Expires 5th April
SINGER | SONGWRITER
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Founder, UKG/ UKGospel.com group of sites.
I really didn't want my picture here, but I'm bowing to pressure.
Freelance journalist, all-round nice guy.
Has a weird obsession with international gospel music.
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TEAM PODCAST 8
'...There was a lot of energy and life - but it seems to have gone quiet now..'
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So, it's that time of the year again.
The MOBOs roll back into town for 2014,
returning to the Big Smoke for the first time
And you can bet your house (or rented
accommodation) that the ‘whos’, 'hows'
and ‘whys’ in response to the
announced nominations will - pretty much
inevitably - not be that far behind.
What is it about the UK’s biggest Black music awards that completely polarises opinion across the board?
The answer to that will no doubt vary, depending entirely on exactly who is doing the answering, but more than likely run the gamut of 'highlight of the Black music industry calendar' to 'totally sold Black music out' to 'had to be inclusive progress the brand' to 'completely irrelevant'.
Out of Touch
Meanwhile back in our niche: once upon a time you could have argued that MOBO was massively out of touch with the goings-on in UK Gospel, such that the nominations were almost unrecognisable when compared to activity on the ground, in churches and on the street.
Credit and Blame
But credit (and blame) where it’s due: I’d suggest MOBO's attempts to offer nominations that reflected the state of play back then would always have been an exercise in futility, especially as our industry itself didn’t have a recognisable framework - or co-ordinating body - that MOBO could have plugged into.
I made this same point back in 2012, so I won't cover the same ground again here.
It will also be unkind (not mention entirely unfair) not to acknowledge the good work MOBO has put in to highlighting some of the activity in UK gospel in the past 18-24 months: they secured the services of UK Gospel author Steve Alexander Smith as a contributor, and run regular series of blog posts showcasing UK Gospel talent.
What's MOBO's Impact?
Still, from our very specific (and quite niche) point of view perhaps a more pertinent question is this: how exactly do we go about quantifying what
impact - if any - picking up a MOBO Gospel has on an artist in a highly specialised market like Gospel?
How does a MOBO Gospel category win impact on profile? On unit sales? On credibility and respectability within and outside our scene? How does it - if it indeed does - impact the scene as a whole?
Has a MOBO win - or even a nomination - ever been relevant (a concept that once again will mean many different things to many different people) or even useful to any of the artists that have picked up one of those statuettes..?
These are some of the very abstract questions that I and the UKGospel.com team will explore in the coming weeks in the run-up to this year’s MOBOs on October 22nd.
You’ll read, see and hear from former MOBO winners sharing their stories. Yep, we’re hoping to make this a multi-platform series of reports, bringing you audio, images and text.
And maybe we'll even talk to this year's nominees, which for the first time in a very long time has a non-Black person on the shortlist, begging an answer to a potentially rather loaded question: ‘about time’..?
Or more controversially: why’..?
This should be fun....
#MOBOGospel Part 2:
Jendella asks: What’s The Point Of The MOBOs..?
#MOBOGospel Part 3:
Henry Yanney: Triple O: A MOBO Changed My Life..?
#MOBOGospel Part 4:
UKGospel.com MOBO Special 2012:
Official MOBO website: MOBO.com
MOBO 2014 - The UKGospel.com Specials (Part 1)
Published 30 September 2014 - updated 19th Octber 2014
and the UKG Group of sites.
That's really all I have to say...
See the rest of the UKGospel.com Team
Photo composite: Yinka Awojobi
Lurine Cato - Gospel MOBO 2013 Winner