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Nia Archives became the first winner of the MOBOs Best Electronic/Dance supported by Mixmag last night, as well as the first artist to win a dance music category at the awards in over a decade.
The category was reintroduced this year after controversy over the lack of representation for electronic and dance music at the awards — The MOBO Awards worked in conjunction with the newly-formed Black Electronic Music Association, or Club BEMA, to reintroduce it.
Celebrating 25 years of the MOBOs at OVO Arena Wembley, the night was hosted by Chunkz and Yung Filly. The Best Electronic/Dance award was presented to Nia by editor-in-chief of British Vogue Edward Enninful and model Jourdan Dunn.
Read this next: How Club BEMA got dance music back into the MOBO Awards
Nia tells Mixmag: “I’m honestly lost for words!! Winning tha MOBO for best electronic/dance act is beyond my wildest dreams. Growing up watching the awards i never once thought i’d be there one day…let alone accepting an award.”
“There were so many incredible artists nominated alongside myself last night that are an amazing representation of just how healthy the scene is – so big up Anz, Eliza Rose, FKA Twigs, Jax Jones and Sherelle. Also big up but MOBOs and all the incredible women of BEMA who helped get this new category in place. Ma heart is full!”
Club BEMA — consisting of BBC Radio 1’s Jaguar, foundation.fm’s Heléna Star, Black Artist Data Base’s Niks and artist manager Hannah Shogbola — used its network to curate a voting committee from within the industry to select nominees for the category.
Earlier this year, Nia Archives published a handwritten letteroutlining her thoughts on the MOBO Awards not including an electronic or dance category.
Her statement ends with the stand-alone line “Time are changing – what side of history do you want to be on?”
Little Simz and Knucks were the joint winners of Best Album for their album’s ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’ and ‘Alpha Place’.
Burna Boy got his hands on two awards, Best International Act and Best African Music Act.
Alongwith with awards, the evening featured live performances from Nile Rodgers, Craig David, Kojey Radical, Tion Wayne, Fireboy DML, Cat Burns, FLO, Eliza Rose, Beenie Man, and Emeli Sandé who performed a special tribute for the late Jamal Edwards MBE.
Watch the moment Nia Archives was named this year’s winner of Best Electronic/Dance supported by Mixmag below.
Becky Buckle is Mixmag’s Video and Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter
Written by: Tim Hopkins