The MOBO Awards announce their 2021 nominees

Published Thursday, 11 November 2021

The UK’s most prestigious celebration of Black music and culture – the MOBO Awards – have announced their 2021 nominees, ahead of the Awards’ return as a live show extravaganza on Sunday 5 December at Coventry Building Society Arena.

A graphic detailing the mobo awards

MOBO is proud to partner with YouTube and BBC for the second consecutive year to bring the Awards to a global audience. The ceremony will be live-streamed on YouTube on 5 December – tune in and hit ‘subscribe’ at youtube.com/mobotv. BBC One will broadcast a special behind-the-scenes show which will include exclusive backstage content and never-before-seen performances and interviews from the award ceremony. BBC Radio 1Xtra will also be covering the awards starting on Monday 6 December, DJ Target will dedicate his weekday shows (7-9pm) to the MOBO Awards 2021 bringing listeners the hottest performances and exclusive interviews with this year’s nominees and winners.

Kanya King CBE, Founder and CEO of MOBO Group said: “The past 20 months have been extremely challenging for artists everywhere but as always we are seeing creatives rise up and adapt, even in a global pandemic. This year’s crop of MOBO nominees have not only shown resilience but incredible talent and range. We could not be prouder to celebrate their achievements across the 18 categories that span genres, as well as excellence in TV, film and media. Congratulations and best of luck to all of our nominees. Here’s to a big night on 5th December in Coventry!”

Dave, an artist who is undeniably a pivotal voice in the contemporary landscape of UK music leads the 2021 MOBO Awards nominations. The 23-year-old South London MC has picked up a staggering five nominations: Best Male Act, Best Hip Hop Act, Album of The Year for the critically-acclaimed “We’re All Alone In This Together”, Song Of The Year – in association with Coventry Building Society for Clash’ featuring Stormzy, and Video Of The Year for his Fredo collaboration ‘Money Talks’.

The awe-inspiring Little Simz has been quietly celebrated and adorned for years but it was finally with 2021’s “Sometimes I Might Be Introvert” that the dexterous MC finally started receiving the recognition deserving of her stature. Simz scores a hattrick of nominations: Best Female Act, Best Hip Hop Act, and Video of The Year for ‘Woman’.

Arlo Parks rounds up a year filled with phenomenal success as she scores three MOBO nominations for Best Newcomer – in association with ASOS, Best Female Act, and Album of The Year for her effortlessly breath-taking debut album “Collapsed In Sunbeams”. Soul siren Cleo Sol, the vocalist behind SAULT, has received universal acclaim for her latest album “Mother” and its contemplative, intimate and shimmering take on classic soul, family and interpersonal relationships. Cleo is in the running this year for Best R&B/Soul Act, Best Female Act, and Album of The Year.

London rapper Central Cee, whose trajectory to stardom this past year has been near historic, makes a strong MOBO debut with four nominations: Best Male Act, Song Of The Year – in association with Coventry Building Society for ‘Commitment Issues’, Best Newcomer – in association with ASOS and Best Drill Act – in association with Trench. Meanwhile imperial Grime veteran Ghetts, who made a momentous comeback with his timely and incisive body of work “Conflict Of Interest”, earns three nominations for Best Male Act, Best Grime Act, and Album Of The Year.

In a move that shows that MOBO is forever one step ahead their contemporaries, this year marks the arrival of the inaugural award for Best Drill Act – in association with Trench – recognising the cultural and urgent force that the genre has become over the last few years. The crop of MCs who make up the first-ever round of nominees in this category include ‘King Of Drill’ Headie One who is also one of this year’s most nominated, in addition to Tion Wayne, Unknown T, Digga D, M1llionz and more.

Wizkid and Tems earn Best African Act nominations, suitably following this year’s global smash ‘Essence’. The category also includes rising stars Ayra Starr and Ckay, in addition to mainstays like Burna Boy, Rema and Davido, showing the ongoing integration of African music into the mainstream.

The full list of nominees can be seen below.

BEST MALE ACT

  • AJ TRACEY
  • CENTRAL CEE
  • DAVE
  • GHETTS
  • HEADIE ONE
  • POTTER PAYPER
     

BEST FEMALE ACT

  • ARLO PARKS
  • BREE RUNWAY
  • CLEO SOL
  • LITTLE SIMZ
  • SHAYBO
  • TIANA MAJOR9
     

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

  • ARLO PARKS – “COLLAPSED IN SUNBEAMS”
  • CELESTE – “NOT YOUR MUSE”
  • CLEO SOL – “MOTHER”
  • DAVE – “WE’RE ALL ALONE IN THIS TOGETHER”
  • GHETTS – “CONFLICT OF INTEREST”
  • HEADIE ONE – “EDNA”
     

SONG OF THE YEAR – IN ASSOCIATION WITH COVENTRY BUILDING SOCIETY

  • A1 X J1 – ‘LATEST TRENDS’
  • CENTRAL CEE – ‘COMMITMENT ISSUES’
  • DAVE FEAT. STORMZY – ‘CLASH’
  • ENNY FEAT. AMIA BRAVE – ‘PENG BLACK GIRLS’
  • PA SALIEU FEAT. BACKROAD GEE – ‘MY FAMILY’
  • TION WAYNE & RUSS MILLIONS, ARRDEE, BUGZY MALONE, BUNI, DARKOO, E1 (3X3), FIVIO FOREIGN & ZT (3X3) – ‘BODY (REMIX)’
     

BEST NEWCOMER – IN ASSOCIATION WITH ASOS

  • ARLO PARKS
  • ARRDEE
  • BACKROAD GEE
  • BERWYN
  • CENTRAL CEE
  • ENNY
  • JOY CROOKES
  • MIDAS THE JAGABAN
  • PINKPANTHERESS
  • WES NELSON
     

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

  • BREE RUNWAY – ‘HOT HOT’ (DIRECTED BY JOCELYN ANQUETIL)
  • FREDO FEAT. DAVE – ‘MONEY TALKS’ (DIRECTED BY EDEM WORNOO)
  • LITTLE SIMZ FEAT. CLEO SOL – ‘WOMAN’ (DIRECTED BY LITTLE SIMZ)
  • M1LLIONZ – ‘LAGGA’ (DIRECTED BY TEEEEZY C)
  • PA SALIEU FEAT. BACKROAD GEE – ‘MY FAMILY’ (DIRECTED BY FEMI LADI)
  • SLOWTHAI FEAT. A$AP ROCKY – ‘MAZZA’ (DIRECTED BY THE REST)

BEST R&B/SOUL ACT

  • BELLAH
  • CLEO SOL
  • JORJA SMITH
  • SAULT
  • TIANA MAJOR9
  • WSTRN
     

BEST GRIME ACT

  • BUGZY MALONE
  • CHIP
  • D DOUBLE E
  • FRISCO
  • GHETTS
  • SKEPTA
     

BEST HIP HOP ACT

  • DAVE
  • D-BLOCK EUROPE
  • FREDO
  • LITTLE SIMZ
  • POTTER PAYPER
  • SLOW THAI
     

BEST DRILL ACT – IN ASSOCIATION WITH TRENCH

  • CENTRAL CEE
  • DIGGA D
  • HEADIE ONE
  • K TRAP
  • LOSKI
  • M1LLIONZ
  • RUSS MILLIONS
  • SR
  • TION WAYNE
  • UNKNOWN T
     

BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT

  • DOJA CAT
  • DRAKE
  • KANYE WEST
  • LIL NAS X
  • MEGAN THEE STALLION
  • POLO G
  • REMA
  • SKILLIBENG
  • WIZKID
  • YOUNG STONER LIFE (YOUNG THUG & GUNNA)
     

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A TV SHOW/FILM

  • ASHLEY THOMAS AS HENRY IN ‘THEM’
  • DAMSON IDRIS AS FRANKLIN SAINT IN ‘SNOWFALL’
  • DANIEL KALUUYA AS FRED HAMPTON IN ‘JUDAS & THE BLACK MESSIAH’
  •  LETITIA WRIGHT AS ALTHEIA JONES-LECOINTE IN ‘SMALL AXE’
  • MICHEAL WARD AS FRANKLYN IN ‘SMALL AXE’
     

BEST MEDIA PERSONALITY

  • CHARLENE WHITE
  • CHUNKZ & YUNG FILLY
  • HARRY PINERO
  • HENRIE KWUSHUE
  • JULIE ADENUGA
  • MAYA JAMA
  • MO GILLIGAN
  • MUNYA CHAWAWA
  • NELLA ROSE
  • ZEZE MILLZ
     

BEST GOSPEL ACT – IN ASSOCIATION WITH PREMIER GOSPEL

  • CALLEDOUT MUSIC
  • CECE WINANS
  • GUVNA B
  • KIRK FRANKLIN
  • MAVERICK CITY MUSIC
  • S.O.
     

BEST AFRICAN MUSIC ACT

  • AYRA STARR
  • BURNA BOY
  • CKAY
  • DAVIDO
  • KING PROMISE
  • NSG
  • REMA
  • TEMS
  • TIWA SAVAGE
  • WIZKID
     

BEST REGGAE ACT

  • LILA IKE
  • POPCAAN
  • SEAN PAUL
  • SHENSEEA
  • SKILLIBENG
  • SPICE
     

BEST JAZZ ACT

  • ALFA MIST
  • BLUE LAB BEATS
  • EMMA-JEAN THACKRAY
  • JACOB COLLIER
  • NUBIYAN TWIST
  • SONS OF KEMET
     

BEST PRODUCER – IN ASSOCIATION WITH COMPLEX UK

  • GOTCHA
  • JAE 5
  • JULS
  • M1ONTHEBEAT
  • P2J
  • TSB

Coventry City Council