Another year, another awards, done and dusted. A fantastic 21 year MOBO run celebrated and Gospel history is made with Guvna B picking up his 2nd win, becoming the first act to win two Best Gospel awards in the history of the MOBOs. Apart from the statistical significance there was something rather special about it all.
Which is perhaps why we waited this long to write the article. After all, this piece of ‘news’ will last at least until the 2017 winner takes up the mantle, right?..
Rebounding from many years of nominee backlash, 2016 saw MOBO open its doors in a strategic move to invite a number of individuals, especially from the Gospel community to its Voting Academy. 2016 will also mark the first year in a little while that “…MOBO got it right for Gospel…”, according to UKGospel.com founder Yinka Awojobi. And he echoed the sentiments of many across the UK.
A very strong field of nominees which included the enigmatic rapper S.O.; African passion Andrew Bello; top female newcomer Sarah Teibo; the energetic Volney Morgan & New Ye and of course previous MOBO winner and now 3x nominee (one short of Noel Robinson’s record 4x nominations) Guvna B himself. It was too close to call for many.
For perhaps a few others, including ourselves, the data had stacked up and guided by the MOBO criteria and the eligibility period of August 29, 2015 to August 31st 2016, one name came up a bit more frequently than the others.
Without the luxury of being able to vote truly as an individual, I felt obliged to represent the UK Christian Chart system that was founded to be able to do just this sort of thing. Celebrate the best of the talent that exists within the UK scene.
Since our very humble beginnings we have supported every act we have ever come across, in one way or another. We are not unique in this respect, as we have been fortunate to build on a legacy left behind by many projects and organisations who have gone on before.
So while we were happy or rather ecstatic for all the nominees, when the time came for the final vote we had to follow the data trail.
Guvna B remains the artist with the most Top 10 chart placements in the UK Christian Chart’s 3 year history, with a whopping 14 hits including three #1 tracks. For this article however let’s just stick to the eligibility period:
- #1 in June – ‘Fear Is A Lie‘ featuring Hillsong Youth UK
- #5 in February – ‘Someone’s Watching‘ featuring Nick Brewer
- #10 in February – ‘Buss It’
- #1 in December – ‘Remember Me’
- #7 in December – ‘All Night Long’ J Vessel (feature)
- #2 in November – ‘Nothing But The Blood‘ featuring Deitrick Haddon
- #7 in November – ‘Feel That Vibe‘
Guvna is undoudtedly one of the hardest working young men in the scene and certainly one of the most progressive. With his most recent Secret World project successfully crowdfunded, hitting the #1 spot on the Official Christian & Gospel Chart along with top iTunes Chart placement, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of views racked up for songs of the album, Guvna’s workrate is extraordinary.
The East London born artist first won the MOBO Best Gospel in 2010 after clinching both a Gospel Music Award and an Urban Music Award the year before. The 27 year old, now married, history maker, was humble and reflective as he took to the stage recently, joined by his mother, to accept his 2nd MOBO award.
In his acceptance speech he reminded listeners of how fickle the industry can be and how important it was to have people around you who are there in the good and bad times. Guvna went on to encourage artists, “Because even if it’s not mainstream it’s doing something special. It’s touching hearts, touching souls and you can’t put a price on that.”
With energetic performances from Volney Morgan & New Ye along with Guvna B’s ‘Nothing But The Blood’ live and his win, The MOBO Awards remain a fantastic platform for highlighting and showcasing Gospel talent to a predominantly mainstream audience and indeed the world. His accompanying UK Christian Chart success has also further entrenched its role as a barometer of the industry and public music opinion.
With the bar now raised even for those who are already recipients, it may be business as usual for some but for others…