MOBO's Kanya King: I know there is a lot of wasted talent out there

King is chief executive and founder of the MOBO (Music of Black Origin) brand and Awards. A public speaker and entrepreneur, she was awarded an MBE for her services to the music industry in 1999.
King is chief executive and founder of the MOBO (Music of Black Origin) brand and Awards. A public speaker and entrepreneur, she was awarded an MBE for her services to the music industry in 1999.

King is CEO and founder of the MOBO (Music of Black Origin) brand. A public speaker and entrepreneur, she was awarded an MBE for her services to the music industry in 1999. The 20th MOBO Awards will take place in November.

I am continually inspired by those who have never given up. I have always taken inspiration from the likes of my late mother, who overcame so many obstacles, as well as from anyone who has succeeded against all odds and risen to the heights of success within their chosen field. All this simply by never giving up, by trailblazing, by being pioneering and sticking to their vision.

Look forward to the next chapter. The bulk of our work has been in music, but now that cultural industries are no longer in silos and people experience, consume, participate and publish cultural experience via their devices, our work applies equally to film, TV, art, writing or drama, as well as to those looking to innovate in the technical areas supporting the arts. For this reason, the next chapter of our organisation will look to celebrate and support those talented and driven individuals, whatever their creative path, wherever they may be.

Creativity is good for the soul. We are all born with great potential, but more often than not we allow people, including ourselves, to convince us otherwise. Regardless of age, circumstances or the mistakes that we make, we all have many skills to offer the world, which sorely needs our creativity: it has the power to bring something new and useful into existence. Not only are we good at it, but we also experience great satisfaction and joy in creating things – we learn in the process and it improves our lives. Being creative is just so good for the soul.

It’s all about providing opportunity. Our MOBO Movement, launched at the House of Commons earlier this year, wants to champion change in the creative industries, helping to ensure that talent from diverse backgrounds won’t be wasted, that people can take full advantage of their latent skills and ideas and create a sustainable entrepreneurial career in the creative arts. We can link exceptional talent with other individuals and organisations that want to work with the best, regardless of their background, as well as celebrate and showcase cultural expressions of excellence. MOBO has always been about providing platforms and opportunities as part of its celebration of great talent achievements.

The power of storytelling. My belief in marketing stems from the power to tell a story in a compelling and engaging way that can preserve history, promote values and celebrate excellence. This is what we have consistently tried to do with the awards and throughout our other communication channels.

Helping the creative arts to flourish. I know there is a lot of wasted talent out there, of young creative people who may not be achieving academic success, but who have the steely determination to succeed in life and make a worthy contribution to their friends, family and country. It is the joint vision in supporting this talent that binds us all, to provide a better and more diverse foundation where talent is not wasted and where the creative arts can flourish and develop for the enrichment of the human race and the economies on which it depends.

Support the power of brand Britain. All around the world, creative and cultural contributions are talked about as being an important and growing part of the global economy. I am proud to live in this country full of so much opportunity – Britain is a fantastic brand for the creative industries, which consistently punch above their weight. The UK’s film, fashion, TV and music industries are key components of the figures for employment and overall value to the economy. It is MOBO’s ambition to put diversity and equality at the centre of artistic and cultural practice with diversity intrinsic to the development of art and culture to further support brand Britain.

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