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Nia Archives calls out MOBO Awards for lack of dance and electronic category

“Time are changing - what side of history do you want to be on?”

  • Becky Buckle
  • 14 April 2022
Nia Archives calls out MOBO Awards for lack of dance and electronic category

Nia Archives has published a handwritten letter outlining her thoughts on the MOBO Awards not including an electronic or dance category.

The Music of Black Origin Awards (MOBOs) have come under criticism in the last few years for a lack of representation of electronic and dance acts.

In her letter addressed to the awards ceremony she writes: “Once upon a time you championed Black dance artists and had categories such as Best Dance Act, Best Jungle Act and Best Garage Act but by the early 2000s, these categories ceased to exist.”

Archives added: “I can’t help but feel that your lack of support has been massively regressive for the Black community and for repreesentation of these genres and the artists operating within them.”

Read this next: Get to know Nia Archives and her ‘future classic’ take on jungle

She also writes: “How can we expect young Black people to see themselves in the music if our own organisations and award ceremonies won’t even celebrate the diverse range of talent that boldly exists in this country?”

Her statement ends with the stand-alone line “Time are changing - what side of history do you want to be on?”

With the mention of Goldie winning Best Jungle Act in 1996 Nia Archives also includes a clip of his acceptance speech in her post.

The MOBO Awards are yet to respond to the letter.

In essay for Mixmag, BBC Radio 1's Jaguar questioned why the MOBOs no longer recognised Black British dance and electronic music.

Read this next: Goldie: “People never give props to drum 'n' bass for what it's done for electronic music"

In Jaguar’s feature she stated: "The MOBOs have the opportunity to lead by example, and celebrate Black excellence and Black culture in all genres, instead of adding to the stereotypes of what is modern day Black music. This representation should be a priority."

Jaguar added: “Now is the time to address this and is instrumental to the growth, understanding and acceptance that dance music is Black music.”

Last year, Dave, Little Simz, and Ghetts were all been given top honours at the MOBO Awards ceremony.

Read Nia Archives' full letter below.

Becky Buckle is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter

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