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18 Dec 2017 3:41 PM
  • Press Release

Help Musicians UK (HMUK), Britain’s leading independent music charity and MOBO newly established charity, MOBO Trust are delighted to announce the 11 talented artists from across the UK have been chosen to receive a vital funding award to take their career to the next level, as part of a new fund between MOBO and Help Musicians UK totalling over £20,000.

The 11 emerging artists will be the first ever recipients of the MOBO Help Musicians Fund, which was founded in partnership between the charitable arm of the organisation behind the MOBO Awards and the music industry’s biggest independent charity.

These up-and-coming artists have been awarded up to £2,000 each to offer vital support to realise their musical ambitions and support a broad spectrum of activities that are vital to an artist’s career and creative development - from vocal coaching, support for live performance and touring, video production, recording studio access, PR, marketing and promotion.

The successful 11 artists are:

AGAMA – A Producer, Composer and vocalist who mixes Jazz, Electronica and Soul Whilst referencing Afro-Caribbean and British Choral Traditions

ArA Harmonic - Originally from Bristol, this London based Soul Artist only found the confidence to follow her dreams four years ago, and has since become unstoppable.

AWATE –  A Hip Hop artist who makes music based around his identity as a refugee from Eritea, he uses his life experiences to speak about subjects such as self-esteem, mental health and heritage.

Cat Delphi -. A Singer Songwriter, who is heavily influenced by Beyoncé and Beethoven and writes for some of the finest producers in the UK.

Estée Blu – Hailing from London, Estée Blu is carving a name for herself in the Contemporary Soul and Neo Jazz Scene.

Griz-O - A Hip-Hop and Grime artist from Gloucester with an experimental twist who first found his love of music performing at his local youth club.

Haula – An artist who self-funded her first project from production to performance, whose debut RnB tracks gathered considerable support.

Lady Sanity - A female rapper from the West Midlands who is developing her own sound and covers issues rarely discussed in music.

Merki Waters – A Liverpudlian, singer, songwriter, producer and rapper who pushes boundaries with sound and melodics to deliver a new wave of R&B/Soul to the world

Michelle O Faith –  a singer, songwriter and producer from London, who weaves operatic techniques into Pop Vocal Sounds

Signkid - London based Hip-Hop Producer, writer and performer from who signs songs and will use the funding award to produce a video to send a positive message to the deaf and disabled community about access to the music industry.


Launched in October 2017, the MOBO Help Musicians Fund has encouraged applications from beyond the commercial heartland such as RnB, Soul, Hip Hop, Grime, Jazz, Gospel, Garage, Reggae and African music.


Claire Gevaux, Creative Director at Help Musicians UK said:

This award is an exciting new development for the Creative Programme at Help Musicians UK and we’re delighted the first round has been so successful. It’s been fantastic to work with the MOBO Trust to develop this award, and we’re delighted to be investing even more money into two funding rounds next year. We hope that through this increased investment, we’ll be able to help even more emerging artists realise their career aspirations.”


Kanya King MBE, Founder and CEO, MOBO, said:

"‘This has been an exciting first initiative for the MOBO Trust. Partnering with Help Musicians UK in this first round of MOBO Help Musicians, we are overwhelmed by the quality and range of emerging talent out there. MOBO Trust is keen to celebrate exceptional talent especially in support of those who endeavour to follow paths in genres often overlooked by the commercial heartland.

We are excited to see the progression of these aspiring creatives over the next year and look forward to seeing what talent comes forward in the next rounds’


The first round received over 150 applications from across the UK and a panel made up of music industry experts including MOBO Talent and Content Coordinator, Shannon Wright and British broadcaster, producer, director and columnist, Jasmine Dotiwala were tasked with selecting successful applicants.

Following the high volume and calibre of applications, MOBO Help Musicians Fund will invest even more money into two further rounds in 2018


Notes to editors

Help Musicians UK (HMUK) has provided help, support and opportunities to empower musicians at all stages of their lives for 96 years.

HMUK's mission is to create a sustainable future for all musicians and the industry. The charity works in partnership to transform the music industry through advocacy, campaigning, programmes and targeted investment for all those within it.

As well as playing a vital role supporting working musicians who are dealing with an illness, injury or accident, the charity also provides a range of opportunities to support learning and professional development. Through it’s Creative Programme, HMUK aims to help musicians during the course of their careers by investing in innovation across artistic practice, talent and professional development, removing barriers that exist for many to launch and sustain professional music careers across all genres.


MOBO Organisation was established in 1996 by Kanya King MBE to motivate, elevate and celebrate the outstanding achievements of artists in under-served musical genres, from soul, RnB and reggae to hip hop, Jazz and gospel as have being a major influencer in elevating afrobeat and grime to the mainstream.  Over the years, MOBO Organisation has developed from the highly anticipated annual MOBO Awards into a pioneering movement encouraging cultural and social responsibilIty and change. Now an iconic, year-round, agenda-setting global brand, MOBO, successfully champions diversity and inclusion in music and broader cultural arenas. It strives to support emerging and independent talent and has provided an early platform for some of the nation’s most-loved artists, from Amy Winehouse, Lady Leshurr, Craig David, Emeli Sande, Naughty boy, Sam Smith, Wiley and Stormzy. MOBO pursues its purpose to create more opportunities and access for diverse talent across the creative industries in film, TV, fashion, art, sport and media. With an ongoing successful talent development programme, a number of Executive Fellowships in the creative workplace and a host of annual training and educational opportunities for young people, MOBO influences the lives of hundreds of thousands of people every year. Since 2016 MOBO have also been proud partners of NHS Blood and Transplant, resulting in not only an award winning campaign but also a 60 strong choir who harness the power of music in order to encourage people too save lives through blood donation. The same year also saw the establishment of MOBO charitable foundation MOBO Trust set up to support young people realise their potential in a wide range of disciplines within the creative sector. The MOBO Help Musicians Fund is the first scheme to be announced by the MOBO Trust, offering grants to support high potential artists at the very start of their careers in music http://beta.mobo.com/help-musicians-fund.


Media contacts

Becci Scotcher, Communications and Partnerships Manager
0207 239 9100



Jack Delaney – Outside Organisation