Photo: MOBO UnSung Class of 2023 (top row L-R): Kaniva, Gabriel Sanches, Shack Santima, NEOne The Wonderer, Bea Anderson, Ace Clvrk, (bottom row L-R): Josh Barry, Melica, Deja, Young Athena
MOBO has announced the Top 10 finalists for the 2023 edition of its MOBO UnSung competition, the nationwide emerging talent competition and artist development programme for chosen UK’s emerging acts producing original work.
MOBO UnSung aims to elevate and celebrate artists by contributing to their personal and creative development, whilst improving their understanding of the music industry and increasing representation.
The finalists, known as the MOBO UnSung Class of 2023, are: Ace Clvrk, Bea Anderson, Deja, Josh Barry, Kaniva, NEOne The Wonderer, Young Athena, Gabriel Sanches, Melica and Shack Santima.
The artists hail from all over the UK and represent a variety of genres ranging from alt pop and hip hop to R&B and reggae, making them the most eclectic collective of UnSung finalists yet.
This year, the MOBO UnSung competition also introduced a new gateway for artists to apply via TikTok. The result delivered a broader pool of potential finalists, and led to the discovery of three finalists: Gabriel Sanches, Melica and Shack Santima.
The finalists will go on to enter a year-long artist development programme and receive opportunities including one-to-one mentorship, group masterclasses and support with the release, promotion, strategy and distribution of their own music via TikTok’s SoundOn platform.
Marshall will continue its support for UnSung artists via their recording studio, providing performance and networking opportunities through its record label and live agency, as well as offering artists use of Marshall’s leading products.
The Class of 2023 will also have the chance to access up to £3,000 of financial support, as well as business advice, to enable them to create and share new music, through the MOBO Help Musicians’ Fund.
“The response to this year’s MOBO UnSung programme has been nothing short of extraordinary and it’s a testament to the boundless talent that exists within the music industry,” said Kanya King CBE, founder and CEO of MOBO, MOBOLISE and MOBO UnSung. “The calibre of applicants we received was awe-inspiring and it's clear that we are witnessing a transformative moment in music history. I eagerly await the journeys of each of these remarkable artists as they embark on the UnSung artist development programme. Together, we will witness their evolution and progression in the years to come as they break through and make their mark in the industry.”
Nichal Sethi, head of artist services UK at TikTok, said: “Since day one, TikTok has served as a springboard for emerging artists, making it a natural fit to discover some of the UK’s most talented unsigned acts. We’ve had such an amazing response from our artist community for MOBO UnSung, and I’m so pleased to see Gabriel Sanches, Melica and Shack Santima selected as TikTok Wildcard entries as part of the Class of 2023. We’re looking forward to working with all the finalists, using our SoundOn platform to help bring their original music to an even bigger audience, both on and off TikTok.”
“We at The Marshall Group have always stood behind strong artist development,” music director at Marshall Steve Tannett commented. “We understand the importance of nurturing emerging talent and providing them with the support they need to thrive in the music industry. That's why we are thrilled to be a part of the MOBO UnSung program. Marshall is committed to providing the best resources for artists to create and showcase their music. Our state-of-the-art recording facilities, coupled with our team of experienced music industry professionals, are ready to mentor and guide the class of 2023. We are honoured to welcome this year's crop of exciting new talent into our fold. The partnership between Marshall and MOBO UnSung is a perfect match, creating a great support network for these emerging artists. We are excited to play an integral role in this incredible project and look forward to hearing what they create. Here's to a remarkable journey ahead!”