The Mobo Awards announce their 2021 nominations

Dave, Central Cee and Headie One lead 2021 nominations.

Maya Radcliffe
  • By Maya Radcliffe
  • 12 Nov 2021
  • min read

The MOBO Awards have announced their 2021 nominees.

Dave, an artist who is undeniably a pivotal voice in the contemporary landscape of UK music leads the 2021 MOBO Awards nominations. The 23-year-old South London MC has picked up a staggering five nominations: Best Male Act, Best Hip Hop Act, Album of The Year for the critically-acclaimed We’re All Alone In This Together, Song Of The Year – in association with Coventry Building Society for Clash featuring Stormzy, and Video Of The Year for his Fredo collaboration Money Talks.

Little Simz has been quietly celebrated and adorned for years but it was finally with 2021’s Sometimes I Might Be Introvert that the dexterous MC finally started receiving the recognition deserving of her stature. Simz scores a hattrick of nominations: Best Female Act, Best Hip Hop Act, and Video of The Year for Woman.

Arlo Parks rounds up a year filled with phenomenal success as she scores three MOBO nominations for Best Newcomer – in association with ASOS, Best Female Act, and Album of The Year for her effortlessly breath-taking debut album Collapsed In Sunbeams.

Also with three nominations is Little Simz and Cleo Sol, both contesting best female act and album of the year, with the former also in the video category and the latter in the running for best R&B/soul act.

A new category for 2021, best drill act, features the likes of Digga D, Headie One, Tion Wayne and Unknown T all vying for the trophy.

MOBO debutante Central Cee has bagged four nominations, and is in the running for best newcomer, best male act, best drill act and song of the year.

PinkPantheress, Backroad Gee, Enny and Joy Crookes are also up for best newcomer.

The likes of Alfa Mist and Jacob Collier are nominated in the jazz category, with Skepta, Ghetts and D Double E among those nominated for best grime.

Coventry rapper Pa Salieu scores two MOBO nominations in the year the Awards is hosted in his home city. The hotly-tipped rising star is up for Song of The Year – in association with Coventry Building Society and Video of The Year for My Family featuring BackRoad Gee.

Wizkid and Tems earn Best African Act nominations, suitably following this year’s global smash Essence. The category also includes rising stars Ayra Starr and Ckay, in addition to mainstays like Burna Boy, Rema and Davido, showing the ongoing integration of African music into the mainstream.

Kanya King CBE, founder and chief executive, MOBO Group said: ‘The past 20 months have been extremely challenging for artists everywhere but as always we are seeing creatives rise up and adapt, even in a global pandemic. This year’s crop of MOBO nominees have not only shown resilience but incredible talent and range. We could not be prouder to celebrate their achievements across the 18 categories that span genres, as well as excellence in TV, film and media. Congratulations and best of luck to all of our nominees. Here’s to a big night on 5th December in Coventry!’

BBC One will broadcast a special behind-the-scenes show which will include exclusive backstage content and never-before-seen performances and interviews from the award ceremony. BBC Radio 1Xtra will also be covering the awards starting on Monday 6 December, DJ Target will dedicate his weekday shows (7 - 9pm) to the MOBO Awards 2021 bringing listeners the hottest performances and exclusive interviews with this year’s nominees and winners.

The ceremony will be livestreamed on YouTube on 5 December.