MOBO Awards 2023: Nominees For 'Best Caribbean Music Act' Revealed

Jamaican artists Shenseea, Popcaan, Byron Messia, Kabaka Pyramid and Valiant, and Trinidad singer Destra Garcia have been nominated for ‘Best Caribbean Music Act’ at the upcoming 26th edition of the MOBO Awards.

The 2023 nominations were announced today, December 14, ahead of the presentation, which will be held at the Utilita Arena in Sheffield on February 7, 2024. 

The eligibility period for the 26th MOBO Awards is from 1st September 2022 – 31st August 2023. 

In 2022, the ‘Best Caribbean Music Act’ category replaced the ‘Best Reggae Act’ category for the 25th edition. Skillibeng, a four-time nominee, emerged as the winner in the category last year against Spice, Koffee, Shenseea, Sean Paul, and Popcaan.

The winner is determined by a MOBO Awards specialist committee.

This is Popcaan’s ninth MOBO nomination, after winning ‘Best Reggae Act’ back-to-back in 2015 and 2016, and Shenseea’s third MOBO nomination, after she made history in 2021 as the first woman to win the MOBO Award for Best Reggae Act.

Byron Messia, Valiant, Grammy Award winner Kabaka Pyramid, and Destra are first-time nominees.

The MOBO Awards was started in 1996 by Kanya King to celebrate talent of black origin, making music in the United Kingdom. It honors the artistic and technical achievements of exceptional British and international talent in hip hop, grime, R&B and soul, reggae, jazz, gospel, and Afrobeats.

In a statement, King said: “We are proud to champion this year’s incredible lineup of nominees for the 26th MOBO Awards, who have all brought stellar music and content to our attention through their remarkable work in music, film, TV, online and more.”

“Since 1996, we’ve celebrated Black music and culture, breaking new ground and leading the way, seeing MOBO evolve and innovate to champion outstanding talent beyond music.”

Added King: “This year’s nominees not only represent the best of their genre and artform and an incredible year of music, but also continue our dedication to sustaining an inclusive ecosystem where diverse talent is both recognised and empowered to thrive. With the advancement of our MOBO UnSung talent programme and career development platform MOBOLISE, we are ready and excited to take our pioneer status to the next level, to celebrate and recognise the vast contributions of trailblazing musicians and cultural heroes, in a way that only MOBO can. See you on February 7th!”

In addition to the awards presentation, there will be a special behind-the-scenes show on BBC One featuring performances, interviews, and backstage content.

Best male act
Central Cee
Dave
D-Block Europe
J Hus
Nines
Stormzy

Best female act
Flo
Jorja Smith
Little Simz
Mahalia
PinkPantheress
Raye

Album of the year
Ezra Collective – Where I’m Meant To Be
J Hus – Beautiful and Brutal Yard
Little Simz – No Thank You
Potter Payper – Real Back in Style
Raye – My 21st Century Blues
Stormzy – This Is What We Mean

Song of the year
Central Cee & Dave – Sprinter
J Hus – Who Told You (ft Drake)
Jorja Smith – Little Things
PinkPantheress & Ice Spice – Boy’s a Liar Pt 2
Raye & 070 Shake – Escapism
Stormzy – Hide & Seek

Best newcomer
Ama Lou
AntsLive
Debbie
Jayo
Nippa
No Guidnce
Rimzee
Strandz
Tamera
Tunde

Video of the year
AntsLive – Number One Candidate (dir Tom Emmerson)
Enny – No More Naija Men (dir Otis Dominique)
Jords – Dirt in the Diamond EP1: Mobay ft Tay Iwar / Stay Close ft Kranium (dir Renee Maria Osubu)
Little Simz – Gorilla (dir Dave Meyers)
Stormzy – Mel Made Me Do It (dir Klvdr)
Tion Wayne – Healing (dir Wowa)

Best R&B/soul act
Bellah
Jaz Karis
Mahalia
Ragz Originale
Sampha
Sault

Best hip-hop act
Avelino
Clavish
Digga D
Enny
Fredo
Giggs
Little Simz
Loyle Carner
Nines
Potter Payper

Best grime act
Bugzy Malone
Duppy
Flowdan
Manga Saint Hilare
Novelist
P Money

Best drill act
Central Cee
Headie One
K-Trap
Kwengface
M24
Russ Millions
TeeZandos
Unknown T

Best international act (US)
Doja Cat
Drake & 21 Savage
Travis Scott
Ice Spice
Latto
Lil Uzi Vert
Nicki Minaj
Sexyy Red
SZA
Victoria Monét

Best performance in a TV show/film
Adjani Salmon – Dreaming Whilst Black
Damson Idris – Snowfall
Deja J Bowens – Champion
Idris Elba – Hijack
India Amarteifio – Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
John Boyega – They Cloned Tyrone
Lashana Lynch – The Woman King

Best media personality
Alison Hammond
Amelia Dimoldenberg
Henrie Kwushue
Madame Joyce
Maya Jama
Pressed podcast
Remi Burgz
ShxtsnGigs
Specs Gonzalez
Zeze Millz

Best African music act
Adekunle Gold
Asake
Ayra Starr
Burna Boy
Davido
Libianca
Rema
Tyla
Uncle Waffles
Wizkid

Best Caribbean music act
Byron Messia
Destra
Kabaka Pyramid
Popcaan
Shenseea
Valiant

Best jazz act
Blue Lab Beats
Cktrl
Ezra Collective
Masego
Reuben James
Yazmin Lacey

Best alternative music act
Alt Blk Era
Arlo Parks
Deijuvhs
Kid Bookie
Skindred
Young Fathers

Best electronic/dance act
Aluna
Nia Archives
PinkPantheress
Salute
Shygirl
Tsha

Best producer
Info
Kyle Evans
M1onTheBeat
P2J
Steel Banglez
TSB

Best gospel act
Annatoria
CalledOut Music
Guvna B
Limoblaze
Tofunmi Adorna
Triple O

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