Tips for 2013: MOBO Spotlight series

Every year at our awards, we tip a series of nominees for the much sought-after Best Newcomer gong. This new-for-2013 MOBO Spotlight series takes a step back from the hype. We’ve chosen eight artists who we’ve got our eye on, eight artists who might or might not blow up but regardless, eight artists from around the world who we think you should follow. We think they’re worth watching over the course of the next few months or years, and we’re about to explain why. Whether they’re at the beginning of their careers or ready to push their past output all the way up to the next level, they’re all eligible - and we think they’re very special indeed.

In 2013, it's all about our top eight here. Just click their names or the 'read more' links to get to know them a little more, through our in-depth profiles:

Ester Dean: Producer, singer, actress and Grammy Award nominated songwriter Ester Dean is making moves on her own. And if her credits on Beyoncé's Countdown, Rihanna's What's My Name and Nicki Minaj's Super Bass are anything to go by... Read more about Ester Dean

Chocolate BrothersA duo, which consists of two best friends, Dribbla and Fantastik. The two man group attend university while still doing what they love doing the most: music. Read more about Chocolate Brothers

Dawn RichardA seemingly forever underrated lynchpin of R&B - for all the twists and turns the genre’s being taken on. Her music is vivid, her drive and hustle reimagined as a battle in her lyrics. Read more about Dawn Richard

Rainy MiloShe's all .gif-based videos, dip-dyed hair and trip-hop stylings - and she sits neatly in the off-kilter strand of R&B that’s been filtering through over the past two years. Read more about Rainy Milo


Sevyn StreeterFormerly of RichGirl, her solo material is sparkling, neck-snapping American R&B at its ballsiest. And her lyrics have more power than we've seen in a long time. Read more about Sevyn Streeter

Luke JamesSigned to Def Jam in the US, he could well do a Miguel this year - and he's already written for Bieber, Brandy and Keri Hilson. Read more about Luke James

Joey Bada$$: Being 17 and having a nostalgic '90s flow is certainly a dream combination for a rapper, and Joey Bada$$ seems to have struck lucky. Read more about Joey Bada$$

Purple Ferdinand: Soulful, tattoo-loving, ukulele-playing British singer/songwriter Purple Ferdinand is a truly special musical talent to look out for in 2013. Read more about Purple Ferdinand