The Nova twins have written an open letter to the MOBO awards, asking that they introduce a Rock / Alternative category to their 2021 awards.
In the letter, the London-based rock duo say that the inclusion of the new category could « broaden the representation that we and so many others did not have growing up. »
Elsewhere in the letter, the couple say the move would represent « more than a category, » writing: « It is a message to all young black men, letting them know that they can do and be whatever they choose. »
Read the full Nova Twins letter to the MOBO Awards below.
Dear MOBO Awards,
We are the Nova Twins, a band of two mixed-race girls from South East London and Essex who scream through distorted microphones and play knobby bass riffs.
We write this open letter to ask you to help pave the way for POC Rock and Alternative artists. We believe that you can expand the representation that we and so many others did not have growing up. Rock’n’Roll is black in origin, but due to the systemic issues we are facing today, the POC contributors of the genre have been lost along the way.
We have a proposal – we’d love for you to consider adding a Rock / Alternative category to your 2021 awards show, celebrating the best new wave of artists on the scene today, while also paying tribute to the creators and founders of Rock ‘ n’Roll and the Rhythm’n’Blues.
We grew up watching the MOBO awards, feeling grateful for its CEO and founder Kanya King MBE, who pushed the boundaries and helped bring black music and culture into the mainstream. We want to use our platform to raise the voices of the unheard, diversifying the space for Alternative POC bands but we cannot do it alone. We need pioneering and influential platforms like MOBOs to back us up and look to a more diverse future for music.
People often don’t know that Rock’n’Roll was largely originated by a black woman. Beginning her career in the 1930s, Sister Rosetta Tharpe inspired household names throughout the decades. Their influence can be seen and heard in the works of Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Tina Turner, and Jimi Hendrix, for example, who later shaped the musical world we live in. Her guitar playing technique also influenced the development of British Blues in the 1960s. We are all indebted to her and with the help of others, we want to continue the pioneering work that she started. We strongly believe that this should be represented at the MOBO Awards.
This is more than a category, it is a message to all young black people, letting them know that they can do and be whatever they choose. That they have more creative options available to them, in addition to what society has offered them. It is up to all of us to give the new generation the tools and encouragement to do so. It is time to create a different landscape than the one we entered.
The year 2020 has been a time for all of us to reflect and re-educate ourselves. Let 2021 be the year we all take action.
Lots of love,
Amy and Georgia
« Being black women making punk music is political, » Nova Twins told NME in an interview earlier this year.
« When we play festivals, we are the only ones who look like us on these bills and most of the public would never have seen a band like us, so we have to be the best band possible to change their entire perception of black women playing. rock music, « they added. « We wanted to be the voices of the unheard. »