The MOBO Organisation has today (October 27) launched MOBO UnSung 2021, its emerging talent competition for unsigned artists producing original work.
The last edition of MOBO UnSung saw Leeds rapper Graft crowned the winner. He has since gone on to win Rap Game UK, received support from BBC Radio 1Xtra and performed at the Reading & Leeds festivals.
The nationwide search for exceptional unsigned talent culminates in 10 finalists, known as the MOBO UnSung Class of 2021.
An official press release stated: “To kick start their UnSung journey, this year’s ?finalists will all be attending the upcoming MOBO Awards?, allowing them the opportunity to network with the best in today’s Music Industry. Following the show, MOBO and its music industry partners will facilitate a year-long artist development programme, which will include opportunities for studio time, career mentoring, music production, live representation and A&R guidance.”
The launch comes alongside new partnership details, with newly confirmed support from Marshall, as well as PRS Foundation who have been involved for the past 10 years.
Speaking on the newly-formed partnership, Jon Ellery, MD of Marshall Amplification, said: “For us, this investment is a no brainer. As highlighted by Nova Twins over the last year, Rock and Alternative music have influence from Music of Black Origin. Rhythm and Blues from Muddy Walters, Chuck Berry, BB King, Sister Rosetta Tharpe pioneered the way for the great bands that came through Jim’s shop and the Ealing Blues Club. We are supporting MOBO’s UnSung as part of our on-going commitment to emerging talent, this investment is not just monetary; it includes access to our new world class Recording Studio, help from our Record Label and Live Agency, as well as use of Marshall’s leading products. It is a great step in getting Rock and Alternative music to become more inclusive.”
Kanya King, founder and CEO of MOBO, added: “We are delighted to welcome Marshall as a fantastic partner with a great history in supporting talent. It was just a matter of time until our worlds collided. I have no doubt this new partnership will add so much value to so many young artists and in particular will also positively influence the number of entries to the MOBO UnSung competition in Alternative Music, Rock and other genres, thus supporting an even broader selection of music. It is a really proud day in the history of UnSung.”
Speaking about his experience with MOBO UnSung, Graft said: “MOBO UnSung was the first prestigious award I’ve won in my career so far. It was a momentous impetus to propelling my music career. As a young, unsigned artist to be acknowledged by the MOBO’s, an organisation with rich history and universal impact, it exposed me to more eyes within the music industry, endless opportunities and frequently opened more doors for me through the support of MOBO UnSung. As an artist, all I want is to be heard. To share my art with the world. MOBO UnSung was the best supportive hand earlier in my career, to help me on my journey to achieve that. To be backed by the MOBO’s already sets me apart from my peers. For all the support from MOBO in my music career, I thank them eternally.”
Entries can be submitted here: MOBO.com/UnSung
You can read our 2021 cover feature with MOBO founder and CEO Kanya King here.