Awardees span jazz, hip hop, electronic, blues, soul, reggae and more from across the UK
Together with MOBO Trust, we are proud to announce the next 20 hugely talented awardees under the second round of the MOBO Help Musicians Fund.
After the success of last year’s pilot, the MOBO Help Musicians Fund was doubled from £20,000 to £40,000 in 2018, creating even more funding opportunities for grassroots talent at the start of their careers, with groups of five or more eligible to apply for grants up to £3,000.
The panel of industry experts, including jazz artist and MOBO Award winner Moses Boyd, music manager and MOBO Trustee, Kwame Kwaten and Amy Frenchum of Brownswood and Future Bubblers, whittled down the final 20 recipients from just under 200 applications. The newly funded creators who represent a wide range of exceptional emerging talent from across the country will use their grants to support multiple aspects of an artist’s career, from recording to visuals, production, PR, promotion, touring and beyond.
The 20 awardees are: Afro Sam, Amahla, Arieleno, Daniel Casimir, Empress Imani, Freya Roy, Mali Hayes, Melissa James, Mercy's Cartel, Miryam Solomon, NoTTwins, Omahrose, PYJÆN, RUE, Saie / The Afro Romantic, SERAPHINA, Shunaji, Strange Bones, TrueMendous and YUN SEN.
Indicative of the incredible breadth of future stars emerging from the UK, the selected artists reflect a diverse range of genres including pop, reggae, soul, jazz, rock, hip hop, blues, world and electronic, and are geographically spread across London, Leeds, Stockport, Blackpool, Surrey, Birmingham, Manchester, Norwich and Bristol.
This year’s fund opened in September, offering solo artists, producers, groups and songwriters from across the UK, who have been making music and performing, but do not have significant financial backing, the chance to apply.
The MOBO Help Musicians Fund, which was founded in partnership between the charitable arm of the organisation behind the MOBO Awards and HMUK, was launched in 2017. Last year it supported 11 up and coming acts, such as producer, composer and vocalist AGAMA, who used her award to produce a 4-track EP and video. Also funded was Signkid, a London-based hip-hop producer, writer and performer from who signs songs and used the award to produce a video to send a positive message to the deaf and disabled community about access to the music industry. You can see more from them and other awardees on YouTube here.
Claire Gevaux, Help Musicians UK Director of Programme, said: “Supporting the next generation of exceptional talent across diverse genres is a huge part of achieving HMUK’s vision of a world where musicians thrive. Because of the success of the pilot, we’ve been able to double the size of the MOBO Help Musicians Fund so that 20 artists can take their careers to the next level. We would like to thank our partner, MOBO Trust, for working with us again for this incredible second year and congratulate each and every artist recipient. We hope that the funding will truly make a difference to growing and developing their music careers.”
MOBO founder and CEO Kanya King CBE: “We are very pleased with the fantastic work the judges have done. They have chosen a variety of fresh talent representing all these music genres which is a great reflection on the UK music scene. We are especially excited to see a higher level of entries coming from a wider range of artists from diverse and often under represented backgrounds. We are looking forward to seeing the awardees develop, partly in thanks to the support the MOBO Help Musicians Fund has been able to provide.”