The MOBO Nominations party was reinvented this year. Usually an evening affair full of dressed up ladies, uber amounts of alcohol, silver platters full of canapés and a free for all party that runs for hours, this year the brand reinvented itself with a nominations reveal akin to the MTV and Brits brands, with an early morning champagne fest breakfast at world renowned jazz music venue Ronnie Scott’s on Tuesday morning. Paparazzi, print press, TV news crews, bloggers and music talent were lined up outside on the Soho pavement an hour ahead of doors opening, such was the buzz that the awards were returning this year to its London hometown roots.
Although it was a breakfast affair, there were no teas or coffees to keep our bleary media eyes alert, it was still black music glitz with hundreds of glasses of champagne lined up along the bar, with mini Danish pastries on hand too.
Music acts, tastemakers and media bigwigs in the house included Professor Green, Krept & Konan, Angel, Meridian Dan, Ella Eyre, Melvin Odoom, Michelle Matherson, Jonathan Shalit and more. After XTra Factors Sarah Jane Crawford welcomed us all and handed over to MOBO CEO Kanya King, we were fully awake as international actor and heartthrob Idris Elba bounded onto stage straight from the airport, to pick up his award- a new award invented just this year- for most inspirational person. Idris, dressed in a sharp suit had the paps frantically snapping away and suddenly the A List factor in the venue went sky high!
Lion-maned beauty Ella Eyre sang for us and proved why she’s a worthy nominee this year.
Taking place at Wembey Arena on October 22nd this is the MOBO 19th year anniversary, and to celebrate the brand has spread its musical tentacles, and expanded to new areas. It’s moving its focus beyond just music and encouraging the next generation of creative talent, regardless of field. This will engage young people who aspire to work in film, TV, dance, theatre and visual arts. They’re calling this the MOBO Movement and will partner with established organisations to make youth dreams happen.
This years show moves from its previous BBC home, across to rival ITV, and this naturally means that with ad breaks that the televised part of the show will be much shorter, with certain categories having to be announced before transmission time, and not all categories being televised. ITV2 will transmit the live two-hour show with main channel ITV running hour-long highlights. It will be interesting to see which categories are dropped for TV.
Once upon a time many, many years ago, MOBO were criticised for awarding the American talent with too many awards. Today this has swung totally the other way and in 2014 the highest nominees are British acts singer Sam smith and hip-hop duo Krept & Konan. Both Sam and Krept & Konan have been nominated for four awards each, with Ghetts, Tinie Tempeh, Meridian Dan and FUSE ODG all receiving three awards each.
To the die-hard underground scenes delight, we have a new category this year for MOBO Best Grime, which included a host of popular names like Big Narstie, Ghetts, JME, Lethal Bizzle, Meridian Dan, Novelist, Skepta, Sox, Stormzy and Wiley. Within minutes of the launch announcement, MOBO Awards was trending on twitter with an eruption of tweets from the UK music industry on their delight at being recognised for their hard work. Even Ed Sheeran tweeted ‘‘if there’s one thing you do today you should vote for Big Narstie in the mobos coz him winning would make me happy’’. Wiley tweeted ‘’ I will support the mobo awards 4 life’’
Best international act included the expected names like Beyonce, Drake, Iggy Azalea. J Cole, Nicki Minaj, Pharrell and more. The most important thing though is to realise that whether its nearly two decades old or not, there is still a real need for this brand that gives a voice and platform to British black music acts that would have no other mainstream music awards giving it a platform. Urban music has highs and lows in the British music charts. One year we’re taking over the whole chart placing’s, and the next we’re blanked like the proverbial black sheep of the music industry family. Kudos to all those that continue to fight for its existence and mainstream broadcasters like ITV that understand that the black music pound and audience demographic is not to be ignored.
O JAYS LIVE AT INDIGO O2.
So the living R&B singing legends that are the O Jays had the Indigo o2 dancing and singing their spats and socks off this week as they played London for the first time in years. All three gents are well past their boy band days but still managed to bring the fancy slides and shuffles dance routines in their crisp white suits and shoes. Accompanied by a full band of familiar musicians and part time London hires whom they teasingly referred to as their ‘’Justin beibers’’ they had the middle-aged ladies in the audience screaming. Lead vocalist Edde levert had the male audience members kicking back relieved that their ladies were going to be in the mood for some loving that night as he smooth talked them all with none of his lover man spiel diminished. A great show with plenty of holding hands and singing along to classic its like ‘’love train’’ and ‘’backstabbers’’.
Next I had a cook off in my kitchen after being sent RAPPERS DELIGHT- THE COOKBOOK, which had incredible recipes inspired by your favourite Hip Hop artists of today and yesteryear. Split into three categories of Starters, Mains and Desserts, the book includes a wide range of delights such as Wu-Tang Clam Chowder, Public Enemiso Soup, Run DM Sea Bass and Busta Key Lime Pie. Even legends like Public Enemeys Chuck D endorsed it saying ‘’ “There are all aspects of Hip Hop, but the best of it has unique blending of ingredients, detailed preparation as well as great taste.
Rappers Delight connects like great food, makes too much sense. Each of the recipes is accompanied by a bespoke piece of artwork, created by one of thirty of the best upcoming illustrators. Rapper’s Delight celebrates the many humorous parallels between food and Hip Hop, making it a must-have for anyone with a love for cooking, music or illustration, or indeed all three. The book was put together by foodie, hip-ho and news lovers- Joseph Inniss, Palth Miller and Peter Stadden.
The Asian achievers awards took place at the opulent Grosvenor house hotel in park lane. The Asian Achievers Awards celebrates individuals who have inspired communities and achieved outstanding accomplishments in their respective fields.
FATBOYZ DANCE TROUPE PERFORMED.
This year the Rt Hon Phillip Hammond MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs made one of the first welcoming speeches (after he had been flower garlanded by the Asian organisers). He said
‘’There is much to celebrate in the contribution of British Asians made to our national life- be it in sports, in culture, in academia, in public service and in community life. But perhaps most strikingly and most dramatically in business and the professions where the British Asian community hunches well above its weight and produces some outstanding successes. Generating wealth is an essential prerequisite delivering all the means that we want in our society. Tonight we celebrate the entrepreneurship for which the British Asian community is rightly renowned. As the foreign secretary, I recognise promoting Britain’s prosperity for trade and investment as a core activity. So the British foreign office will be relentless in helping businesses, breaking through markets and pushing trade and investment. I invite all British businesses to make full use of all our services. Our services of trade and investment are at your disposal in our shared endeavour to create value for Britain. And as Asia continues to rise, I am confident that many of you will be leading the way using your unique networks to help Britain in just that. Specifically, we are planning expansion of our representation in India as we push through big difference in British trade as India’s vast market opens up for business and investment. We celebrate tonight in arts, sports, business and professions that were fulfilled by hard work, utter commitment and single minded determination. They will often be achieved in the face of setbacks, challenges and adversities. They are hard earned and well deserved. The awards that will be presented tonight are fitting recognition of these achievements. I congratulate the award winners and all the nominees. You are an example to your community and to the whole of our nation. Ladies and gentlemen, the PM has asked me specifically to add his congratulations to all of you. In fact, you, as a community with your great contribution add to our national life. So may you all go from strength to strength, building bigger and better achievements in the future. But before you do, before you go back to the hard work for which you rightly renowned, just take a few hours this evening to relax, to enjoy yourselves and celebrate the achievements that you already have under your belt’’.
Next Tony’s wifey Cherie Blair QC, CBE made a Speech thanking us all for making her charity the charity of the night. She said
‘’I am so delighted to be here, on this evening to such an important event for the UK and for the Asian community. I would like to congratulate all the nominees, and of course all the winners. I am particularly excited this year, as the charity you’re assisting is my own charity. Thank you in advance for supporting our work.Of course you all know that once upon a time, I lived in 10 downing street and while I was there I had the opportunity to travel, sometimes with and without my husband around the world, and I met some incredible women, from many different communities. So many of them struggled, they struggled with their status, struggled with their businesses, and I felt that with the right help they could contribute so much more. My foundation’s mission is to provide with entrepreneurs in developing and emerging market with the skills, the technology, the networks and access capital they need to become successful small and growing business owners, enabling them to contribute to their families, to their economy, and to have a stronger voice in the society. Since we began in 2008, we have already reached over a 100,000 women entrepreneurs in more than 70 countries. One of the very first countries that we started in was India. A country that I know very well. So much so that I often say that I qualify as an NRI. It’s in India that we have some of our most successful and award winning projects like in Gujarat, using our mobile phone project. Tonight we are raising funds for a new project that we want to start in Maharashtra, in collaboration with Mann Deshi foundation. We want to provide a 1000 rural woman entrepreneurs with business incubation, access to loans and business growth opportunities, that will have impact not only on the women themselves but also on their families and their communities. With our support these women owned businesses will be able to make enough profit to contribute to their family’s future. Please give generously because tonight we are supporting entrepreneurship, so let’s help these women entrepreneurs to make a difference in their lives and the lives of their great nation, India’’
. People did give generously and our actioneer for the night- that former criminal convict Jeffrey archer helped hustle £100,000 from diners. Pretty impressive!
Winners included Hanif Kureshi CBE for Media, Arts and Culture; Mahmud Kamani, co-founder of boohoo.com for Business Person of the Year; and Wasim Khan MBE, the first British-Pakistani to play professional cricket in England, for Achievement in Community Service. Picking up the Editor’s Award for Rising Star, was ground-breaking music producer, Naughty Boy, aka Shahid Khan, who shot to fame and critical acclaim last year with his hit single, ‘La La La’.
Naughty boy told the LONDON360 camera crew that he sells his talent first and then his identity- he doesn’t make a big deal about being Indian. He added
“To receive this level of recognition from my peers of fellow Asians is such a privilege. I’m proud of being a British Pakistani and I’m proud to represent the Asian community. I grew up immersed in Bollywood movies, where music, songs and extravagant dance sequences dominate, and that has really influenced the way I produce music today. “Although I’ve worked hard, I’ve been so lucky to have such amazing support from my incredible family and friends. Making music is all I’ve ever wanted to do, and if I can do that while being a positive influence in my community, then that is just the icing on the cake for me.” Shahid Khan was hand-selected by Founder and Chairman of The Asian Achievers Awards, CB Patel for his remarkable achievement in music. The self-made producer began his meteoric rise to fame in 2005 after he was awarded a grant of £5,000 from The Princes Trust. Later that year he also appeared on Channel 4’s hit game show Deal Or No Deal, presented by Noel Edmonds, winning £44,000, which enabled him to purchase equipment and begin recording music. The 29-year-old has since worked with internationally acclaimed artistes like Emeli Sandé, Chipmunk, Tinie Tempah, Katy Perry and most recently with Zayn Malik of One Direction. He now runs his own production company, Naughty Boy Recordings, and his 2013 smash hit, ‘La La La’, featuring Sam Smith was a global summer sensation, with over 386 million views on YouTube, to date. Mr. CB Patel, Publisher/Editor, ABPL Group says: “I am delighted to be awarding Shahid Khan with my Editor’s Award for Rising Star. He had a dream and worked hard to achieve that goal. Today, he is a respected star in the music industry, working with some of the biggest names of our generation, and he is an outstanding role model for every young person who has a dream.”
HOW DO YOU GET AWAY WITH A POLE DANCER PERFORMING AT THE ASIAN ACHEIVEMENT AWARDS? POP HER INTO A TUTU AND LET HER FLY!
Also honoured was the late Flight Lieutenant Rakesh Chauhan, whose parents collected the Editor’s Award for Bravery and Patriotism. Fl Lt Chauhan tragically lost his life in Afghanistan during a routine flight and was honoured for his service to his country. His father, 61-year old Kishor Chauhan, received the honour and said: “It’s with great pride that I accept this award. It’s a very difficult thing to accept and I’m proud of Rakesh and what he achieved in his short life. That is why I agreed to accept this recognition.” The young pilot died alongside fellow Intelligence Corps non-commissioned officer Lance Corporal Oliver Thomas, Captain Thomas Clarke, Warrant Officer Class 2 Spencer Faulkner and Corporal James Walters from the Army Air Corps. The funeral service for the 29-year old drew in more than 1000 mourners in Leicester, who lined the streets to pay their final respects.
Priya Lakhani,told London360
”I think it’s incredibly important. It’s one of those community’s, I think, where we have generations of women before us, who have had a very typical role. That’s generally been in the house, you know, making sure everyone is fed and raising the children. I think that now that women are more equal, its important to celebrate that, so that the younger children and the younger generation can look up and say, hey I can do that, It’s already happening”.
Since launching 14 years ago, The Asian Achievers Awards has helped raise millions of pounds for charity
Full list of ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2014 WINNERS
1. Business Person Of The Year – Mahmud Kamani
2. Entrepreneur Of The Year – Dr. Richie Nanda
Executive Chairman, The Shield Group, the UK’s largest independent Total Security Solutions provider
3. Sports Personality Of The Year – Dilawer Singh MBE
Sports Council for Glasgow Elected Director
4. Uniformed And Civil Services – Nazir Afzal OBE
Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West
5. Media, Arts And Culture – Hanif Kureishi CBE
Playwright, screenwriter, filmmaker and novelist. In 2008, The Times included Kureishi in their list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”
6. Woman Of The Year – Priya Lakhani OBE
Ethnic food entrepreneur, founder of Masala Masala, an Indian stir-in sauce
7. Achievement In Community Service – Wasim Gulzar Khan MBE
Chief Executive, The Cricket Foundation and CEO, Chance to Shine.
8. Professional Of The Year – Prof Sir Tejinder Singh Virdee, FRS
Experimental physicist and Professor of Physics at Imperial College London and one of the ‘founding fathers’ of CMS
9. Editor’s Award for Rising Star – Shahid Khan, aka Naughty Boy
Music producer, acclaimed for his global summertime hit single ‘La La La’, featuring Sam Smith and A-list collaborations
10. Editor’s Award for Bravery & Patriotism – The Late Fl Lt Rakesh Chauhan
29-year-old RAF Officer who died in Afghanistan when his helicopter (Lynx) crashed during a routine flight.