MOBO AWARDS 2017: NOMINATIONS REVEALED 135

The 2017 MOBO Awards nominations are here – so start voting!

The list for the show, going down Wednesday, November 29 in Leeds, is led by South London MC Stormzy, who picked up a whopping five nominations for Best Male, Best Grime Act, Best Album for Gang Signs & Prayer, Best Song and Best Video for “Big For Your Boots”. Following Stormzy, J Hus follows with 4 nominations.

Skepta, Jorja Smith, Giggs, Loyle Carner, Stefflon Don, Sampha and more also earned nominations. Check out the complete list below and start to vote now.

BEST MALE ACT
Bugzy Malone
Chip
Dave
Giggs
J Hus
Maleek Berry
Mostack
Sampha
Skepta
Stormzy

BEST FEMALE ACT
Emeli Sandé
Jessie Ware
Jorja Smith
Lady Leshurr
Little Simz
Mabel
Nadia Rose
NAO
Ray BLK
Stefflon Don

BEST ALBUM
J Hus – Common Sense
Nines – One Foot Out
Sampha – Process
Stormzy – Gang Signs & Prayer
Wretch 32 – Growing Over Life

BEST NEWCOMER
Dave
Jorja Smith
Kojo Funds
Lotto Boyzz
Loyle Carner
Mabel
Mist
Not3s
Stefflon Don
Yxng Bane

BEST SONG
J Hus “Did You See” (Produced by JAE5)
Kojo Funds Feat. Abra Cadabra “Dun Talkin’” (Produced by GA)
Not3s “Addison Lee” (Produced by Malv On The Track)
Stormzy “Big For Your Boots” (Produced by Sir Spyro & Fraser T Smith)
Yungen Feat. Yxng Bane “Bestie) (Produced by ADP)

BEST VIDEO
Bossman Birdie “Walk The Walk” (Directed by Luke Davies)
J Hus “Spirit” (Directed by Hugo Jenkins)
Loyle Carner “The Isle Of Arran” (Directed by Georgia Hudson)
Mist “Hot Property” (Directed by Oliver Jennings)
Stormzy “Big For Your Boots” (Directed by Daps)

BEST HIP HOP ACT
Giggs
Little Simz
Loyle Carner
Nines
Stefflon Don
Wretch 32

BEST GRIME ACT
AJ Tracey
Chip
P Money
Skepta
Stormzy
Wiley

BEST R&B/SOUL ACT Supported by Mi-Soul
Craig David
Jorja Smith
NAO
Ray BLK
Sampha

BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT
Cardi B
DJ Khaled
Drake
Jay Z
Kendrick Lamar
Migos
Solange Knowles
SZA
Travis Scott
Wizkid

BEST AFRICAN ACT
Davido
Eugy
Juls
Maleek Berry
Mr Eazi
Sarkodie
Tekno
Tiwa Savage
Wande Coal
Wizkid

BEST REGGAE ACT
Aidonia
Alkaline
Chronixx
Damian Marley
Popcaan

BEST JAZZ ACT Supported by Jazz FM
Cleveland Watkiss
Daymé Arocena
Moses Boyd
Mr Jukes
Terrace Martin

BEST GOSPEL ACT Supported by Premier Gospel
Lurine Cato
Mali Music
S.O
Triple O
Volney Morgan & New-Ye

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REVIEW: KID KAPICHI – ‘LUCOZADE DREAMS’ EP 23

Kid Kapichi are currently one of the most talked about up and coming bands in Britain, and, on the back of their previous EP, are so with good reason. However, some bands can and do often struggle when it comes to a second release. There’s more pressure and expectation, and sometimes it’s more than artists can handle well. So, how have KK fared with their sophomore EP, Lucozade Dreams?

The intro piece, at just over 46 seconds long could easily have been left off the EP, but given that it’s brashier and bolder than many opening instrumentals featured on albums and the like in recent months, it doesn’t fare too badly. It is however a good thing that “Cinderella” quickly follows on from it and ultimately sets the tone for the EP overall. With it’s big, catchy verses, and a chorus that’s even bigger, combined with a toe-tapping bass undertone, it’s an exciting little number, sure to impress and win over music fans who give it a listen.

The momentum and energy continues through “Puppet Strings” and although the instrumentation is good, ultimately it’s the impressive lyrics that make the track stand out. Meanwhile, anyone looking for a superb riff and a thumping, invigorating beat need look no further than “Jack Jones” and the slick production on “Machine Men” means the EP ends on a rewarding high for both band and listener.

While the group from Hastings might still be considerably unknown to some, they’ve been talked about for some time now, and the amount of said talk is only likely to grow on the back of Lucozade Dreams – a collection that’s fun, fizzing with energy and highlights just how much Kid Kapichi love what they do, and in time, more music fans might just find themselves loving them too.

Lucozade Dreams is available now.

REVIEW: THIRTY SECONDS TO MARS – AMERICA 36

Five years in the making, Thirty Seconds To Mars’ new album ‘America’, which Jared promoted this week by hitch-hiking his way across his home country as part of an event called #MarsAcrossAmerica, is most certainly a considerable shift away from what members of the Echelon have heard from the trio (though current duo) over the years. But is this said shift good or bad?

Beginning with “Walk On Water” which introduced both old and new fans alike to the bands’ new rather electro-edged sound, ‘America’ starts off well, especially given that the rather radio friendly “Dangerous Night” follows on from it.

“Rescue Me” ups the tempo somewhat, and with its toe-tapping, body swaying rhythm, combined with Jared’s rough edged vocal, it’s just over three and a half minutes of enjoyable considerably upbeat rock, and the simplistic chorus in particular will work well when – or if – its performed on their current Monolith tour.

Prior to the release of the album, the band gave a sneak peak of one of the album’s collaborations, with A$AP Rocky. Having watched said sneak peak, this reviewer personally felt his involvement was random and pointless. Fortunately however, and for reasons unknown, he doesn’t feature on my (likely all UK albums) version and with the song performed for the most part in a breathy, almost dream-like manner, it would most likely have been completely ruined with Rocky’s inclusion.

The “Monolith” instrumental, AKA track 5, doesn’t really serve any purpose, however it does lead into the album’s one collaboration that REALLY does work – that of Jared and Halsey on “Love Is Madness” – one of the darker tracks, but not the darkest, on the album. She compliments Jared perfectly, enhancing the song and its sultry mood/feel to the point where it easily stands out as a highlight of the collection.

“Great Wide Open” is an inspiring track, and one that’s perfect to listen to when you’re out discovering yourself or exploring this world we live in, or most likely, doing both at the same time. It’s the type of song you can see playing behind a montage of a person’s life, as their friends and family pay tribute to or celebrate them in some form or another, and with that in mind, it’s one of the album’s strongest, and most emotive, pieces.

Mixing simple electronic hooks, plenty of synth and a chorus which, it could be argued, is rather understated, “Hail To The Victor” almost flashes back to the ‘Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams’ era of the band, perhaps included to draw that chapter to an undeniable close. The darkest, deepest number on the album comes in the form of “Dawn Will Rise.” With lyrics including “Come and hit me, strike me while I’m down” and “Fortunes fade in time, I must change or die.”, it’s certainly not a track to listen to if you are in a good mood, as its sombre, almost depressing tone, matched by Jared’s almost defeated vocal performance, will soon shatter said mood to pieces.

If there’s any real surprise on the album, it’s Shannon’s Leto’s vocal on “Remedy.” It’s raw and stripped back in comparison to any track that has come before and comes after it. There’s an organic feel to the song, and Shannon’s performance, although different, is so in a phenomenally good way, and he’s no doubt going to find himself requested to play it live.

The chorus of “Oh Oh Oh”, on “Live Like A Dream”, in a nice touch from the band, was recorded at one of their Camp Mars events, and serves as an audible reminder for those who were there of the project they were involved in (though it’s unlikely they knew what it was for at the time) and the fun they had, while for other members of the Echelon, it’s a nice throwback to the ‘This Is War’ era when many of them featured on that album, having participated in ‘summits’ around the world.

“Rider” has so far proved to be quite a strong, albeit new, inclusion to the band’s tour setlist, and with its rising crescendo as the piece nears its end, it’s quite stirring and powerful. Meanwhile, on the deluxe edition of the album, the acoustic, choir-inclusive version of “Walk On Water” might lack the energy of the original, but with the electronics removed, it brings Jared’s genuine vocal ability to the forefront again, and such has been considerably lacking up to this point.

With remixes growing in popularity, it’s not that surprising to find the band have included 2, the first being a R3hab remix of “Walk On Water.” For those who like a more dance-like and continued electro-feel to their songs, it’s not a bad version by any means, but it’s not the best remix ever made either, and the Cheat Codes remix of “Dangerous Night” doesn’t fare that much better.

Despite the new sound and styles with which the band have experimented on this collection, ‘America’ is still at its heart, very much a Thirty Seconds To Mars album, and if the social media reaction is anything to go by, it’s proving a hit with their huge following. Yes there are tracks on the album that don’t quite work as well as they should, like the remixes, but for the majority, lyrically and instrumentally, it’s a considerably solid piece of work that fans hopefully won’t have to wait another five years for in order to hear its follow-up.