The Catford singer – who is interviewed in the latest issue of Music Week – was welcomed to the stage by MOBOs founder Kanya King, who praised Blk as, “a fantastic example of DIY culture, [showing that] with drive determination and tenacity, you can reach the very top in the way you want to, honing your own craft”.
See Blk’s speech in full below.
“Thank you so much Kanya, that was amazing, she’s really bigged me up there! I’m so nervous, I know it’s a bit weird as an artist to be uncomfortable in front of the public, but I do get nervous. I’d like to say a huge thank you to Music Week and to everyone who nominated me, to everyone who’s been a part of my journey so far - Hal Hudson, my TV and radio pluggers, my live booker, my management, everyone at First Access Entertainent, my incredible, incredible mother who couldn’t be here today but came to London from Nigeria and worked so hard to give us a future and always pushed me to work as hard as possible for what I wanted. I’d also love to thank my sister, who’s here today and has always supported me.
“It’s always an honour to be recognised at an event like this, because I personally feel like it’s something that is important and necessary. For me, it’s a feminist event. Unfortunately the word ‘feminist’ has lots of baggage and negative connotations around it, when by definition it’s simply a man or woman who wants the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.
“Somehow it’s been misconstrued to be men-hating women who burn their bras and don’t shave their legs. To be fair, sometimes I don’t shave my legs, it keeps me warm in winter! I strongly agree with one of my favourite authors Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie who said that we should all be feminist. That’s why I think awards ceremonies like this are really important, they continue acknowledging the achievements of all the women in this very male-dominated industry. It shows young women that they can be successful and don’t have to be afraid of their ambitions, that we can chase our dreams without fear of intimidating men, and that we can be a boss without the fear of being called a bitch.
“We need so many more Kanya Kings, Sarah Stennetts, Alison Donalds… more of all the incredibly talented and hardworking women here today. We need to see so many more of us at the top.
“I just wanted to make a point, one of the ways we can have that is by women supporting women. Society tells us that we have to compete with each other, whether that’s for the attention of men, or the exclusivity of being one of the few women or the only woman respected in your field.
“The more of us there are as female artists or executives, the more we can attain equality and inspire and give hope to those who will come after us. Thank you.”