More than 5,000 children in Sheffield have recorded a song by Mobo Awards nominee Stormzy as they welcome the event to the city for the first time.
The 26th Mobos are being held at the Utility Arena Sheffield on Wednesday evening.
British stars Little Simz and Stormzy are leading the nominations list at the annual event, which recognises and celebrates black music and culture.
More than 70 schools across Sheffield have been getting involved with celebrations, including 5,000 children performing Stormzy’s Blinded By Your Grace.
The song will be launched in a video on Wednesday and 80 children from four schools will perform the song live at the Mobos fringe event.
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”.
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.”
Ms King said: “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 said: “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.”
Wednesday’s award ceremony is being hosted by comedian, actor and podcaster Babatunde Aleshe and Love Island star Indiyah Polack.
Byron Messia, DJ Spoony and Soul II Soul are set to perform and Little Simz and Stormzy lead the nominations with four each, with both vying for album and video of the year.
The video can been seen here –