LONDON - June 28, 2023 - MOBO is proud to announce the Top 10 finalists for the 2023 edition of its MOBO UnSung competition, the industry-leading nationwide emerging talent competition and artist development programme for the country’s best unsigned emerging acts producing original work.
MOBO names Ace Clvrk, Bea Anderson, DEJA, Josh Barry, Kaniva, NEONE The Wonderer, Young Athena, Gabriel Sanches, Melica and Shack Santima as its 10 finalists for MOBO UnSung 2023. Hailing from London, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, and Manchester, as well as representing a variety of genres ranging from Alt Pop and Hip Hop to R&B and Reggae, the MOBO UnSung Class of 2023 is the most eclectic collective of UnSung finalists yet! To discover more about each 2023 UnSung finalist, please click here.
This year’s MOBO UnSung competition also introduced an exciting new gateway for emerging artists to apply. For the first time ever, artists could apply for MOBO UnSung via TikTok. The result delivered a wider and broader pool of potential future superstars, and led to the discovery of 3 of the 10 finalists from the UnSung Class of 2023: Gabriel Sanches, Melica and Shack Santima.
Over the next month, MOBO will be releasing freestyles, acoustic performances, interviews and more with each UnSung finalist.
The 10 finalists, known as the MOBO UnSung Class of 2023, will go on to enter a year-long artist development programme and receive money-can’t-buy opportunities including one-on-one mentorship, group masterclasses and support with the release, promotion, strategy and distribution of their own music via TikTok’s SoundOn. Marshall will continue its on-going support for UnSung artists via access to their world-class recording studio, backing from its Record Label and Live Agency with performance and networking opportunities, as well as use of Marshall’s leading products. The 10 acts will also have the chance to access up to £3,000 of financial support, as well as business advice, to enable them to create new music and share it with the world, 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. The caliber 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, “ said Kanya King CBE, Founder & CEO of MOBO, MOBOLISE and MOBO UnSung.
“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,” said Nichal Sethi, Head of Artist Services UK, TikTok.
“We at The Marshall Group have always stood behind strong artist development. 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!,” said Steve Tannett, Music Director at Marshall.
In line with MOBO ethos, MOBO UnSung aims to motivate, elevate and celebrate emerging talent by providing priceless opportunities which significantly contribute to their personal and creative development whilst improving their understanding of the music industry and increasing representation - as part of MOBO’s growing portfolio of activities that offer additional platforms and opportunities to exceptional talent across the creative industries. MOBO UnSung Alumni include Tiana Major9, Juls, Tion Wayne, Jacob Banks, Mic Lowry, #AltMusic featured artist Jordan Adetunji and MOBO Award winner Nadia Rose.
UnSung fans will be able to join the conversation by using #MOBOUnSung and following @moboofficial on TikTok and @MOBOawards across all other social channels. Fans can also follow the behind the scenes action on @soundon.
Notes to editors:
About MOBO Organisation
Founded in 1996 by Kanya King CBE, for more than 25 years MOBO has been a global leader in championing and celebrating diversity, equality and creativity. MOBO operates 365 days a year to create events, content, partnerships and opportunities for young people in the entertainment industries and beyond. For over 25 years, the MOBO Awards has remained a significant cultural event in the British music industry, celebrating excellence in Black music. Its enduring legacy as the premiere outlet for recognising and honouring the artistic achievement of exceptional British and international talent in Hip-Hop, Grime, R&B and Soul, Reggae, Jazz, Gospel and African music has been unparalleled. Driven by cause, culture, creativity and community, MOBO pursues its purpose to uplift and support diverse talent by producing global events and initiatives that offer access to the world’s most inspiring and exciting talent via the iconic MOBO Awards, film screenings, bespoke content creation, plus mentorship and career development programmes via MOBOLISE, a platform to empower diversity, excellence and transformation in the workplace. MOBO Trust, the charity branch of the MOBO organisation established in 2016, also aims to provide life-changing opportunities and support to exceptional talent in music and beyond from disadvantaged backgrounds. One of the initiatives via the MOBO Trust is the MOBO Help Musicians Fund. Since 2017, the MOBO Help Musicians Fund has supported over 50 projects and invested over £500,000 into emerging artists creating music of Black origin. Even better, musicians can now access the MOBO Help Musicians Fund all year round.
About Marshall Amplification
Marshall Amplification has a vibrant and dynamic history within the music industry and is celebrated by some of the greatest artists in the world. Catapulted from humble beginnings in Hanwell, London, Marshall is now a global brand achieving manufacturing excellence. Creativity and innovation are at the heart of the business and every product they create. With over 55 years of music experience, Marshall continues to push the boundaries of possibility for the musicians of the future.
TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video. Our mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy. TikTok has global offices including Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul, and Tokyo.
SoundOn is an all-in-one marketing and distribution platform, helping creators build a career and grow their audience on TikTok. SoundOn gives creators direct access to the massive, ever-growing audience on TikTok by offering easy-to-use audience development and engagement tools, equitable licensing terms and control over their growing/developing career.
About PRS Foundation
PRS Foundation is the UK's leading charitable funder. Since its inception in 2000, PRS Foundation has given more than £41 million in impactful and timely grants to over 8,500 new music initiatives. PRS Foundation supports outstanding talent from all backgrounds, covering the whole of the UK and all genres. Widely respected as an inclusive, collaborative and proactive funding body, PRS Foundation supports an exceptional range of new music activity through direct grants to music creators and through support for pioneering organisations, including venues, festivals, promoters and other talent development organisations.
About Help Musicians
Help Musicians is a charity that loves music and for over 100 years has been working hard to make a meaningful difference to the lives of musicians across the UK. It offers a broad range of help to support music creators in times of crisis and opportunity - ensuring musicians across the UK can achieve their creative potential and sustain a career in music. A musician’s life can be precarious with ups and downs throughout a career. Opportunities must be hard-won, whilst challenges come along all too easily, with unsteady income and physical and mental health concerns common issues. In addition, costly training can take many years and, along with investing in equipment, puts up financial barriers to creative progression. Whatever their needs, at Help Musicians will continue to adapt and innovate to deliver real impact to the people behind the music – the musicians who bring so much joy to all of us, every day.