There will be no Best Producer recognition in the 2017 tally of BRIT Awards winners, the BPI has announced. However, the Music Producers Guild will, once again, present its lauded UK Producer of the Year trophy at its annual ceremony in February.
A statement issued by the MPG and BRIT Awards have agreed to “rest” the Best Producer award for 2017, following “recent changes made to the BRITs Voting Academy”.
Tony Platt, managing director of the MPG Awards Group, said: “For the last eight years we have been proud to present the BRIT’s Best Producer Award to our UK Producer of the Year and we sincerely hope to be able to do so again.
“The MPG Awards are peer-led and winners are voted for by established and experienced working professionals during a carefully monitored voting and judging system. We hope that we will be able to work alongside the BRITs in future years. In the meantime, the BPI is continuing to support the MPG Awards through sponsorship.”
The Best Producer Award was unceremoniously dropped by the BPI at the end of the ’90s and, shortly afterwards, there were protestations in the likes of Billboard from the then Music Production Guild led by producer Robin Millar. The accolade was only re-introduced after the re-invigorated MPG initiated its own awards ceremony in 2008, and the BPI offered its award as part of a sponsorship support package.
A spokesperson for the BPI (who did not wish to be named) explained the situation further:
“Over the last eight years, we’ve been delighted to present a BRIT Award for Best Producer to the winner of the MPG Producer of the Year. Until now that selection has been based on the MPG’s voting and judging processes. The two awards are, however, entirely separate, even though the same person has previously received both.
“This year, as people may be aware, the BRITs has significantly changed the composition of its Voting Academy, and we also annually review our award categories and voting processes. The voting mechanic for the Best Producer Award differed substantially from our other votes and we have not had time to complete a review as to how this might best be structured. As a result, we have decided to rest the Best Producer Award for 2017.”
Platt went on to add: “When we instigated the MPG Awards it was to celebrate the talents and effort of all those creative people who support the artists in our industry. We still do that.
“The MPG UK Producer of the Year Award is unchanged and will be presented to the winner chosen by our recent Judging Panel. That person will have been nominated, voted and judged using our usual fair, transparent and inclusive process, which will continue unaffected.”
Both parties seem to be very aware of the frustrating nature of the situation – especially as the DJ/producer role is increasingly to the fore in the media – and hint that the Award could re-emerge for 2018. “We fully recognise the important role producers play in the music industry and will be considering further how best to reflect this going forward,” said the BRITs source, while Platt noted: “We have been delighted to work with the BRITs over the last eight years, and while we couldn’t come to a mutual agreement on how that would work for 2017, we sincerely hope that there will be one in the future.”
Now in its ninth year, the Music Producers Guild Awards features 16 awards categories that recognise the brightest names in music production. The 2016 Producer Award was won by Alt-J producer Charlie Andrew, while previous years have seen the likes of Paul Epworth (2013 and 2015), Flood and Alan Moulder (2014) and Ethan Johns (2012) honoured in the category. Other winners have included Sir George Martin CBE, Youth, FKA Twigs, Brian Eno, Catherine Marks, Trevor Horn, Dizzy Rascal and Dave Stewart.
The 2017 Awards will take place on 16 February 2017 at the Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London.
Tickets for the 2017 MPG Awards are also on sale and there are still a limited number of super discounted tickets available, reports the Guild.