The MOBO Awards have been building and expanding upon their legacy for a long time now, earning a deserved reputation as one of the most—if not the most—valued platforms celebrating diverse talent and culture. Over the next 12 months, however, they'll be taking that to a new level with announcements of a whole bunch of new projects they're getting underway—as well as news that they've partnered with Ogilvy UK, a global advertising and marketing agency, to support them in the busy year to come.
Some big changes in and around the MOBO Organisation and the MOBO Awards are being made to take things to a whole new level in 2019. As a result of all these changes, the decision has been made to pause the 2018 awards ceremony until November next year, after having successfully produced 22 annual shows.
First up is a series of events that MOBO will be co-hosting. The series kicks off with a night at The British Library on Oct. 2 that will celebrate the success and cultural impact of trailblazers in the creative industries and includes talks from MOBO, Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegoke (the authors of Slay in Your Lane), as well as Femi Oguns (founder of the Identity School of Acting).
Next up will be a series of new initiatives to help young, starting entrepreneurs pursue their career ambitions in the arts, whether it be music, film or any other discipline—to be launched early next year. Working with partners across the country, MOBO is planning to launch a support programme in the course of next year to help young people who would normally be shut out from these industries by linking them up with the resources they need.
Then there's MOBO Movies. The MOBOs have always taken an interest in film via screenings for films like Crazy Rich Asians, Whitney and Moonlight amongst others, but now MOBO will launch its own film production company, as well as continuing its screenings, starting with the big screen adaptation of Angie Thomas' best-selling book The Hate U Give.
Continuing the running theme of supporting and investing in young musical talent is the MOBO Help Musicians Fund. The fund was piloted in 2017 to enormous success and now it's being expanded, doubling the cash contributions to £40,000. As they literally double their efforts to feed money in unsigned, independent musicians in the UK, it's timely that they'll also soon be announcing the the finalists of this year's MOBO UnSung competition (supported by PRS Foundation and Arts Council England).
Finally, MOBO has also pledged to continue their work for social causes like the NHS Blood & Transplant. With their B Positive Choir, they've made huge gains reaching out to ethnic minority communities specifically for more blood donors (they even made it onto Britain's Got Talent).
Kanya King, CEO of the MOBO Organisation, said: "We understand that the MOBO Awards will be missed this year, but we will be back in 2019—bigger and bolder. The evolution of the MOBO Awards is always at the forefront of our mind and we want to ensure that we continue to build on the strong foundation of the brand and its heritage for a wider purpose and bigger impact. We will bring the platform to brand new heights and most importantly, continue to amplify the exposure of the large pool of exceptional talent celebrated by MOBO. In this respect, we are very pleased to be teaming up with Ogilvy UK."
"We are thrilled by all these new developments," she continued. "It has long been our ambition to expand MOBO into new areas of the arts and help more talent succeed so that exceptional talent will not go unnoticed. We want to thank everyone who has supported us so far and we look forward to continuing this journey with you."
Michael Frohlich, CEO, Ogilvy UK said: "The team here at Ogilvy UK are incredibly proud to work with MOBO on its brand positioning. We hope to collaborate in ensuring the organisation maintains its place as an influential cultural force in the UK and beyond. Here at Ogivly, we relish the opportunity to build on the MOBO legacy of being an amazing black music and cultural platform for established and emerging artists, while helping shape the brand's future across music, media and entrepreneurship in unexpected ways."