Articles: MOBO (Music of Black Origin)

MOBO

2012 was been an unbelievably blessed year for me in terms of my journalistic path and the many many articles I’ve written for various outlets. I found (through my friend) a call-out on Twitter for new music writers for the new MOBO website (They are behind the MOBO Awards which is a well-known British awards show that happens annually and they now also do music features on their website) and as the opportunist I am, I had to apply and put myself forward to get my work even further out there.

To cut a long story short, The Head of Digital/Editorial at MOBO got back to me and my career at MOBO was born!

Please find below the articles I have written for them.

GET TO KNOW… MINNIE RIPERTON
“Picture this – it’s the 1970s and R&B is in its element. This popular urban music genre has been slowly taking the world by storm since the 1940s, after originating in America. Its own journey has progressed from just including traditional blues records, to helping develop rock and roll with its rhythms, and now incorporating electric blues, gospel, soul, and funk music in its current form.”
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GET TO KNOW… PATRICE RUSHEN
“In the 1970s, a young lady named Patrice Rushen aimed to take the R&B and jazz worlds by storm. Rushen was more than a singer in her own right – she came to be a multi-talented composer, record producer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, music director and vocalist who pushed forward with the breakthroughs she made for women in the music industry.”
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NEW MUSIC: UNIVERSAL MIND SYSTEMS FT. THEO LLEWELLYN – NUMB
“Although I am a fond admirer of classic old school music especially in terms of the R&B and Soul genre, I am always looking for current progressive evolutions of those blueprints set by those predecessors. It’s so good to hear refreshing inspiring takes on the elements of R&B/Soul and when it comes from British shores, the reward of great music tastes even sweeter.”
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GET TO KNOW… JULIYAA
“A new artist that I feel you need to get to know is London-born R&B/Soul singer-songwriter Juliyaa. She is from Ghana and Wales, and she symbolically represents that unique cultural heritage – a combination of the ‘Red Dragon’ of Wales and the ‘Black Star’ of Ghana – in her musical choices, compositions and sounds. Throughout her songs, Juliyaa introduces and showcases her diverse musical influences as well as her musical journey to date. This is an autobiographical look at her life.”
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INTERVIEW: DONAE’O TALKS RETIREMENT
“With a 14-year music career encompassing various experimental musical elements, Donae’o has produced quality material for his fans and peers alike. However, it’s come to a time where he wants to hang up his artistic gloves and retire. MOBO’s Kamran Assadi got down to the nitty-gritty about his retirement, his final mixtape project and his thoughts about being an independent artist.”
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GET TO KNOW… TYSON
“A new emerging artist who is looking to bring R&B back with a fresh and current UK sound is Bristol-based singer/songwriter Tyson. Having just released a beautifully strong introduction to his music via his free five-track explorative Dreaming in Colour EP, Tyson possesses a maturity and professionalism in his atmospheric vocals, clever songwriting and R&B-driven sound to make his songs believable and full of evoked emotion and reality.”
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INTERVIEW: GET DOWN WITH… AMPLIFY DOT
“When it comes to hard graft and raw talent being rewarded to great effect, witty lyrical wordsmith Amplify Dot is a testimony of good things coming to those who wait. Having been signed to Virgin Records/EMI earlier this year, she is busy working on her major label debut album to be released in 2013. MOBO’s Kamran Assadi had the pleasure recently of talking to ‘Dotty’ about being signed to a major, her Spare Parts mixtape and her other creative ventures.”
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NEW MUSIC: CHOICE FM & DJ ABRANTEE PRESENTS AFROBEATS – THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION
“Since April 2011, Choice FM DJ Abrantee have been the heartbeat of Afrobeats’ influence in the UK, with his pioneering Afrobeats Radio Show helping the genre crash into the mainstream. You only have to look at the popularity of acts like D’Banj, Wiz Kid, Sarkodie and Ice Prince to see how this music scene is rising and making new fans and critics alike stand up and take note.”
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PURPLE FERDINAND: MOBO SPOTLIGHT 2013
“Soulful, tattoo-loving, ukulele-playing British singer/songwriter Purple Ferdinand is a truly special musical talent to look out for in 2013. Hailing from east London, she takes her creative talents and uniquely blends them into a cool captivating mix of nostalgia, folk and soul to make your ears prick up and listen to whatever she has to say.”
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ESTER DEAN: MOBO SPOTLIGHT 2013
“When it comes to consistently sought-after hit-makers, not many can touch five-time Grammy Award-nominated songwriter Ester Dean. For several years, Ester has been a stalwart in the songwriting game crafting hit singles for some of music’s biggest names. She has penned global chart smashes for the likes of Beyoncé (‘Countdown’), Katy Perry (‘Firework’), Rihanna (‘Rude Boy’, ‘Where Have You Been’, ‘What’s My Name’), and Nicki Minaj (‘Super Bass’), as well as many others.”
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NEW MUSIC: J. APPIAH – I AIN’T RICH YET
“The last few years have seen British talent come to the forefront in an unimaginable way and this year is no different. On that note, let me introduce to you an unbelievably natural talent by the name of east Londoner, J. Appiah. J. Appiah is a fast-rising acoustic soul singer and songwriter truly making an impact on the British scene with his insightful lyricism and heartfelt vocals.”
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NEW MUSIC: HAYLEY CASSIDY – STRIPPED
“British R&B/soul music has been making its way back to the forefront in recent years with various mainstream/underground artists like Estelle, Daley, Alice Russell and Lemar showing love and staying true to the artform delivering truly high-quality projects. 2013 has brought a truly unique artist into that arena after a three year absence from music. I give you British R&B/soul singer and songwriter Hayley Cassidy.”
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GET TO KNOW… TEEDRA MOSES
“As an advocate of the R&B genre, I sometimes feel certain artists, albums and songs aren’t talked about in enough detail to give the full-rounded view and recognition it deserves. There are so many musical gems out there that don’t get to see the mainstream light of day or if they do – they underperform in the charts, with some talked about as cult classics on the underground scene.”
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INTERVIEW: TANIKA
“UK singer/songwriter Tanika has been creating quite a buzz on the scene since 2012 opening up for rapper Joe Budden and working with artists like Angel HazeWretch 32, Tinie Tempah and Zebra Katz, creating a reputation as a quality live performer, and crafting her own catchy and diverse songs with eclectic vibes like the DVS-featuring single ‘Casualty’.”
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KEYSHIA COLE ANNOUNCES UK TOUR DATES
“Outspoken American R&B singer-songwriter Keyshia Cole has just announced her first ever UK tour which is to take place in May and June this year in London, Manchester and Birmingham. Currently touring with the starlet is the talented R&B singer Chrisette Michele as her opening act, Keyshia is now prepared to bring her music to UK shores for the first time since her 2003 debut The Way It Is.”
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KEYSHIA COLE SHINES AT INDIGO2
“Looking around at an enthusiastic crowd full of music lovers, R&B fanatics and her UK contingent of support, you could tell that this was a long time coming for a gig that new and old fans alike had been waiting for. They were not disappointed. Keyshia wasted no time in wrapping her vocals around an impressive array of R&B hits to please her audience.”
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NEW MUSIC: AARON X – BLAST
“BLAST” – produced by Danny Desai, is a beautiful melodic track boasts soulful heartfelt vocals and a truly captivating drawn-out soundscape. It fits together nicely making room for Aaron X’s voice to caress the lyrics and atmospheric production with real aplomb and finesse. It is truly R&B in its essence but it takes on electronic blips, filtered synths and analogue drum patterns which enhances its sonic gravitas to make it very current and alternative to what’s out there. It defies the genre-pigeonholing the industry is very well known for. ”
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NEW MUSIC: PAPER AEROPLANE FEAT. SPLURGEBOYS – WTF
“Having worked real hard at building up a subtle buzz in the scene getting airplay on 1Xtra, Choice FM, Kiss FM and Bang Radio with tunes like Battlescars and Girls Rolling Up as well as producing tunes for some of UK’s brightest talent like Skepta, G FrSH and Cashtastic – Splurgeboys came out with their latest visual and audio offering, WTF, with its addictive head-knocking dancefloor-ready beat talking about partying and just having a crazy fun time.”
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INTERVIEW: CYNTHIA ERIVO ‘CELIE’ FROM THE COLOR PURPLE MUSICAL
“How does one navigate two creative careers at once in music and theatre and shine so brightly at both? This is a question I often ask myself about the multi-talented soon-to-be star, Cynthia Erivo. Cynthia has done this through hard work, determination, a never-give-up attitude, a willingness to keep improving/honing her craft, and oddles of talent. And her creative CV doesn’t lie – it includes many high profile live gigs, West End /Off-West End theatre credits (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Lift: A New Musical), and the lead part in the UK tour for Sister Act: The Musical.”
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THEATRE REVIEW: THE COLOR PURPLE (MENIER CHOCOLATE FACTORY)
“To put it quite simply, this adaptation of the musical stood out as an entity of its own from the start, providing the right amount of emotional gravitas juxtaposed with some elements of comedy, with the cast ensemble giving stellar performances of believability and depth. It has its own life, uplifting energy and extraordinary heart. It’s thoroughly clear in its direction and narrative.”
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THE 11TH LONDON AFRICAN MUSIC FESTIVAL
“In the last ten years, this festival has gone from strength to strength by always including an eclectic line-up of artists that represent Africa and its varying musical styles in its full glory. This eleventh year is no exception. The majority of the artists are performing in London for the first time and making their festival debut.”
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NEW MUSIC: CHUKY FEAT GYPTIAN ‘BURNING FROM THE HEART’
“Reggae has been experiencing somewhat of a resurgence of late with new artists (Konshens, Gyptian etc) coming out of the woodwork showing their love, respect and appreciation for the genre, its music being used in chopped and screwed samples by artists like Jay Z and Kanye West, as well as renewed interest in seasoned veterans of the scene like Jimmy Cliff, Freddie McGregor and Morgan Heritage to name a few.”
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NEW MUSIC: SHARAYA J – ‘SMASH UP THE PLACE / SNATCH YO WIGS’
“With the music industry, sometimes it can get cosy within the confines and boundaries that the mainstream industry makes for itself, especially when it comes to current trends and staying within those realms. However, there are a handful of new and old artists that are all about causing havoc, breaking boundaries and showing their talent and genius in a creative productive way regardless if the mainstream want to open their arms to them or not.”
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NEW MUSIC: DAPS – ‘IAN WRIGHT’
“North West London rapper DAPS announces himself to the UK with his debut single Ian Wright; an edgy well-produced record packed with an irresistible hook and a soul-crunching baseline. It’s a track that incorporates Rap, Trap and Hip-Hop elements with the right amount of British swagger and attitude to make it feel authentic. A true original anthem which explodes with witty punchlines, catchy lyrics and crafty metaphors.”
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NEW MUSIC: OFEI – ‘TOMORROW’
“Having made a subtle splash this year by putting audiences and online blogs under his enchanting musical spell via his previous tracks London and Fate as well as opening for Kendrick Lamarand Shuggie Otis, enigmatic London singer/songwriter Ofei is back to release the latest track off his The London EPTomorrow.”
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NEW MUSIC: ROCHELLE JORDAN – ‘FOLLOW ME’
“It seems that Canadian R&B singer/songwriter Rochelle Jordan has been having a quiet 2013 after her two critically acclaimed LP releases ROJO and P R E S S U R E lit up the years of 2011 and 2012 with her subtle atmospheric and harmonic take on Contemporary R&B.  Even though she has already appeared on  Red Bull Music Academy’s HASHTAG series, in an episode that focused on the status quo as well as the future of R&B, and contributed co-writer and vocalist to Childish Gambino’s highly anticipated album Because The Internet on one of the stand-out songs Telegraph Ave.
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INTERVIEW: JOY OSAIAH TALKS TO MOBO
At MOBO, we enjoy picking up on fresh new talent especially when it resides on UK shores. Oxford-hailing singer/songwriter Joy Osaiah is a wondrous breath of melodic and soulful fresh air to the UK Soul & Hip-Hop scene. Having heard her debut single ‘Reality, we couldn’t resist a chance to talk in depth with her about her craft, influences and future projects.
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ALBUM REVIEW: MIDE – E.G.
This album as a whole soundscape is a non-skippable enjoyable listen from start to finish. Nothing fills like filler, every track feels right in where it is placed on the album – it’s all completely organic. Each track lives as its own entity displaying such execution and gravitas making it hold its own. It’s an honest body of work that gives you a warm fuzzy hug and embraces you with every nuance of its musicianship, production, lyrics, vocal harmonies and musical styles to enhance your feelings to a higher level.
Click here to view the full article…

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