Malawian group The Very Best nominated for MOBO awards

The Very Best, a London-based pop duo of Malawian singer Esau Mwamwaya and Swedish producer Johan Hugo, have been nominated to the prestigious Music of Black Origin (MOBO) awards 2012.

One of the finest honours in the world of music, the internationally renowned MOBO awards are held annually in the UK and entering the 17th season, this year the awards are scheduled to take place on 3rd November at Echo Arena, London.

Nyasa Timesunderstands that fresh from their tour in the United States, where they promoted their latest album MTMTMK, which was released in July, The Very Best have been nominated in the ‘Best African Act’ category.

Esau Mwamwaya and Johan Karlberg of the Very Best on stage in Sydney.-Photograph: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

In the category, the duo will be competing with other top African artists including Nigerian superstars D’Banj and P-Square, South African singer Spoek Mathambo, DRC musician Fally Ipupa, Angolan star Cabo Snoop, Kenyan group Camp Mulla and Malian duo of Amadou and Mariam.

Reacting to the news, Mwamwaya’s colleague Hugo noted: “If The Very Best won a MOBO award it would be the biggest international success to date for Malawian music. The fact that a band like us is even nominated for a MOBO award is about as exciting as it can get.”

He added: “To be nominated for MOBO with people like Jay-Z, Rick Ross and Rihanna is a dream come true for us. If we were to win this award it would have a massive impact on our career and our fight to get Malawi music, and arts, more international attention.”

Over the past 17 years, MOBO has showcased and honoured many of the music industry’s finest talent from around the world, with performances and attendances from A-list artists including Janet Jackson, Destiny’s Child, Dionne Warwick, Justin Timberlake, Tina Turner, Dizzee Rascal, Marley Family, Jay-Z, Rihanna, Usher and Amy Winehouse, to name a few.

About The Very Best

The Very Best were born in 2008 from the meeting of Mwamwaya and Radioclit (Etienne Tron and Johan Karlberg aka “Hugo”) in East London where the Malawian was running a second-hand furniture shop in Clapton, where after selling a bicycle to Tron, they eventually became friends and produced their first mixtape together.

2010 saw the release of the trio’s album titled ‘Warm Heart of Africa’ – featuring Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig and MIA – which led them to share the stage with Florence & the Machine, The xx, Mumford and Sons, and of course Vampire Weekend across Australia, Europe, and Africa.

When Tron returned to France, Radioclit was disbanded, leaving Hugo and Mwamwaya, who released the ‘Super Mom’ mixtape in 2011 before their latest cut MTMTMK.

About MOBOs

Founded in 1996, the MOBO Organisation was established by Kanya King MBE to recognise the outstanding achievements of artists who perform music in genres ranging from Gospel, Jazz, RnB, Soul, Reggae to Hip Hop. Over the past 17 years MOBO has played an instrumental role in elevating black music and culture to mainstream popular status in the UK.

MOBO has grown quickly to become Europe’s leading urban music brand and supports urban music in the following areas:


MOBO host a number of events throughout the year to acknowledge, recognise and reward artists for their achievements in urban music as well as champion new talent and provide a platform for emerging artists.

The annual MOBO Awards has become one of the most televised music shows in the world and showcases the best British and international urban music talent.

The MOBO Awards continue to attract the largest prime time multicultural audience in Europe, due in no small part to the fact that MOBO has played host to the music industry’s finest, jaw-dropping performances from the cream of both UK and international talent.

As well as showcasing a wide array of top international talent, MOBO is proud to have been a catalyst in the careers of numerous UK artists such as Craig David, Ms Dynamite, Estelle, Kano, N-Dubz, Chipmunk – all of whom have gone on to achieve global success after winning the MOBO Best Newcomer Award.

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