in more detail than ever before, and truly highlighted just how many important releases, events and hard-working professionals there are behind the scenes.
It wouldn’t be the Drum&BassArena awards without a fiery chat room discussing the results and people expressing outrage when their faves didn’t ‘win’.. But the way we see it, they’ve already won when they have dedicated fans shouting about them and why they deserved to win. So big up all the passionate individuals supporting their favourite artists and waving their flags.
It also wouldn’t be the Drum&BassArena awards without a sceptic or two suggesting we rig the entire thing. To them, all we can say is LOL.
This year’s extended broadcast was made to allow for more time to big up the wider scene and individuals who may not have got a mention in the nomination round. Our scene is much much bigger than 15 categories and we realise that, so we try to approach the awards in the fairest way possible. There is a huge team working tirelessly behind the scenes to bring these kinds of projects to life, and we’re proud to be documenting the movement with so many talented individuals. Thanks to the entire team at Drum&BassArena HQ for their hard work and passion.
And as always a special thanks goes to our global D&B community – everyone who voted, tuned in, and joined us in the chatroom, along with all the hard-working souls who keep pushing this scene forward. One love!
You can watch the full ceremony via the link at the bottom of this feature – in the meantime here are the top 5 results in each category…
Chase & Status
Camo & Krooked
Camo & Krooked
BEST NEW LABEL
BEST CLUB NIGHT
RTRN II Jungle – Chase & Status
Kings of the Rollers – Kings of the Rollers
ENERGY – A.M.C
Land of the Blind – State of Mind
Dubplate Style – S.P.Y
Let It Roll
Sun & Bass
Hospitality On The Beach
Souped Up Records
Come Together – Urbandawn Feat. Tyson Kelly
Program – Chase & Status Feat. Irah
Kallisto – Camo & Krooked & Mefjus
Solar System – Sub Focus
Siren – Sub Focus
UK Apache With Shy FX – Original Nuttah 25 (Chase & Status Remix Feat. Irah)
John Holt – Police In Helicopter (Benny L Remix)
Etherwood – Begin By Letting Go (Whiney Remix)
Delta Heavy – Here With Me (ft. Modestep) (The Prototypes Remix)
Hybrid Minds – Higher Love (ft. Charlotte Haining) (Particle Remix)
Roll The Dice – Shy FX Feat. Stamina MC & Lily Allen
Program – Chase & Status ft. Irah
That Smile – Current Value
Gravity – Metrik
Lumberjackin – Serum ft. Inja