Rina Sawayama Ineligible For British Awards Because Of Her Japanese Heritage

Rina Sawayama attends The ELLE List 2018 at Somerset House.
Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images

British-Japanese singer Rina Sawayama released her debut album, SAWAYAMA, earlier this year, which received a lot of critical acclaim from music critics. On Metacritic, the LP currently has a score of 89 out of 100 based on 14 reviews. Sawayama has lived in the U.K. most of her life. Therefore, when it came to announcing the Mercury Prize Award nominations, it was a shock to hear that her album wasn’t on the list.

In a post that can be seen here, Sawayama took to Instagram on Wednesday to explain the reason for her not being entered.

“I’ve lived here for 25 YEARS (most of my life) but I am not British enough to even be ELIGIBLE for the 2 biggest UK music awards,” she wrote.

The other major award Sawayama was referring to within her caption was the BRIT Awards.

When Sawayama saw the tweets last week about her record not being shortlisted, she felt heartbroken but knew beforehand that she wasn’t eligible.

“I knew from several months ago that I would never be on that list, or ever be considered a British artist in the eyes of the awards of a country I call home.”

“I just want to dream the same dream as everyone else,” she continued.

According to Vice, when Sawayama first signed her deal with Dirty Hit, she told them that her goal was to win a Mercury Prize. The publication revealed that it is one of top-rated albums on Metacritic and has been named the “strongest” of the year by living legend Elton John.

Rina Sawayama attends the #BoF500 gala dinner during New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019.
  Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

The “Comme des Garçons (Like the Boys)” hitmaker insisted that everyone needed to speak up if they wanted the entry rules to change “so that it includes immigrants who cannot get a British passport, but still contribute to UK culture and economy in immeasurable ways.”

Since her Instagram post, the hashtag “SAWAYAMAISBRITISH” has become the top trending topic in the U.K., with more than 6,800 tweets talking about the subject.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, this year saw female artists lead the Mercury Prize nominations for the first time since its creation in 1992.

Chart-topping star Dua Lipa expressed that it was an honor to be recognized for her second studio album, Future Nostalgia. Should she win on September 24, not only will she take home a trophy, she will also earn a cash prize of £25,000 (approximately $32,000). Her competition includes Charli XCX’s How I’m Feeling Now, Georgia’s Seeking Thrills, Laura Marling’s Song For Our Daughter, and Kano’s Hoodies All Summer, to name a few.