On Wednesday 29 November the prestigious MOBO Awards lands in Leeds, for a night that celebrates both well-respected artists and hotly tipped acts within the hip hop, grime, R&B/Soul, Reggae, Jazz, Gospel and African genres. This year’s nominations list is bursting with some of the best in the business, so we’re giving you the lowdown of who’s in the running and highlighting a few ‘featured acts’ that you can catch at O2 Academy venues in the near future.
Here’s the MOBO nominations 2017 list in full:
BEST MALE ACT:
Featured act: Maleek Berry
Maleek Berry has been making a name for himself in the afropop world since the release of single ‘The Matter’, but he’s equally known for his exceptional production skills as well as his songwriting. His debut EP Last Daze Of Summer was full of hazy, R&B sounds that’ll have you swooning from the first note.
O2 Academy Birmingham: Saturday 3 February 2018 – Buy Tickets
BEST FEMALE ACT:
Featured act: Jessie Ware
Ware is currently gearing up to release her third album Glasshouse, with single ‘Alone’ offering a sweet taste of what to expect from the R&B star. Having been nominated for MOBO Awards in the past, could 2017 be the year she goes home with the gold? Quite possibly.
Featured act: Mabel
Mabel is creating a storm with her powerful grooves and expertly-crafted songs. Recently dropping her mixtape Ivy To Roses to critical acclaim and with two huge headline shows coming up, she’s soon to become a household name within the R&B scene.
J Hus – Common Sense
Nines – One Foot Out
Sampha – Process
Stormzy - Gang Signs & Prayer
Wretch 32 – Growing Over Life
Featured act: Wretch 32 – Growing Over Life
Despite only releasing Growing Over Life in September 2016, respected London MC Wretch 32 is already back with a new full-length, called FR32. Both records saw him develop even further as an artist, with narratives of freedom and honesty intertwined with infectious melodies and beats, it could be some of his best work yet.
O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire: Monday 11 December – Sold Out
O2 Institute Birmingham: Tuesday 12 December – Buy Tickets
Featured act: Yxng Bane
Signed to Tinie Tempah’s Disturbing London label, East London’s Yxng Bane has established himself not only through his solo singles, such as ‘Rhianna’ and ‘Froze’, but through his collaborations with the likes of Yungen (their track ‘Bestie’ is also nominated for an award) and his famed remix of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape Of You’.
O2 Academy Birmingham: Thursday 22 March 2018 – Buy Tickets
Featured act: Jorja Smith
Named amongst the BBC Sound of 2017, Jorja Smith’s year has been a meteoric one. With headline shows on both sides of the Atlantic and singles ‘On My Mind’ and ‘Teenage Fantasy’ racking up over 3million Spotify streams each, the starlet is making all the right impressions.
O2 Academy Oxford: Sunday 11 February 2018 – Sold Out
O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire: Wednesday 14 February 2018 – Sold Out
O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire: Thursday 15 February 2018 – Sold Out
J Hus – ‘Did You See’ (Produced by JAE5)
Kojo Funds Feat. Abra Cadabra – ‘Dun Talkin’’ (Produced by GA)
Not3s – ‘Addison Lee’ (Produced by Malv On The Track)
Stormzy – ‘Big For Your Boots’ (Produced by Sir Spyro & Fraser T Smith)
Yungen Feat. Yxng Bane – ‘Bestie’ (Produced by ADP)
Featured act: Yungen Feat. Yxng Bane – ‘Bestie’ (Produced by ADP)
Having caught the eye of SBTV’s Jamal Edwards back in 2010, Yungen has been establishing himself as a genre-defying artist ever since. Taking influence from 90s R&B and hip-hop and fusing it with elements of grime, ‘Bestie’ is one of the tracks which have cemented him as an important voice in the UK music scene.
Bossman Birdie - ‘Walk The Walk’ (Directed by Luke Davies)
J Hus - ‘Spirit’ (Directed by Hugo Jenkins)
Loyle Carner – ‘The Isle Of Arran’ (Directed by Georgia Hudson)
Mist – ‘Hot Property’ (Directed by Oliver Jennings)
Stormzy – ‘Big For Your Boots’(Directed by Daps)
BEST HIP HOP ACT:
Featured act: Stefflon Don
Having recently signed a million-pound record deal with Universal, London rapper Stefflon Don is swiftly becoming one of the most sought-after artists in the industry. She’s already collaborated with Drake and with her debut album in the works; her feisty and outspoken words are likely to see her career skyrocket in no time at all.
BEST GRIME ACT:
BEST R&B/SOUL ACT:
Featured act: Ray BLK
BBC Sound of 2017 winner Ray BLK creates a delicious blend of rap, soul and R&B, with single ‘Doing Me’ becoming an empowering anthem for women everywhere. Having worked with Stormzy, Wretch 32 and SG Lewis in the past, Ray is an exciting new star within the urban scene, who’ll no doubt make a statement at her upcoming live shows.
BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT:
BEST AFRICAN ACT:
Featured act: Mr Eazi
Mr Eazi has become a firm favourite in the afrobeat scene, producing crowd-pleasing hits such as, 'Skin Tight', 'Hollup', 'Bankulize', 'In the Morning', 'Tilapia' and 'Detty Yaself'. His Life Is Eazi tour went down a storm previously, and thankfully he’s back for more in the not so distant future.
Featured act: Davido
Davido has become an afrobeats superstar over the past few years, building a huge social media following and fanbase within the Nigerian and world music scene. His 30 Billion world tour has only furthered his career and when it stops by the UK in February, you bet he’ll get the party going.
O2 Academy Brixton: Sunday 18 February 2018 – Buy Tickets
BEST REGGAE ACT:
BEST JAZZ ACT:
BEST GOSPEL ACT:
Volney Morgan & New-Ye