Kanya King MBE founded and established the MOBO Organisation in 1996 to recognise the outstanding achievements of artists who perform music in genres such as Gospel, Jazz, RnB, Soul, Reggae and Hip Hop. Over the past 17 years MOBO has played an instrumental role in elevating black music and culture to mainstream popular status in the UK.
The annual MOBO Awards has become one of the most televised music shows in the world and showcases the best British and international urban music talent. The MOBO Awards continue to attract the largest prime time multicultural audience in Europe, due in no small part to the fact that MOBO has played host to the music industry’s finest, jaw-dropping performances from the cream of both UK and international talent. Among many others, over the years artists have included:
LL Cool J
As well as showcasing a wide array of top international talent, MOBO is proud to have been a catalyst in the careers of numerous UK artists such as Craig David, Ms Dynamite, Rita Ora, Estelle, Kano, N-Dubz, Chipmunk – all of whom have gone on to achieve global success after winning the MOBO Best Newcomer Award.
Over the years, the MOBO Awards have been held at every iconic venue at its birthplace in London, including the Wembley Arena, the Royal Albert Hall and the O2 arena. Yet being a national awards show, they have also ventured further afield, moving to SECC and Hydro Arena in Glasgow in 2009 and 2013 respectively, and the Echo Arena in Liverpool in 2010. The shows attract an immense audience with around five million people watching the events live across the BBC and since 2014 ITV.Oritsé (JLS) - What MOBO means to me:
“I remember this time two years ago being at uni and MOBO organiser Kanya King coming in for a lecture. I was a skint student and just putting JLS together and I remember thinking: ‘Imagine being up for a MOBO Award. It’s crazy that now we’ve won two and are up for another two”
“MOBO is a powerful cultural and social movement with massive appeal across mainstream audiences and multi-cultural Britain as well as making a huge international impact. The brand is unique in that it is both ‘street’ and ‘mass-market’, mainstream and cutting-edge”
M & C Saatchi
MOBO is so much more than an awards show. After 20 years, MOBO is a well-established and widely-recognised brand with many different strands.
It’s seen as a very British brand, that represents and celebrates the diversity in ‘urban’ or MOBO music and as such within our society.
The brand is very much seen as cutting edge, as pioneering and of course as an institution. It is an authority that engages with a very current and contemporary audience.
At MOBO, we like to think that the brand’s success and appeal is based on its clear passion to inspire and to honour achievement and has grown quickly to become Europe’s leading urban music brand that supports a huge variety of genres not just at the annual Awards but all year round through a series of other initiatives.
MOBO hosts a number of events throughout the year to acknowledge, recognise and reward artists for their achievements in urban music as well as champion new talent and provide a platform for emerging artists.
Our website, MOBO.com, breathes our passion throughout the year lending full support to talent at all stages of their career, with specialist written, video and social content backed by Social Media such as Facebook and Twitter.
The website is also a hub of activity with all the latest news and views from the world of MOBO music, fashion and culture, and beyond.
Our brand new YouTube channel MOBO TV features intimate acoustic sessions, interviews and gig features with the hottest talent filmed. Alongside high profile artists we also offer MOBO TV as a platform for emerging talent.
MOBO UnSung, our talent competition for unsigned artists, was first launched in 2012, and three years later it’s bigger and better than ever.
With life-changing prizes and an incredible calibre of entrants, the opportunity is one which offers a vital platform for aspiring musicians.
In partnership with HTC and PRS for Music Foundation, it is another MOBO initiative that is very much in keeping with our ethos of supporting and shining the spotlight on deserving talent.
Our MOBO Magazine is our annual magazine to showcase the phenomenal talent we have in the UK from the mainstream artist to the underground rapper.
It is published around the MOBO Awards show and does not only feature the biggest sellers of the year but also the next generation of stars and talent.
With exciting interviews and incredible success stories the MOBO Magazine is one of our favourite retrospection of each year.
For the latest issue click here.