Liam Payne hails Ed Sheeran and UK music following Brit Award nods

Liam Payne has hailed the power of British music as he earned two Brit Award nominations for his debut solo single.

The former One Direction star is nominated for best single and best artist video for Strip That Down, which features rapper Quavo.

Having already collected seven Brits as part of One Direction, Payne finds himself competing with former bandmates Harry Styles and Zayn Malik in the best video category.

He told the Press Association: “It’s been amazing, I can’t believe I’m stood here by myself at this pre-show party and having two nominations, fantastic.”

He also heralded Ed Sheeran, who collected four nominations following the release of his record-breaking third album, Divide, and referenced the wider global success of British music.

“To be one of the people who are mentioned among these names… I mean last year was such a great year for music with Ed coming through and all sorts of different things,” he said.

“Records were broken last year so it’s been fantastic, I’m super-happy to be here.”

Asked if he was preparing a winner’s speech for the ceremony, Payne said: “Probably not… there’s been so much great music.”

His words were echoed by fellow nominee Jax Jones whose track, You Don’t Know Me, featuring Raye, faces competition from Payne in the best British single category.

He told the Press Association: “I’m really proud of British music as a whole at the moment.

“There’s a certain kind of respect you get as a British music-maker when you go around the world.

“We’re not the biggest territory but we’re arguably the biggest tastemakers in the world. American music tends to sound, a lot of it, the same in terms of their commercial music,” he said.

Jones added: “But for us, the way our radio is set up… every genre is getting a chance and that is what makes it so cool and we always have this lo-fi rustic sound no matter where, it’s not too polished.

“And that’s what makes it so gangster.”

Asked who he wanted to see victorious at next month’s ceremony, the producer and singer said: “I wanna see Ed clear up like he’s supposed to.”



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