MOBO Awards: SOASians predict night’s winners

Photo Credit: Chiara Melchior.

The MOBO Awards is back!

So with one of the most exciting nights of the British music calendar almost upon us, SOAS Blogs has reached out to our community to test their powers of clairvoyance.

Before we get to that though, let’s remind ourselves who’s up for the most coveted gongs of the nights…

Best female

  • Emeli Sandé
  • Jessie Ware
  • Jorja Smith
  • Lady Leshurr
  • Little Simz
  • Mabel
  • Nadia Rose
  • NAO
  • Ray BLK
  • Stefflon Don

Best male

  • Bugzy Malone
  • Chip
  • Dave
  • Giggs
  • J Hus
  • Maleek Berry
  • Mostack
  • Sampha
  • Skepta
  • Stormzy

Best album

  • J Hus – Common Sense
  • Nines – One Foot Out
  • Sampha – Process
  • Stormzy – Gang Signs & Prayer
  • Wretch 32 – Growing Over Life

Best newcomer

  • Dave
  • Jorja Smith
  • Kojo Funds
  • Lotto Boyzz
  • Loyle Carner
  • Mabel
  • Mist
  • Not3s
  • Stefflon Don
  • Yxng Bane

Best song

  • J Hus – ‘Did You See’
  • Kojo Funds feat. Abra Cadabra – ‘Dun Talkin’
  • Not3s – ‘Addison Lee’
  • Stormzy – ‘Big For Your Boots’
  • Yungen feat. Yxng Bane – ‘Bestie’

Best video

  • Bossman Birdie – Walk The Walk
  • J Hus – Spirit
  • Loyle Carner – The Isle Of Arran
  • Mist – Hot Property
  • Stormzy – Big For Your Boots


The predictions…

Adwoa Darko

Best female: Emeli Sandé

I think this is the most difficult category. The newcomers in the category deserve honourable mentions, I haven’t gone anywhere in the past month without hearing Mabel’s ‘Finders Keepers’ and Stefflon Don has had an extraordinary year, and I feel she may edge it for best newcomer. Ray BLK stays killing it with the visuals, rich voice and Lauryn Hill-esque story telling vibes. Shout outs to NAO and Little Simz too, but I think the award will go to veteran Emeli Sandé who delivered yet another beautiful piece of art in ‘Long Live The Angels’.

Best male: Stormzy

An honourable mention to Maleek Berry and Giggs, however, I ultimately think that the award will be given to Ghanaian brother Stormzy who deserves every piece of hype he receives.  J Hus is my personal winner; Common Sense was my album of the year – his sound is so original, he seemingly effortlessly carved out a nearly indescribable genre.

Best album: Gangs Signs & Prayer

Common Sense was my favourite album this year, but Wretch 32’s album was shockingly commercially underrated this year. I think GSAP will win though. The album is truly art, the perfect combination of heart-wrenching and hype.

Best newcomer:  Dave

I think this is the most exciting category, as I can’t in recent history remember UK newcomers having such a stamp on the mainstream music scene. Mist, Not3s, Yxng bane, Lotto Boyz, Kojo, Mabel and Stefflon Don are all smashing this UK rap/ afro-bashmenty sound but I think 19 year old Dave will just snatch it.

Best song: ‘Addison Lee’

Musically, “Did You See” stands out here but I’m going to go for “Addison Lee” for the culture, because I believe that it single-handedly brought about Uber’s London downfall. However both Not3s’ track and ‘Dun Talkin’ were iconic this year, no night out is worth its salt without hearing these back to back at 2am.

Best video: ‘Spirit’

GIVE IT TO J HUS! 3 and a half minutes of purely Ghanaian vibes- what more do you want?!?!

Peadar Connolly Davey


Best female: Jorja Smith

Jorja Smith, drawing inspiration from artists like Rihanna, Lauryn Hill and FKA Twigs, has created a new voice in the UK R&B and soul scene. Mixing live instruments with synthesised sounds with her soulful vocals, she has created a new genre of music that can be associated with the UK.

Best male: Septa

After the release of his 2016 album, ‘Konnichiwa,’ Skepta has seen success globally. Skepta has paved the way for other UK Grime artists to gain international success in a genre that has a hugely regional past.

Best album: Gang Signs & Prayer

Stormzy’s debut studio album has been a huge success in the UK and Europe. Being the first grime album to ever reach the no.1 spot on the UK Albums charts, Stormzy solidified the future of grime by proving theresilience of the genre.

Best newcomer:  Jorja Smith

Although Jorja Smith has been around since early 2016, 2017 has been the year that Smith gained a huge following. With the release of her EP ‘Project 11,’ a four piece EP of soulful ballads, and her major featuring on Canadian Rapper Drake’s 2017 playlist, ‘More life,’ Jorja Smith has solidified herself as a unique artist with a continuous flow of creativity.

Best song: ‘Did You See’

J Hus’ breakout single, ‘Did You See,’ brought the genre that links UK Basement and Afrobeat to the mainstream audience. With his unique flow, fresh blend of sounds, J Hus is allowing for the blend of genres associated with the UK.

Best video: ‘Big For Your Boots’

The music video for Stormzy’s single, ‘Big For Your Boots,’ was a perfect visual accompaniment for the song. Showing parts of what life is like in some areas of South London, Stormzy provides an alternative image of the outsider’s romanticised interpretation of London.


Tom White

Best female: Lady Leshurr

Just too drawn in by the catchyness.

Best male: Giggs

Giggs, so many bangers on Wamp 2 Dem and has stayed loyal to his genre.

Best album: Gang Signs & Prayer 

Only listened to two of them, but will guess Stormzy – Gang Signs & Prayer as he’s huge, entertaining and tackles important personal issues.

Best newcomer:  Dave

Some majestic collaborations and some hard bars in his own songs.

Best song: ‘Did You See’

Because it’s everywhere!

Best video: ‘Spirit’

Video is such an entertaining watch.

Did you know?

At the SOAS Graduation 2017 ceremony, MOBO Awards Founder Kanya King was awarded with an Honorary Doctorate.

The 2017 MOBO Awards takes place on Wednesday 29 November. You can keep up with all the latest news and announcements via their YouTube channel or on Twitter.

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