Ammo Talwar MBE, CEO - Punch Records / Chairman - UK Music Diversity TaskForce
Here in my hometown Birmingham, UK, as I write this, something big has just happened. Actually; something big has just been named; named after our biggest global (maybe) musical export - Ozzy Osbourne. "Ozzy" is the new name for the ten-metre tall mechanical bull that stole the show at the Commonwealth Games 2022.
This second Ozzy was “saved for the nation'' after fifteen thousand people jumped on a petition started by a concerned Brummie. But I wouldn't have named him "Ozzy". Not when the longlist included gems like "Optimus MOO", "Thum-BULL-ina" and "Boulton" (I believe I'd call him ... "Matthew BULL-ton").
Of course it's right and proper to celebrate our modern musical success stories - and Black Sabbath's backstory is a true working-class odyssey. So maybe our global cities need more musical mascots - Birmingham could and should big up Reggae, Ska and Bhangra as well as Heavy...