Advertisement

Thousands of children sing ‘Blinded By Your Grace’ ahead of 2024 MOBO Awards

Thousands of children have recorded themselves singing Stormzy’s “Blinded By Your Grace” ahead of the Mobo Awards ceremony at the Utility Arena Sheffield on Wednesday (7 February) evening.

The annual music awards ceremony honours achievements in “music of black origin”, including hip hop, grime, UK Drill, R&B, soul, reggae, jazz, gospel, and African music.

Acclaimed rappers Little Simz and Stormzy take joint-lead with four nominations, while female acts dominate across major awards including singers PinkPantheress and RAYE.

Simz won big at last year’s ceremony in London, taking Album of the Year in a joint win with rapper Knucks, which saw a tie for the first time in MOBO history.

More than 70 schools across Sheffield have been getting involved with celebrations, including 5,000 children performing Stormzy’s classic song.

The song, launched on Wednesday, will also be performed live at the Mobos fringe event.

Stormzy has been nominated in four categories, including, Best Male Act, Album of The Year and Song of The Year (PA Wire)
Stormzy has been nominated in four categories, including, Best Male Act, Album of The Year and Song of The Year (PA Wire)

The widely celebrated MC has won a MOBO Award a record 6 times, including being the first ever recipient of Best Grime Act when the category was introduced by in 2014.

The video has been put together from 145 separate performances and features eight young rappers who have re-written the rap section of the song with a distinctly Sheffield slant.

The video is being launched by Sheffield Music Hub and Sheffield City Council, who have run bespoke workshops with Sheffield-based recording artists for young people who are not currently engaged with education – an initiative the council has described as a “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many of them”.

Little Simz celebrates winning the Mercury Prize: Albums of the Year 2022 (Getty)
Little Simz celebrates winning the Mercury Prize: Albums of the Year 2022 (Getty)

Martin Smith, chair of the council’s Economic Skills and Development Committee at Sheffield City Council, said: “It is brilliant to see our local schools getting involved in the action ahead of the Mobo Awards coming to Sheffield.

“They’ve been exploring the impact of black music and culture through a range of educational activities, and this has already proven to have a really positive effect on our young people, giving them a platform and an opportunity to be involved in this milestone event for the city.

“The cover of Blinded By Your Grace, by Mobo Award nominee Stormzy, is an incredible example of how Sheffield kids have come together to celebrate. It’s a powerful and impactful video and represents exactly what it means to Sheffield to have the Mobo Awards with us.”

Mobo Awards founder and CEO Kanya King said: “Witnessing the extraordinary celebration in Sheffield, including the build-up to the first of its kind Mobo Awards Sheffield – The Fringe, for our 26th edition is truly heartening.

“The collaborative effort between Sheffield City Council and Mobo has been game-changing.”

“For Mobo, social purpose is in our DNA. Collaborating on a local level puts us in touch with local communities, allowing the Mobo Awards to enrich the local city both culturally and economically, highlighting and celebrating black music and culture across the city across all ages and boundaries, ” she added.

“This project truly encapsulates the transformative, unifying power of music in a community, making a difference and giving a voice to young people from all kinds of backgrounds.

“This brilliant initiative exemplifies the spirit of both the Mobo Awards and the vibrant city itself.”

Additional reporting from PA