MOBO UnSung's Esco Williams: "What MOBO means to me"
Esco Williams is the winner of MOBO UnSung 2012, to write a guest blog on what MOBO means to him. We explored the nation to find the finest artists from our chosen regions, and Esco emerged as the winner. You can listen to his song 'New Challenger' below...
"I’m in my mid 20s, the scary side of 25. With fierce use of deductive skills, one can surmise that I was born in the 80s and grew in the 90s. No matter how I try to dress up what the MOBO awards means to me the outcome is the same. The MOBO Awards was the first thing I witnessed on TV that celebrated people that looked like me. Music I grew up on was being held in high acclaim, and being presented by people that mirrored my family and my community. I remember not being ‘that’ interested in music outside of the theme tunes on Street Fighter until 1997/98 when, for me, music became golden - and by then it , it had become a yearly tradition to watch the MOBO Awards.
By 2000 I was the fat boy with the headphones on - I was the go-to guy in class for good music. My late uncle, James Klass, was a DJ and a Liverpool legend that had what I can only describe as a black music Mecca in the corner of his living room. I had direct access to it and he put me onto everything. The MOBO Awards came on and I was hyped more than usual because by then, I considered myself a music connoisseur. Craig David scooped two awards that year and delivered one of the sickest performances at the Awards to date, just him and his guitarist. I raided uncle James’ Mecca the next day, and the CD came with me and got rinsed.
Since then, MTV Base, 1Xtra and a host of DJs and projects have been pushing the UK black music scene to next levels. For me though, there’s a lasting impression I got from watching the first few MOBO Awarsd shows, when UK Black Music was unsung and British black people where unsung. Seeing people that look like me, doing what I love and being celebrated has inspired me - and I believe it has greatly influenced the growing success of UK black music today.
A 12-week Performing Arts course with Positive Impact and 12 years later, I am a musician who is still heavily interested in Street Fighter. I’ve won the MOBO UnSung Award for 2012, and to be an official part of the MOBO legacy is a great honour. Next year, I’m looking to do a Craig David."