MOBO Awards launch brand new 'Alternative Music' category, Skunk Anansie, Nova Twins, Loathe, Bob Vylan and more nominated

Skin from Skunk Anansie, Amy Love from Nova Twins and Kadeem France from Loathe
(Image credit: Getty)

The MOBO Awards have introduced a brand new category that is recognising rock music in a big way. The Best Alternative Music Act category will be included for the very first time at this year's awards ceremony, which takes place Wednesday November 30 at Wembley Arena in London.

Nova Twins, Skunk Anansie, Bob Vylan, Loathe, Kid Bookie and Big Joanie are all nominated in the category this year, and Nova Twins - who penned an open letter to the MOBOs back in 2020 asking why there hasn't been a rock-oriented category in the awards over the years - have released a statement celebrating the news.

“What a moment this is, it’s a massive win for the alt. community,” say the London-based alt-punk duo, comprised of Amy Love and Georgia South. “To think back to two years ago, when we wrote our open letter to now, being here celebrating this new category alongside all the amazing artists who help push the genre forward, as well Kanya [King, MOBOs founder] and the MOBOs team. Working alongside Kanya, we have been in awe of how fiercely she fought for what she believes in, while keeping the MOBOs thriving and evolving.

“We hope this new category helps give future artists more options, allowing them to be whatever musician they want to to be – be it in hip-hop, rock, pop, punk, R&B or anywhere in between, the choice is theirs.”

Nova Twins' open letter to the MOBOs pointed out that rock music's origins lie with black culture, and to not recognise the genre at an awards system designed to recognise black contributions to music doesn't make sense.

"Rock’n’roll is of black origin but because of the systemic issues that we still face today, POC contributors to the genre have been lost along the way," the letter noted. "We have a proposition: we would love for you to consider adding a rock/alternative category to your 2021 award show, celebrating the best new wave of artists in the scene today, whilst paying tribute to the POC originators and founders of rock’n'roll and rhythm’n’blues."

The MOBOs, which were founded in 1996, acknowledged the letter soon after, Tweeting: "We see you Nova Twins! Rock and the alternative music genre certainly has its roots in black music and the contributions of talented musicians in this field deserve to be further celebrated."

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Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He is also probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.