Skepta, Kano, Craig David and Laura Mvula are among the artists leading the way with the Mobo Awards 2016 nominations. Founder Kanya King MBE invited key figures in the music industry to the nominations announcement on 21 September, hosted at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London.
East Ham-native Kano claims the most nods with the rapper competing in four categories, including best male, best grime act and best album for his critically-acclaimed fifth LP Made In The Manor. Fresh from his triumph at the Mercury Prize 2016, Skepta will go up against Kano in the three categories with his award-winning album Konnichiwa a strong contender for best album.
Soul singer Laura Mvula is up for best female act alongside Katy B, Lady Leshurr, Little Simz and Nao while her second studio album The Dreaming Room is competing for best album. Marking an incredibly successful comeback to music, Craig David has received two nominations including best male act alongside Tinie Tempah, Skepta, Stormzy and Kano.
The Mobo Awards 2016 are set to take place at the SSE Arena in Glasgow, Scotland for its 22nd year on 4 November.
Reflecting on the resurgence of grime and soul music in the UK over the course of 2016, Michael Kiwanuka told IBTimes UK at the nominations announcement: "The biggest thing has been grime music but soul music too. Laura's [Mvula] records – a person who is similar to me, it's been nice to see that on the radio and cross into new boundaries.
"I hope it just continues to keep going and that the music develops and sounds fresh too. Grime's doing that and hopefully soul music keeps up. Music is getting so brilliant again in Britain, it feels like we're having a resurgence. It seems like London, Britain is where it's at. I love going to America but Britain is where it's at too."
Shakka, who won a Mobo in 2015 for best r'n'b/soul, credited Skepta and his success at the Mercury Prize. The singer said: "He's a beacon of light for the scene for people who sing, write and do it independently. It's nothing short of inspiring." Shakka added of the diversity: "Stormzy and Jack Garratt commented on the lack of diversity at the Brits and the #BritsSoWhite hashtag and I agree. People were killing it on the charts in the year before so to not even be nominated is a bit of an embarrassment."
He continued: "But at the same time, if we are talking about awards ceremonies in general, I'd like to believe that at least 98% of the artists who make music don't make music because they want an award. They make music because they wanted to move mankind. So whether they're acknowledged or not by whatever governing body, it's kind of irrelevant. Skepta did a tour in Australia and in my eyes, if I got to do that and I'm not nominated for anything, I'm more than happy."
Girl group M.O. gushed about their nomination for best song with Who Do You Think Of with member Frankee Rose saying: "We're so excited, we can't stop grinning. We do celebrate but always think of the next point. This is a massive tick off the bucket list so I think we will celebrate." The group, which also consists of Annie Ashcroft and Nadine Samuels, have signed to Interscope Records in the US. Revealing how their music progressing Stateside, Ashcroft said: "We've worked with an amazing guy called James Fauntleroy who's done a lot of stuff with Rihanna and Drake."
The Mobo Awards 2016 will broadcast live on ITV2 and repeated in full on ITV on 4 November.