In the fourth year of the MOBO Help Musicians Fund, a collaboration between Help Musicians and the MOBO Trust, the two organisations are delighted to announce the next 25 artists to be supported to develop their creative output and careers.
The 25 artists to be supported with the expanded 2020 package were able to demonstrate strong adaptability in their projects in terms of dealing with the impact of Covid-19, such as planning to use the funding to create a virtual concert series, a live performance to a virtual audience using streaming technology and to implement an immersive VR experience.
As well as using innovative technology in the face of social distancing, many of those supported will also explore important cultural topics, such as: being Black in Britain, social justice inequalities, mental health and vulnerability, fight for change, the evolution of feminism, freedom of speech and much more.
Awardee Sicaria Sound commented: “We are really happy to have the support to create our first EP, especially considering we have started to find our groove in terms of recording after finishing two singles. Being able to finish a body of work in times of Covid-19, when gigs are still scarce, will also help us find gigs once more of them are able to take place. We are very grateful and excited!”
This year’s cohort includes a diverse range of musical talent, songwriters and saxophonists, drummers and guitarists, singers and turntable artists working across world, hip-hop, R&B, electronic and reggae to name but a few among a huge selection of musical styles.
MOBO founder Kanya King CBE commented: “It was great to be working with Help Musicians once again to provide talented musicians with crucial development at a time when they need it the most, as we wholeheartedly believe that lack of financial resources should not be an obstacle for achieving your dreams. We are proud to champion and provide funding and business support to these aspiring creatives and we look forward to seeing their progression in the years to come.”
The 2020 MOBO Help Musicians Fund package offers each awardee £3,000 towards creative output, 1:1 business advice sessions from experienced music industry professionals and 1:1 health & wellbeing consultations with British Association for Performing Arts Medicine professionals, covering all aspects of a musician’s health, including physical and mental health needs and specialist referrals where required.
Awardees in this round and their projects are as follows:
- Mulele Matondo, a songwriter from London, will mix, master, and market a solo sophomore album featuring some of London's finest jazz musicians
- StickzN15, a hip-hop artist from London, will co-produce a 5-track EP and collaborate with rapper/producer Jords to explore being Black in Britain, particularly regarding issues of mental health and social justice inequalities
- Lekan Babalola, a jazz percussionist from the West Midlands, wants to develop a Yoruba Futurism project by collaborating with young Birmingham producers and artists
- Afro Cluster, an eight-piece hip-hop band from Wales, will use the funding to pay for radio adverts for two single release campaigns promoting the release of their debut album
- BLUESFORTHEHORN, a R&B singer from London, will create visual content for an upcoming EP and produce two music videos
- Dominic James, a bass guitarist from London, will produce a debut album reflecting a Caribbean background
- Royal Sounds, a reggae guitarist from London, will create a virtual concert series. They will invite musicians to perform live in studio to a virtual audience using the latest streaming technology
- IMVN, a R&B singer from London, will work on debut EP ‘FAZE’, centred around mental health and vulnerability, combined with an immersive VR experience called FAZE.WORLD
- Romey Five, MC and rapper from the West Midlands, will release four tracks over four months. They will also create two promotional music videos and hold an online listening party with a live band
- Namywa, a songwriter from the West Midlands, will develop a strategic launch pad for their self-titled EP. The investment will go towards the mastering of a three-track EP with visual accompaniment and PR campaign
- Lewis Daniel, a saxophonist from London, will put the funding towards a debut jazz EP, ‘States Of Being’
- Loucin, a jazz singer from London, will continue to produce and release their first EP as a solo artist
- Mahalia Fontaine, a R&B singer from London, will put the funding towards their first EP, ‘Affairs Of Her Heart’
- brownbear, a songwriter from Scotland, plans to create a visually immersive music video for their next single as part of a wider social media campaign
- An Alien Called Harmony, drummers from London, will record, mix and master their first EP
- Nathan Greene, a drummer from the West Midlands, will complete and release a debut EP inspired by jazz and R&B
- Pierre Da Silva, a R&B songwriter from London, will record an EP, get it mixed and mastered, create an official music video, acoustic videos and commission other supporting creative content
- Mauvey, a R&B songwriter from the South West, will record, distribute and market a debut album, delivered in three parts across one year, with an accompanying series of self-directed music videos
- Sicaria Sound, a turntable artist from the South East, will use the funding to launch Stage Two of Sicaria
- Sarah Angel, a soul songwriter from the North West, will fund an eight-track album covering inequality, fight for change, the evolution of feminism, freedom of speech, surviving abuse, adoption, and overcoming depression
- Sidiki Dembele, a percussionist from the North West, will produce a collaborative album, 'Siniensigui'
- Tabitha Jade, a R&B singer from the North West, will use the funding for a 12-track album with two music videos
- Vanessa Jamie, a R&B singer from London, will market and promote a debut EP ‘Sunset’, scheduled for release in October 2020
- Winnie and The Rockettes, R&B singers from London, will complete their debut EP, market it online and via radio and produce a music video
- Zola Marcelle, a vocalist from London, will produce live audio and visual recording for an EP release