Leeds First Direct Arena saw the arrival of The Music Of Black Origin (MOBO) Awards on Wednesday 4th November, a star studded event in my own home town.
The 2015 winners include:
- Best Hip Hop Act: Krept and Konan
- Best Grime Act: Stormzy
- Best African Act: Fuse ODG
- Best Newcomer: Section Boyz
- Best Male Act: Stormzy
- Best Song: Skepta, “Shutdown“
- Best Female Act: Ella Eyre
- Paving the Way Awards: Lenny Henry
- R&B/Soul Act: Shakka
- Best Video: FKA Twigs – “Pendulum“
- Best Album: Krept and Konan, The Long Way Home
- Best International Album: Drake, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
- Outstanding Achievement: CeeLo Green
The benefits the MOBO’s brought to Leeds were big, pumping an estimated £1.35 million into the economy and seeing more than 10,000 people arriving in the city that night, certainly helping put Leeds on the map internationally.
Councillor Judith Blake of Leeds City Council stated “This is a real coup for Leeds and a fabulous celebration of music and diversity that will lay down an ambitious marker in our bid to be named European Capital of Culture 2023.”
The awards brought alight the Grime genre of music, which emerged in England in the late 1990’s to the early 2000’s. Pioneers of this genre include Skepta, Wiley, JME, Stormzy, Lethal Bizzle and Dizzee Rascal. Originating in London, artists used pirate radio stations such as Rinse and Deja Vu FM to promote this genre of music. From being barely known 10 years ago to achieving MOBO awards, Grime has come a long away, suggesting 2015 really is the year of the revival of grime.
24 year old MC, Bugzy Malone from Manchester says “The nature of grime artists is that it is very underground and bedroom-based. But the genre is now becoming more respected and it’s inspired a whole new generation of MCs to feel like now we are working towards something.”
Grime is also starting to break through to America thanks to this years MOBO’s. HOT 97 in America has recently been interested in UK music, interviewing the likes of Krept and Konan, Stormzy and Skepta to talk about their new music. They even came across the pond and hit the red carpet and backstage alongside MOBO TV to interview all the nominees and winners.
When asked what people can do in America to help bridge the gap, Krept of Krept and Konan replied “We just want you guys to listen. We’re not asking you to buy our music. Just listen and explore the UK, and listen to what’s going on over here.”
Therefore as well as promoting diversity within the music industry, the MOBO’s also helped pump more money into the economy of Leeds and bring light to the Grime genre of music.