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UD Low Down: Raye x Flames @ BRIT Awards, O2 London

For the third time, Flames Collective took to the stage with the now record-breaking BRIT Award winning star RAYE, for their live TV debut. Flames vocalist, Baaba Nkansah-Asamoah, reports back on one of the best nights of her life… 

The 2nd March meant one thing – The BRIT Awards 2024! A day that saw the Flames Collective bear witness to history with RAYE, who won six out of the seven BRIT Awards she was nominated for, breaking records and getting the flowers she so greatly deserved all these years. 

Rehearsals at UD

For Flames, the journey to The BRITs began a few weeks before the night of the 2nd March with rehearsals at UD (who have been developing the Collective since 2016), to cover the set list and our parts which we had to individually learn. 

Before we knew it, the 1st of March was upon us which meant one thing – soundcheck at the 02, London. We couldn’t believe the day had come. We arrived and headed to accreditation to get our passes for the event. Despite the rain there were smiles all around as the anticipation of the day heightened the level of excitement. Backstage we were greeted with a beautiful dressing room. We made and signed a card for RAYE to commemorate her nominations: her journey is inspiring to us all – we’re constantly reminded to never give up in our pursuit of music. We presented RAYE with some beautiful flowers, a small gesture of our appreciation for the opportunities she’s given us and continues to give us (see you at the 02 on the 15th March, gang). We then had a pep talk before killing our soundcheck and just like that, the day of the BRIT Awards was fast approaching. 

Day. Of. The. Event! 

We arrived at the O2 and went to our dressing room. The buzz was electrifying. Some were warming up, others doing their hair, makeup, taking pictures, reversing the set list. We all had one united goal though – to ace RAYE’s set and make her proud. We then had a dress rehearsal around 3:30pm where we ran through everything in real time as per how the show would run, technicalities ‘n’ all. We then left our soundcheck as the red carpet was being prepared (you know we had to take a cheeky picture). Once back in our dressing room it was final preparations with hair & makeup and everyone got their glam on whilst vibing to music. Before we knew it, 6pm and dinner time was upon us. We were led down to crew catering where Flames and every single member of staff at the event ate and chatted. The food was a solid 10/10 with so much variety for everyone to choose from. 

After dinner we headed back and warmed up before watching the show on our devices. We gathered around as we watched RAYE win four BRIT Awards back to back. We then went through the set for the final time in the common area and were applauded by various creatives who were also partaking in the show in some capacity. This was a great confidence booster and we held our heads high. At 9.46 (precisely) we were led to the stage – such a surreal experience. We made sure to enjoy ever single moment as the curtain flew up. When I saw the applause that erupted, it was so CRAZY. I’ve never heard anything so loud and passionate. Five minutes later and we were screaming in jubilation, racing back to our dressing room. 

We watched the rest of the show, with RAYE going on to win two more BRITS. It was such an emotional time as we saw her go up with her grandmother, such a beautiful moment to witness – all her hard work had paid off. The night ended off with some going to the BRITS After Party and others heading home after a successful weekend. 

It’s a night i’ll never forget! See you at the 02 on 15th March with RAYE and The Heritage Orchestra.

Words: Baaba Nkansah-Asamoah

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