The first ever recipients of the MOBO Help Musicians Fund announced

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Help Musicians UK (HMUK), Britain’s leading independent music charity, together with MOBO’s newly established charity MOBO Trust, are delighted to announce the 11 talented artists from across the UK that have been chosen to receive a vital funding award to take their career to the next level, as part of a new fund between MOBO and Help Musicians UK totalling over £20,000.

The 11 emerging artists will be the first ever recipients of the MOBO Help Musicians Fund, which was founded in partnership between the charitable arm of the organisation behind the MOBO Awards and the music industry’s biggest independent charity.

These up-and-coming artists have been awarded up to £2,000 each in   vital support to realise their musical ambitions across a broad spectrum of activities that are vital to an artist’s career and creative development - from vocal coaching, support for live performance and touring, video production, recording studio access, PR, marketing and promotion.

The successful 11 artists are:

AGAMA – A producer, composer and vocalist who mixes Jazz, Electronica and Soul, whilst referencing Afro-Caribbean and British Choral Traditions.

ArA Harmonic - Originally from Bristol, this London based Soul artist only found the confidence to follow her dreams four years ago, and has since become unstoppable.

AWATE –  A Hip Hop artist who makes music based around his identity as a refugee from Eritea, he uses his life experiences to speak about subjects such as self-esteem, mental health and heritage.

Cat Delphi -. A singer songwriter, who is heavily influenced by Beyoncé and Beethoven and writes for some of the hottest producers in the UK.

Estée Blu – Hailing from London, Estée Blu is carving a name for herself in the Contemporary Soul and Neo Jazz Scene.

Griz-O - A Hip-Hop and Grime artist from Gloucester with an experimental twist, who first found his love of music performing at his local youth club.

Haula – An artist who self-funded her first project from production to performance, whose debut RnB tracks have already gathered considerable support.

Lady Sanity - A female rapper from the West Midlands who is developing her own sound and covers issues rarely discussed in music.

Merki Waters – A Liverpudlian, singer, songwriter, producer and rapper who pushes boundaries with sound and melodics to deliver a new wave of R&B/Soul to the world.

Michelle O Faith –  A singer, songwriter and producer from London, who weaves operatic techniques into Pop Vocal Sounds.

Signkid - London based Hip-Hop Producer, writer and performer who signs songs and will use the funding award to produce a video to send a positive message to the deaf and disabled community about access to the music industry.

 

Launched in October 2017, the MOBO Help Musicians Fund has encouraged applications from beyond the commercial heartland such as RnB, Soul, Hip Hop, Grime, Jazz, Gospel, Garage, Reggae and African music.

 

Claire Gevaux, Creative Director at Help Musicians UK said:

This award is an exciting new development for the Creative Programme at Help Musicians UK and we’re delighted the first round has been so successful. It’s been fantastic to work with the MOBO Trust to develop this award, and we’re delighted to be investing even more money into two funding rounds next year. We hope that through this increased investment, we’ll be able to help even more emerging artists realise their career aspirations.”

 

Kanya King MBE, Founder and CEO, MOBO, said:

"This has been an exciting first initiative for the MOBO Trust. Partnering with Help Musicians UK in this first round of MOBO Help Musicians, we are overwhelmed by the quality and range of emerging talent out there. MOBO Trust is keen to celebrate exceptional talent especially in support of those who endeavour to follow paths in genres often overlooked by the commercial heartland. We are excited to see the progression of these aspiring creatives over the next year and look forward to seeing what talent comes forward in the next rounds."


The first round received over 150 applications from across the UK and a panel made up of music industry experts including MOBO Talent and Content Coordinator, Shannon Wright and British broadcaster, producer, director and columnist, Jasmine Dotiwala were tasked with selecting successful applicants.

Following the high volume and calibre of applications, the MOBO Help Musicians Fund will invest even more money into two further rounds in 2018.

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Who we have helped

“Without the help from Help Musicians UK, I would not have been able to afford to study as a member of the Royal College of Music International Opera School; preparing me for a career in opera.”

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